Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Off to a little Halloween shindig at good friend Dave's tonight. He's been getting everyone in the mood for it by allocating costumes courtesy of
Here's his version of me. Too funny!

On another note, can't wait to see this new surf flick 'modern collective'. Here's a sample of Jordy Smith

Modern Collective teaser ft: Jordy from Poor Specimen on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Well it was a sad farewell to the Spacegear which has served us so well over the last 6-7 years or so. Unfortunately rust waits for nobody and her time was up. A huge mahalo to Akihito who so generously gave me a great deal when he was forced to upgrade from a diesel to a petrol car due to new exhaust regulations for the greater Saitama and Tokyo areas and to Suzuki-kun from Mitsubishi Motors in Kamogawa who helped out with regular servicing.

We managed to put 50,000 kms on her and used her as a second house visiting a variety of places and camping where ever took our fancy. We have been as far south as Kyushu, taking the ferry from Tokyo to Kita Kyushu and driving thru Fukuoka, Nagasaki, across the volcanic plateau to Miyazaki and down to Kagoshima. We've visited family in Osaka doing the 7-8hr midnight mission to save money on tolls and avoid traffic. We've regularly headed for the southern tip of Izu Peninsula for surfing and relaxing in the pristine sub-tropical climate around Shimoda. We've been up the mountains in Gunma snowboarding and sliding around on the narrow icy roads to the ski fields. We've taken family up to Nikko and toured the National Park area there. We've taxied tons of people to and from Narita airport, especially when we got married. We've done regular summer surf trips north to Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures and most recently to Iwate with Shinya. It's really enabled me to see a lot of Japan ad do it with surfboards in tow and at my own pace.

For now we are 'ECO' as we ride bikes around town. The search is on for a replacement and until then I know that Aiko will miss the monthly trips into the city where we shopped at Costco to cater to our international tastes, to catch a flick or just to break the monotony of shopping at Jusco.

Thanks for the memories.

and otsukaresamadeshita! May you R.I.P. buddy...

Those Seaside Rights

Just Junji Sonoda (JS Surfboards) and his wife, Momoko, out surfing these at B-side

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Funny as Remix

This is classic!

Answer to the QUIZ


Only about 6 out! Shared some waves with friends Sei-san, Momoko, Kazuki, Ofuchi and 2 or 3 others. Maki took this picture from BLOOM looking into the lefts. That's me bobbing around on the right eyeing up some of the rights coming thru.

Just what I needed after 2 days in Tokyo to cleanse the soul...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Quick Quiz

"It's 3 o'clock in the morning and you buy a pie. What should you always do???"

Post your reponses in the comments box below.

The answer will be revealed to those who don't already know it after the weekend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Surf Comp

Bloom User's Cup was held Sunday 18th at Seaside Beach. I was going to update yesterday but was hungover and couldn't be bothered sitting down in front of the computer to do it.
There was only a small field but it was quite competitive and the sun was out. The swell picked up considerably from Saturday when it was questionable at best and there were good waves throughout. Unfortunately the waves abandoned us in the Longboard A final but I was lucky to pick off a nice left at the start which saw me through. It would've been cool to get sets pouring through but I guess it's just the luck of the dice and you have to make do with what you've got.
The winners TrophyMaki, MCing the contest and overseeing proceedings. Good job mate!Koharu fanning the fire while Ken-san's curry cooks. Oishikatta!!Honda-san from POP Wetsuits talking to Tsuyoshi Tobita (pro surfer) before the exhibition.Judges tent, (L-R) Mayumi, Eri, Oguri, EnishiHoptong Smith.

Hoptong is a friend of Dave's from Hawaii who resides in Makaha, Oahu. He now rides for Grace Surfboards and has been visiting for the last 2 months doing photo trips and sales trips. He's probably seen more of Japan in that short time than I have over the last 10 years!! Anyway, after the Bloom Cup, Dave and Taro threw a farewell BBQ in his honor. Great to have seen his surfing and drawn inspiration from it. The guy can surf anything and do it with style. In the above picture you can see him carrying a traditional wooden board ridden in Hawaii from the old days. That party, combined with the excitement of winning the contest led to me enjoying one to many beers, hence the hangover yesterday. All guns firing today though and it's off to work.

