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Kazuhiro Kokubo: The Man We Love and Hate by Snowboard News Online
Perhaps one of the most exciting faces in the sport of professional snowboarding
Originally introduced to skiing; it was love at first sight after trying snowboarding for the first time. His father would take him for lessons when he was free from work. Kazuhiro talks of growing up and snowboarding for fun rather than for enterprising his strong talent when asked if he had any professional idols. After bombing a half pipe run in the 2013 Winter X Games, he made his frustration very visible by tossing up a middle finger to the judges, which he later explains was directed at his run .
The previous Olympic Games in 2010 of the two he has competed in, he managed to aggravate traditionalist whistleblowers that didn’t appreciate his punk alterations to the team Japan uniform. He was spotted rocking his pants low and his tie worked-loose. Later on, Kazu would be seen in an interview apologizing for his modern stylish tweak on the uniform and would utter a curse as he left his microphone. As a minor slap on the wrist, he was banned from the opening ceremonies. This was probably beneficial as he was given time to rest with his four broken ribs from a week prior to competing.
Injury has been no stranger to him in the park and out. In the spring of 2011, he rolled his truck over five times on his way back from a mountain trip and managed to escape with only a few bruises and cuts. The luck of this was accredited to the many people he said were watching over him. As an innovator in modern sport fashion and his showy performance as a rider, many popular companies have endorsed him.
After just two years of riding, Burton swooped in with sponsorship. He now has a signature pair of sunglasses with Oakley and a limited edition G-Shock watch with Casio. He recently made a bold move from Burton to Capita as his main sponsor. Capita is a much smaller company which would be much more able to spotlight his talents than a large company with multiple professionals endorsed. Kazuhiro is also sharing profits from a signature wax line with an animal relief fund for the animals affected by the earthquake and tsunamis in his home country of Japan.
In a press conference, he emphasized how he was not taking part of the relief efforts as an attempt for positive publicity. Kazu made it clear that he believes that he is responsible for looking after the people of his country and that he considers the animals just as important as the people.