Japanese riders have long set themselves apart from the pack – and Kazuhiro “Kazu” Kokubo is no exception. An explosive freestyle and halfpipe performer, able to adapt to any type of terrain and pull just about any move, Kazu has the entire crowd in awe every time he launches himself off the coping or lip to execute highly technical tricks with his style. While he’s still a presence on the contest scene (though he’s dialed back his involvement considerably), his attention has shifted to natural terrain. His proficiency in the backcountry led to a role in Jake Blauvelt’s highly acclaimed project, “Naturally,” which came out in Fall 2013. It’s exactly the part you might expect from Kazu at this point in his career: launching and pulling off massive maneuvers in some of the best natural terrain imaginable, with an enormous smile across his face.