See ya next year Hoptong!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Datsun 180B

The other day, at Ocean Park in Kamogawa, Aiko and her team were performing Hula as part of the city's summer attractions and in the car park were a bunch of Datsuns!!! When I was a young fella my Dad had a styling bright orange Datsun 180B (like the one below) which was our family car and the one in which I learned to drive around the farm on at the ripe old age of 9 or so. So many stories and memories, from getting fingers jammed in the doors to overheating on the Auckland highway and all those summer holidays at the beach.Here are the ones that I saw. They're all in immaculate condition and have been lovingly restored to their best. The mighty Datsun lives on!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Aiko got a bit of a surprise when she opened up the back of the van today. Waiting for her was a massive spider!!! She let out a little yelp and called me over to check it out.Then it was down to Tateyama to pick up my cell phone which went on the blink about a fortnight ago and was in for repair. Fortunately the repair was covered by warranty as the total was ¥16,800!! That's over $200 NZ!!

We took a little detour and poked around LOC CITY shopping mall where we ran into Jun and Miwa with Yashi. Then we got this great sunset across Tokyo Bay as we left for home which made the day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mahalo Dave!!

Dave hooked me up with this mean Indian Curry yesterday at work. An authentic Indian recipe, these guys boast 8 decades of expertise serving high quality vegetarian food!!!!

Aiko and I decided to throw in some chicken, zucchini, egg plant and tomato to add some volume and ate it with rice for dinner last night.

As the Hawaiians say "SUCKER BROKE DA MOUTH!!!!"

If you see this in the supermarket, I thoroughly recommend that you throw a box in the trolley/basket and try it for yourself.

Thanks Dave and Etsuko. You guys rock!!

homepage -

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The weather turned on and there were waves again for this year's K-SOS surf contest. A local contest wherein all the local surf shops combine to put on what is definitely one of the best, most fun days of competition. This year's organizing committee did a fantastic job in rallying support from sponsors and volunteers and attracting good fields in many age and surf categories. As usual, the 'Kasou' or costume event provided lots of entertainment and as the tide filled in and the finals came up, the MC's had everyone on edge with there witty comments and encouragement of surfers throwing caution to the wind and pulling into shore break barrels.Jun the 'RASTA MAN'
The SUPER KIDS deserve a special mention. They are AMAZING!!!! Young grom Takumi took out the title this year and surfed with a repertoire and skills way beyond his age but was pushed all the way by his peers.

For myself, I came down with a bad earache 2 days before the event which spread to my throat and sinus. I was umming and arghing whether to participate or not. Perhaps a wiser man would've stayed in bed, but I had really been looking forward to this contest as I don't usually enter many contests and had lots of mates involved. I managed to sneak through my first round with a win, snatching a decent score on the buzzer. Then struggled through the semi which I won despite surfing well below par. After that semi I just about fainted and felt like %!&$. I was about to pull the plug and fore go the final but after some time in the shade and lots of liquids, buoyed by the surf action in front of me, the energy from the spectators watching on and the classic MCs, my condition stabilized somewhat.Above, the crowd watching events unfold. Below, pre-final photo
By the time my final came around, the waves were breaking right on the shore, which meant less paddling which suited me. It was a bit dodgy at times riding some of the waves onto dry sand but somehow I managed to sneak away with the win.!!! STOKED!!!!

The prize giving was classic with Dave, my co-worker as well as a former winner and now PRO, presenting me with the trophy. The trophy is really cool and will take pride of place in the living room as it's the best surf contest result I've ever had!!
Thanks to everyone involved in the K-SOS which made this day so special!!!

Raglan Beast

A big storm hit NZ over the weekend, trapping motorists in snow laden areas and pumping swell into every nook and cranny on the west coast! Here's a pic (coreadventure) of a decent 6-8ft+ bomb at Manu Bay in Raglan.

Friday, October 2, 2009

KSOS Contest

This weekend at Maruki Point in Kamogawa.

Fried Tofu

Back in June when Dad was visiting, he spotted some dishes that took his fancy. He bought a few various dishes with the same bamboo themed print and left one of them here as a kind of 'bond' between him in NZ and us in Japan.

Last night we put it to use!! We grilled some fried tofu, grated some ginger and topped it off with a touch of soy sauce. I never really liked tofu that much when I first came to Japan and I will always remember one American's take on it "If you close your eyes it's like vanilla ice cream, only there's no flavour and it's not cold".

These days however, I'm a converted fan. Aiko has a number of methods to present tofu and they're all great!!

Thanks for the dish Dad. Have a nice weekend.