Surfing in Japan for Housewives
I love surfing. I know, I suck. But there is no other sport I would rather do than try getting a good ride off my board.
If you don’t know yet, yes, you can surf in Japan, although I doubt that this is your reason for coming to Japan. After all, there’s Hawaii, Indonesia, and heck even the Philippines. But let’s say you’re here anyway and would like to ride a couple of waves on your day-off.
To rent or to Buy? That is the question. I made a table to show the usual rental fees at surf shops near Tokyo, mainly in the Kanagawa and Chiba areas.
Disclaimers : I don’t guarantee the information listed here. Contact the surf shop for updated price list (Price list made in July 2014).
As you can see, surfing is not exactly cheap.
If you plan to do it once or twice during your stay in Japan, I suggest simply renting a board. If you are planning to go surfing once every couple of weeks, it is wiser to buy your own board.
Where to buy your own board?
For the most affordable surf boards, I suggest checking the following sites/shops :
(1) Tokyo Craigslist – Free or For sale section
(3) For Second hand surf boards Google : サーフボード中古
(4) Book off Super Bazaar
I haven’t actually tried buying stuff from Craigslist. But I have bought boards at Amazon and Book Off Super Bazaar.
My very first board bought in Japan was a second hand board bought at Book Off Super Bazaar. His name is Jony. This is the breakdown :
6’6” Fun board : 25,000 JPY
Wax : 280 JPY x 2 = 560 JPY
Board Bag : 3,900 JPY
Leash : 1,900 JPY
Fin set :1,500 JPY
Rashguard : 1,200 JPY
Screw : 105 JPY
Sleeveless Wet suit : 800 JPY (not in picture)
Total : 34, 965 JPY
I’m pretty happy with it. Never mind my drastic wipeouts, the board has survived me. I brought it back home to my favorite surf town and even took videos of my friends using them.
Here’s a picture of me using Jony:
So Jony is back home. I need a new board here! I decided to spend my salary on my next board, a smaller one. I am, after all, small. I can’t waste my energy paddling a board twice my height. I need something I can carry on land with one hand.
Admittedly, last year, when I bought Jony, I set my heart on an Al Merrick fish that I saw on sale. I was hoping to save enough money to afford my first fish. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait to save enough money to buy that Al Merrick (which is hard to find !). A second hand Al Merrick fish in Book Off Super Bazaar basically costs twice my brand new fish board.
After reading the reviews online, I figured this is 5’10” board good enough for me.
I mean seriously, I need something light that I can carry by myself without collapsing. Suzette, my 7’9” board, although I still love her, was just too heavy. Jony, 6’6”, is still too large as an airplane luggage. I am a practical person. I need something around 6 feet (the usual airplane limit for boards) Finally,a board that is both affordable and short enough to be carried wherever I go. I am not Kelly Slater, I can’t do tricks anyway. As long as the board doesn’t split in half when I get wiped out, I am OK.
So I went to Fujisawa to try Maki out. I wasn’t able to take photos (after being away from the water for so long, who cares about pictures?!) The good news is Maki performed well, light enough on land yet bouyant enough to support my weight. Yes, Maki turned out to be better than I thought. I can’t wait to go ride him in Niijima <3 <3 <3.
How much did Maki cost?
Maki board and accessories breakdown :
Board (with fins) JPY 39,904
Leash (from a separate retail store) JPY 3,600
Wax (from a separate retail store) JPY 260 / piece
Board bag (from Amazon ) JPY 9,979
*if you want to bring it with you abroad, you may need a board
Total : JPY 53 743
JPY 10,220 vest (Amazon, including shipping)
JPY 3,024 pants (Amazon, including shipping)
JPY 2,340 surf hat (Amazon, including shipping)
JPY 2,524 paddling gloves (Amazon, including shipping)
JPY 2 000 water shoes (retail store)
Total : JPY 20 108
Grand total : JPY 73 851
I know, it’s not very cheap. But remember, that grand total alone was the cost of a second hand Al Merrick.
Where to Surf in Japan?
Like the Philippines, Japan is an archipelago. There are tons of surf spots. Around Tokyo, the usual area is Chiba and Kanagawa. Just for the quality of the waves alone, I’d rather go to Chiba over Kanagawa anytime, although Chiba is farther and less accessible.This picture was take while surfing before a typhoon landed in Japan. I surfed Ichinomiya, Chiba, a 2 hour drive away from my house in Suginami.
You can also go to Okinawa and Ishigaki.
There are cheap flights from Tokyo to Okinawa via Vanilla air. We flew ANA and rented a board at Happy Surfing (before I bought Jony)
Surfing with Hi-Suy in Sunabe
Where to go around Tokyo?
I suggest checking out the Izu islands that is part of Administrative Tokyo.
In a few weeks, I will be going to one of these islands so I can’t really give you any information yet. But, I’ve been watching the web-cam and they seem pretty good.
Access the Niijima webcam here. It’s pretty empty. Isn’t it amazing?
There are other webcams found online. The perks of being in the first world!
I must say, the Philippines should aspire to become a first world country, if it means being able to have webcams to monitor the waves. LOL.
Questions? Suggestions? Comments? Want to go on surf trips together? MESSAGE ME!!!! I am a simple housewife who can’t get over the high of riding waves. If I can surf it, you probably can too.