Debutant Paralympic snowboarder Masataka Oiwane was all smiles after a bittersweet eighth-place finish in the men's snowboard cross on Monday in China.

Considered an authority on snowboard equipment and maintenance among his teammates, Oiwane brought his own special board wax to the competition venue near Beijing, and some of his teammates used it in pursuit of the Paralympic podium.

Six Japanese men competed in snowboard cross events in Zhangjiakou, a significant increase from the 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympics where only three raced.

None were able to win a medal, but they put up a good showing with all but one of the six reaching a semifinal.

The team members think Oiwane's wax played a part in that success.

"The wax I brought here is for conditions in which snow starts to melt," the 41-year-old said. "I have been studying it for four years, and I believe what I have been doing is effective on the world stage."

Oiwane's teammates told reporters they believe his wax allowed them to shave off tenths of a second in the qualification rounds, giving credence to his claims.

The Tokyo resident used to dream of becoming a motorcycle racer, but a 1997 accident shattered that aspiration. The motorbike crash left Oiwane needing to have his right arm amputated at the shoulder.

After his recovery, he was encouraged by his employer to get involved in snowboarding and began in 2001. However, he stepped away from the sport due to the lack of competitive events for riders with disabilities in Japan at the time.

Instead, Oiwane turned to para golf and competed at the national level in Japan, but he could not shake his snowboarding ambition.

When he returned to the snow, he found himself at a disadvantage to other riders as he had limited training time due to his full-time work responsibilities. So he began looking for other ways in which he could gain an advantage.

"I started studying about wax and other gear to narrow the gap between myself and other snowboarders," he said, detailing how he came up with unique ways to lay down and manipulate the wax on the base of his snowboard to suit various snow conditions.

Oiwane explained after the qualification round that a snowboard is seriously affected by dust on its base, with any impurities or dirt causing it to glide very poorly.

As temperatures increase in China's mountains in March, yellow sand and dust from beneath the snow has increasingly become exposed. Foreign substances penetrating the wax will, quite literally, put the brakes on a snowboard, Oiwane said.

Keiji Okamoto, 40, has said the snow conditions and temperatures are very different from what Japan's athletes expected based on information they received from the Olympics in February.

Even if they did not have the best intelligence before the event, communication within the Paralympic team on the ground is better than ever, they said.

Oiwane, now respected as the team's "wax master," may not have trained the members with his personally-developed "wax on, wax off" techniques, but the family-like atmosphere of the Japanese team makes him open to sharing whatever technical knowledge he has.

"We have built a relationship which allows everyone to give some advice to anyone," said Junta Kosuda, 31.

With their team spirit and snowboards all tuned to perfection, their eyes now turn to the next events — the men's banked slalom that comes later in the games.