Motorcycles and surfboards may seem like an unlikely marriage, but Deus Ex Machina has taken their love building custom bikes and boards into an international brand from Australia to Bali, Italy to L.A. Deus has drawn inspiration from each of these locales, creating bicycles in Italy and crafting surfboards at the Deus Temple in Canggu. This winter Japan’s powder will be the canvas for Deus Powder Tools.
Shaper Takuya “Tappy” Yoshikawa is one of the masterminds behind Deus’ new snowboard models. His designs reflect his approach to the yokonori (board-riding) lifestyle: classic, elusive at first, but extremely fun once you find your groove.
One day, 12-year-old Tappy followed his sister’s boyfriend ( Japanese pro surfer Nobuyuki Tezuka) to the beach. After Tezuka finished work, Tappy would join him and ride the waves in Fujisawa or watch him shape surfboards. At 17, he shaped his first board.
Although he pursued graphic design as a career, he stayed connected to board sports, shaping skateboards and riding backcountry in Hokkaido, Nozawa Onsen, Myoko Kogen and Seki Onsen. At 30, with some encouragement from his wife, he moved to Chiba and started shaping surfboards again.
His signature psychedelic paint swirls and drip patterns reflect his avant-garde style. “My boards are my own style. They might be a bit harder to maneuver—I don’t mean to make them hard to ride—but they have aji (flavor) which gives riders an exciting and different experience,” he says.
“My boards are like driving a stick versus an automatic car,” he adds. While snowboards are often shaped for easy balance and riding, Deus’ snowboards are inspired by their surfing roots. Each model has a unique outline design, while keeping the board suitable for various snow conditions. This season, Deus is launching three boards: the Pike (a camber fishtail board), the sleek Mule and the flatter Drifter made in collaboration with Death Label snowboards.
Deus Ex Machina will open a pop-up shop in Niseko’s Hirafu 188 from Jan. 13 to Feb. 5 from noon to 8 p.m. Swing by for a coffee or beer, then get your hands on one of this season’s boards and get a special test ride on one of next season’s models. Batsugun, in Alts Bandai Ski Resort, will also offer test rides of Deus Powder Tools.