Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RIP Canon 20D

Well, after 3 and a half years use and abuse, my trusty Canon 20d camera has officially died. Right here is where you would normally see a few photos...

...but as you can see I take terrible photos with a broken camera. The good news is that I am in Japan, ground zero for everything camera and electronic related, so it will be very easy to find a replacement. This is the last photo-less blog that I will ever post, hopefully.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Surfline Photos

I recently had a few photos published on Surfline, you can check out the article here.

I am hoping we get another typhoon or two off the coast to throw some more swell our way, next time I might actually paddle out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Super Typhoon Choi-wan

Super Typhoon Choi-wan came and went bringing some huge surf to the coast here, Saturday was probably 15 feet and fairly clean conditions, but not much shape around here. Some of the outer sandbars were breaking, but I didn't see any takers willing to paddle out (or anybody on the beach at all for that matter). I will come clean right now and admit that I wussed out and I was not willing to charge the outer sandbars alone. Somewhere in Japan was going off I am sure, but my local knowledge is limited, maybe next time I can get to a point or reef that can handle the size. But I was out there the next moring when it was a more manageble 4-6 ft.

California, I think this thing is headed into the northern Pacific then coming your way, hopefully you will get some waves as well.

One of those mornings where you can hear the surf and smell the salt in the air before you even see the ocean.

This would have been a fun surfable wedge, but unfortunately there is an unfinished skaffolding/pier coming off of the jetty here, so at the end of each ride there would have been a chance of being impaled on the pilings.

Tetrapods, Eagerly awaiting their new homes in a lineup near you. As I have mentioned before, from the coastline that I have seen, Japan has more concrete structures developed along the shoreline than I have seen anywhere in the world. When the waves come up, some interesting nature vs man-made object battles take place.

Local skimboard crew, playing it safe on the inside.

This was the only surfable wave I saw along the coast this day. But the currents and closeouts kept everybody out. It is much bigger than it looks. Ok, I am all out of excuses as to why I didn't paddle out but at least I lived to post photos for everybody to look at.

Not the smartest place to be fishing this day. You can sort of get a feel for the size of the surf in this photo.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Skate n Surf

Akihito, our new local friend and unofficial tour guide took me to one of the many skateboard ramps in town after the beach cleanup and I tried as hard as I could to not break any bones. Its been a few years since I have skated a ramp, so I was a little bit shakey. Akihito spilled some blood, but there were no other casualties.

This is how I spent most of my time on the ramp.

Heavy locals at the ramp.

oh dude...oh my god...

Akihito was going hard taking some spills, but at least he had some pads on...

A couple days later, we took a road trip up the coast to get some waves. We ended up at this spot with a concrete jetty/walkway that seems like it was built just for surfers to run out and jump off of. Here I am asking for some directions...

Wave check.

YES WE CAN! Akihito shows his Obama pride.

Statue of Liberty at the Beach on a Surfboard? Add this to the list of bizarre but classic things I have come across in Japan.

The water is still trunkable, for now.

Gun-San, Beach Town

A few days ago, my surf session ended in one tragic accident when I snapped off a fin of my board, my only board. My disappointment was short lived, however, once I took in my board for a repair at the local surf shop and met the owner, Gun-san. Gun-san's shop, Beach Town, is ground zero for the surf scene in Fukude, and Gun-san himself is a classic character and an expert surfboard fin designer.

We were invited to the monthly beach cleanup the next morning at the local beach break to pick up a boatload of plastic bottles and other debris.

Not only did Gun-san hook me up with a speedy repair, he also lent me ...Lost speed demon board for a few days so I could still get in the water.
Big THANK YOU Gun-san!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


...Of all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Beach Bike Trail

I have been lagging a bit with taking photos as of late, but today I took my camera on an afternoon ride down the coast. There is a nice bike trail that stretches along the whole coast here, this is only a portion of it that weaves through the pine forests with beach access points every mile or so. Some of the sights...

If you are on the beach in these parts you are either fishing or surfing, or both.

Bike trail through the pines.

The surf scene is alive and kicking in Japan, especially on weekends. Everyone packs into their vans and parks it at the beach from sunrise to sunset.

Towards the Tenryu rivermouth, the pines gave way to open space and plenty of wind turbines and the lighthouse.

Some lefts peeling into the rivermouth. I have a good feeling about the potential for surf here, the setup resembling a reverse Santa Barbara sandspit.

Racing back home before dark...

Full moon rise over the river in Fukude.

Typhoon Fever

This looks like a good one, lets see if Dujuan (#12 as it is referred to in Japan) can throw some waves our way while staying out far enough to keep away the bad weather.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Morning Commute

Here are some photos taken this morning on the walk to the beach from our new place in Hamamatsu. About 7 minutes from the front door to the sand by foot, 2 minutes by skateboard, 1 minute by bike. There is plenty to check out in this new town and new area, and I just scored a mountain bike, so I will be exploring plenty.

Sign on the way to the beach, I believe the translation reads, Warning, do not stroll the shorebreak fully clothed, you may be caught inside by a Tsunami and attacked by a cross-eyed catfish with eyebrows.

According to my personal translator, "Hama" means beach and "matsu" means pine tree, like these that line the beach.

But most importantly, WAVES! There is a huge stretch of beach here, with miles and miles of beachbreak. There were plenty of fun peaks to choose from this morning, leftovers from a tropical storm making its way up north. Plenty of fishing going on as well, with boats patrolling the outside and fisherman in 4wd jeeps spread out along the shoreline.