Look closely next time you’re up at the hill and you might catch a glimpse of Yu Sasaki playing it cool while skiing big lines in some of our biggest terrain.
Sasaki grew up in Hokkaido, Japan but has called Revelstoke home since 2014. In the summertime he dedicates most of his time to his food truck – Far East Bistro – but in the winter it’s all about the pow.
Sasaki’s Canadian adventure started in 2006, when he landed in Whistler at the age of 19.
This is when his passion for cooking started taking hold.
He started in a Japanese restaurant and has gone on to work in French, Italian and even Greek. Inspired by these experiences, Sasaki started his own food truck seven years ago. These days, Far East Bistro can be found at the Southside Market.
Sasaki serves up Japanese fusion cuisine, with elements of Japanese and Thai. The local favourite is undoubtedly the chicken kara-age bowl, but there are options to suit all tastes.
Surpassing his love for cooking is Sasaki’s love for skiing; specifically freeriding.
This style of skiing involves big lines through big terrain with big drops and deep snow–pretty much everything that Revelstoke is known for.
Prior to the first Freeride World Tour event in Japan, in 2017, with 24 of the best skiers from around the world, there wasn’t much of a freeride culture in Japan. With Sasaki winning the qualifier in Hakuba twice and making the wild card for the tour, he has become the unofficial leader of this movement to tap into Japan’s endless powder and inspire the next generation of Japanese freeriders.
With Freeride World Tour events not running this year in Japan or Canada, plans have changed for many big-line skiers like Sasaki.
He has his sights set on filming this February with Matchstick productions. First seeing films by the company in Whistler, Sasaki has dreamed of filming with them ever since. Competing in the Freeride World Tour for three years has opened this door for him, and he couldn’t be happier.
“Focus on the skiing, that’s very, very important,” Sasaki says when asked what advice he would give to aspiring professional skiers. That said, he can’t stress enough the need to build a diverse skill set.
In the future, Sasaki wants to start a freeriding school, teaching hopefuls from Japan and around the world what it takes to thrive in the freeriding environment.
Not only will he focus on sharing the skills necessary for skiing the lines, Sasaki hopes to share with these young athletes other valuable life skills like language and technological literacy that he thinks are indispensable in order to have a great ski career.