Tuesday, May 26, 2009
4 Days of JPSA
The Japan Professional Surfers Association just wrapped up there 4 day stint in Kamogawa, the 2nd leg of their tour in 2009.
Jason Shibata, an Hawaiian with Japanese roots, took out the title for his first ever win on Japan soil in a very tough final with Izuki Tanaka (2nd), Teppei Tajima (3rd) and Darren Turner from Australia (4th).
I saw a bit of the action each morning before work and then got to see the finals on Sunday held in softish, but chest high, clean waves and very contestable. I caught up with Darren after the event and had a chat which was cool.
He used to live with good friends Rich and Nadia up in Ichinomiya until they bailed for the UK. He was full of life and super stoked on his new son and married life back on the Goldy, but obviously a little bummed that he couldn't find the waves out there to be more competitive in the final.
Got to hand it to Jason though, the guy was rippin'!!
Dave, the Hawaiian guy I work with had his BBQ down at the beach and all the Hawaiian contingent hung out after the contest for a bit before heading there own ways. dave whipped up some mean Tandori Chicken and killer Ginger Pork to go with Etsuko's Potato salad. Jason ate a bit before the final for some energy and hailed it as one of the key ingredients to his success!
(L-R:Dave Yamaya, Sei Nagai, Aiko & James, Nick Mita, Yuko Suzuki, Kekoa Uemura, Jason Suzuki, Jason Shibata)
They were all great guys and so grounded and humble. I only just meet most of them for the first time but felt like I had known them longer. Had to feel for Nick Mita, the guy popped his knee in a free surf after losing out in the contest and did his MCL!! I've done that before and it can be really debilitating and niggly as you hobble around on crutches for a week and slowly get it right again. Wish him a quick recovery!
Posted by J