Japan has been great! My journey started off with Ryo from Reunion Wetsuits in Narita near the airport where we stayed with our good friend Yamasan. We ate awesome Japanese sushi, drank plenty of Asahi, and had a magic show done for us by the same guy for the second year in a row.
The Picaresque premiere in Tokoyo at the CLub Le Baron was great and although I couldn't make it to the premiere at the Greenroom Festival, I heard it was all-time. The Greenroom festival by the way was really nice and nothing like I expected it to be. The place where it was held was insane. The entire floor bounced as thousands of people in the crowd jumped up and down creating wavelengths in the wooden floor. Donovan, BLORR, and The Mattson 2 + Ray Barbee all put on spectacular performances throughout the festival.
After the Picaresque premiere in Tokoyo I headed for Taito, Chiba to stay with my good friend Yuta Sezutsu at the shop where he works called Revelation Surfboards. Our friend Matt Chojnacki from Sydney was also staying there as well which made it a fun little group of loggers to go surf and skate with. The waves were pretty flat the first couple days so we just ate a lot of Moss Burger, skated, and painted one of Yuta's Boards.
When the contest rolled around the waves picked up a bit but the conditions were really bad, onshore and closed out. For some reason I decided to ride the CJ Nelson Aviso 10 footer and scored a 9.0 in my first heat for just hangin' ten. After that I thought, well, I might as well ride this board for the rest of the contest. I think Yuta, matt and I were the only people in the entire contest to ride single fin logs. Matt scored an even higher 9.25 in his first heat. Unfortunately I ended up in the same heat as Yuta and the waves were just crap. It was really anyone's game.
After winning six heats I found myself in the finals with one of my favorite surfers, Bonga Perkins, in a man on man heat. I was kinda shocked actually. I never thought I would have done that well so I was really stoked. I think it was my first heat I'd ever surfed with Bonga before. It was a rather mellow heat and by the end of it I needed an 8.75 to beat him and I just couldn't make it happen. Second place was good enough for me. I was just stoked to start off in the first round and make it to the finals.
Now I'm off to Niijima with legendary photographer and all around rad dude, Naki. The forecast is really good so we hope to score some fun uncrowded waves. The water is warm and it's sunny unlike Taito so I feel like I'm going to a new country. I've never been there either. Naki said he hasn't been there in 15 years so it'll be interesting for him see how it's changed. Chiba shredder Hayato Maki is joining us as well. We're going there on a jet engine speedboat of some sorts. I'm excited to see what happens next...
Naki's beach BBQ and board swap. The Avisos pictured are the 5'2" Cole BD3, The 5'1" Cole BD3, The 10' CJ, and my model, The Herbie Fletcher 9'1.
Some Japanese school girls.
The Picaresque premiere at Le Baron.
7/11 autograph signing.
To The Greenroom.
On our way to Mos Burgerdes.
After my first heat in the beautiful Taito conditions.