Niseko staff share their favourite songs to ride to

  • January 13, 2021

When you're on the mountain, there's no better way to get in the zone than with a good playlist. Over the years of peeking at friend's phones while they switch songs on the lift, I've noticed preferences tend to run the gamut - while some gravitate towards the hyped sounds of hardcore rock or EDM, others will take it easy with some simple folk or ride the high with psych rock.

I decided to ask some of my fellow VN staff about their favourite songs to listen to while riding in Niseko - here's what they had to say. Hopefully this will give you a few new tunes to add to your riding playlist, wherever you are!

Kacey, Marketing

"Electronic music tends to be the go-to when I'm snowboarding - especially house music since it can encompass so many moods, tempos and energies. It makes it perfect for any condition or emotion I'm riding in."

  1. Tondo - Disclosure
    • Disclosure weren't joking when they named this album 'Energy' cause this song... oh man it gets me hyped! It's essentially a remix of Eko Roosevelt's song 'Tondoho Mba' but adds the perfect amount of bass and tempo to give it that extra 'oomph'. I can't help but flail my arms and bounce around on my board when I'm riding to this one.
  2. 100 reasons - kemt
    • I'm always drawn to lofi house music when I'm riding - its minimal vocals, lush production and thumping tempo perfectly matches the energy of snowboarding through powder (which tends to be most days in Niseko). This track is off Majestic Casual's EP, and always gets me in the right rhythm when I'm in the trees at Hanazono.
  3. Voyager - Daft Punk
    • Or, let's face it - the entire Discovery album from start to finish. The space-disco feel of this song is absolutely perfect for nights in Niseko: when you're riding through deep valleys with just stadium lights to dramatically illuminate the forest and cliffs around you, it's easy to feel like you're on another planet.

Miles, Owner Liaison

"I'm about 50/50 on listening to music when riding -- sometimes its nice to just be out there. As for what I listen to, it is completely dependent on the conditions & mood of the day. I'll listen to ambient, classic rock, bluegrass, jazz, country, indie, electronic, hip hop... the only constant is that whatever I listen to tends to both reflect & inform my riding style, so I try to mix it up."

  1. Strum (Modular Synth Experiment) - Richard Devine
    Perfect for deep "atmospheric" storm days or quiet nighter laps. While I love this track and Richard Devine's work, its usually a jumping off point for starting a station based off of this song & getting into a world of ambient music, music that is as otherworldly as the powdercoated landscape of Niseko. Also helps to keep me mellow & isn't so loud that I can't be fully tuned into what is going on around me.
  2. Ramble On - Led Zeppelin
    This song brings me back to my first ever snowboarding trip, back to the pre-dawn drives from Denver, Colorado up I-70 and into the Rocky Mountains with my Uncle Mark & my non-skier/boarder dad. I must have been... 14 or so at the time & my Uncle Mark had convinced me to try snowboarding. Despite having an interest in it, I don't know if I would have ever given snowboarding a try if it wasn't for him. The sport took a hold of me to the point that it has brought me far away from my home of Texas, all the way to a little town on a little island on the other side of the planet -- all in the pursuit of the best snow in the world. Here's to classic rock hits like this one, to family & to the pursuit of what gives us purpose. 
  3. Gyöngyhajú lány - Omega
    I listen to a good bit of world music when riding, this one just happens to stick out lately. I think I found this in a video part but I can't remember which one... I tend to lift a lot of tracks from video parts and drop them into my roundup of riding tunes.

Naoya, Maintenance

"It's been a while since I've thought about my favourite songs to ride to, but often I find them from my favourite snowboarding films - hearing the songs my favourite riders snowboard to inspire me"

  1. Pop Goes the World - Men Without Hats
    This song is from the Mack Dawg Productions film "Follow me Around". MDP is the best of the best in snowboard filmmaking in my opinion: good riders, good videographers, good editing and always good music. I've watched his videos over a hundred time easily, and many of my riding songs are from MDP soundtracks - this is one of my favorites.
  2. On the Eve of War - (Julio Cesar Chavez Mix) - Jedi Mind Tricks
    This song is from the John Jackson segment in Standard's film "PARADOX". I love this film because it was back in the days without drones - they took all their aerial shots with helicopters. It also has some great kicker shots from above and the side in slow-mo, I was shocked and amazed when I saw it! And not to mention John Jackson's riding style, man... gangSTAR!
  1. Rhythm - AWOL One and Daddy Kev
    Another one from an MDP film. These songs and movies made me realise how much I wanted to snowboard and that it was one of the most important things in my life. When all you see is J-Pop stars on Japanese TV, watching these international films and athletes from around the world inspired me so much to ride. When I ride to songs from these movies, it makes me remember how much I love the sport!

Jacob, Front Desk

シルエット (Silhouette) - KANA BOON

This song is one of the main reasons I got in to J rock/pop. Whenever I put it on I feel myself being carried by the song, nodding my head and ready to dance at any point, and the chorus hypes me up every time. Naturally this made it perfect for snowboarding, whenever it comes on, I'm ready to fly off every pillow in sight!

N.Y. State of Mind - Nas

I won't lie, I listen to mostly boombap hip hop when snowboarding, mostly because most of those songs make my body feel loose, and it feels like I flow through the pow to the same beat as the song. With the (badass) lyric delivery of Nas on this track and the heavy beat it doesn't get any better than this one.

Turn to Hate - Orville Peck

This song is both chill in its country sound and energetic with how it builds, in fields of pow it's relaxing like you're in the outback, and when you're riding the back country you're determined to ride it and not get bucked.

Koji - Housekeeping

"I always choose my music based on how I'm feeling when I'm skiing, but here are some of my favourites!"

  1. Raury - God's Whisper
  2. Bring Me The Horizon - Ludens
  3. The Glitch Mob - Enter Formless (feat. Rituals Of Mine)

Listen to these tracks in the playlist below!

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