Explore: Team RVCA tours Japan

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Hotsui – meaning hot, especially during the summer
Kaui – cute
Arigato – thank you
Kanitchiwa – hello


I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, it must have started when I watched Karate-kid and Daniel Russo became my idol. Shortly after watching the movie, I enrolled in karate class at the boys and girls club, then shortly after that received my Yellow belt and quit the class.

As the years moved on, my affinity for martial arts matured and Jean Claude {{{Van}}} Dam took the place of Daniel Russo. Movies like blood sport and twin dragon inspired my brother and me to turn the living room into the Kumate, where 2 men enter and one man leaves. These battles always resulted with me being a punching bag.

So here we are in Japan… Our guides, Tetz and Yutaka picked us up from the airport, we were all still half asleep and the jet lag was making us drag our feet like zombies. We have a tight crew, Daniel Jones, {{{Ford}}} Archbold and myself. From Narita we drove 3 hours to the town where Tetz grew up, I think it's called Hamamatsu, he took us to eat at an American style diner. We all ordered this hamburger steak, which came out on a sizzling iron plate shaped like a cow, it was a tastey treat and everyone enjoyed it. The whole restaurant was adorned with pictures of the typical 50's American family, it was pretty bizarre and everyone looked at us like we were famous. After, we went straight to the hotel and slept for another 12 hours, I did the math and apparently I had slept a total of 24 hours…

July 27- MondayHad a funky breakfast, runny eggs, rice, some soup and of course coffee, then headed out to the beach to catch some waves. We did a typical surf check, looking at every spot along the coast and putting in calls to all the bros, ending at a spot just the same as where we started.

Before the session, all the locals crowded around and spoke their best broken English and in turn we tried to speak their native language, no one understood one another so we all went for a surf together.

The waves were surprisingly fun and everyone caught their share of waves. Many of the locals crowded on the beach to watch ford and Daniel exchange blows in the chest high rights.

The sushi train- what a great invention, sushi that goes around in a circle, it is the perfect place to stuff your face after a surf. Ford decided to be adventurous and try something new, it looked suspect and from his face it tasted like mold.

We continued driving down the coast and made a few stops at local surf shops. The stores were small and our guide informed me that they were the bigger stores in each town, it left me a little puzzled because surfing seemed to be popular in Japan. The suffers we met at the stores treated us like we were a part of the same tribe and made us feel like rock stars.

we finally made it to Irago, where the contest is being held, the waves were shoulder high and the crowd was on it! The contest area was setup and the loud speaker was in full effect, every 5 minutes they would blast off all 20 sponsors in a really annoying game show voice.

It started to drive me crazy…The hotel is called a "business hotel," I’m pretty sure that is the Japanese term for ghetto, because in the room there were no bathrooms or showers . To use the bathroom you had to walk down the hall where there was a community bathroom, and the same with the showers. Ford went into the bathroom and screamed, “what! There is just a hole in the ground, where is the toilet?” Our friend and guide Tetz explained that you squat over the hole to release your bowles. Then it was time to shower off, we made our way down stairs to the group shower. It was a room filled with naked dudes on little stools. We were in our board shorts and felt completely out of place, the whole experience was strange… But in the end we all had a good laugh and shuffled into our marlboro scented shoe box sized rooms.

July 28 Monday-

After milling around the hotel for 3 hours we headed to the beach at 6:40, stopping by 7-11 for a hot can of coffee.The waves were firing, I never knew the waves got so good in Japan, guys were getting barreled and cracking the lip.Ford surfed his first heat and made it, his crucial mistake of catching a wave before the buzzer didn’t affect him too much.Later in the day we went to check out point that had an incredible view of all the surrounding beaches.

Then we ended the day @ our dinner spot {{{Skylark}}}. This is where I figured out you can say anything you want in Japan because there are very few english speaking people. While ordering my food I told the lady to punch me in the face and to be sure to spit in my food.

July 30 Wednesday

All the boys lost in the contest, ford by only .07. We cruised around and found a fun wedge spot. there were huge stackss of Jscks that made the wave peaked and close to the beach. Our japanese team rider ” flyboy” came along and showed us why they gave him that name.

Thursday July 31

Finally made it to a coffee shop, i hadn’t found a fresh brewed cupper this entire time and I missed my morning ritual.We hit the pavement to surf and visit some surf shops, after our first session ford was stopped 3 times to sign autographs. Ford is big in japan.. Height and fame. Even people who know nothing about surfing want to take a photo with him, the ladies are loving him. At the mall the girls were calling him a barbie doll.

August 4 Monday

Missed a few days…
Let’s recap

We charged to Tokyo to check out Shibuya and hit Roppongi @ night.The city is a TRIP, you walk the streets and there are thousands of stores upon stores, it's the shopping Mecca of the world. There are so many people that from an aerial view it would look like millions of ants walking back and forth. The Japanese people are infatuated with Western culture, and their style is a direct reflection. Everyone has their era or idol of style they are trying to emulate. You will see a Japanese hippie girl, then a slick 50's guy, a punk rocker; a lot of dyed blond hair and every t-shirt has English writing with things like {{{Malibu}}}, Venice, This is hot, etc. on it. The funniest thing is some of the shirts are even misspelled, one read, "Rearry big" I don't know if it was on purpose but the fact that a lot of Japanese people can't pronounce their L's tells me it wasn't. During the day we walked for miles, checked out stores and people watched. After having a home cooked meal we jumped on the train, a few transfers later we made it to Roppongi, the nightlife destination for Japan.Roppongi is filled with partygoers looking to have a sinful night, in a place where ANYTHING is possible… After milling around the streets for a few hours, and being dragged into clubs by 6'6 Haition promoters which is a little scary, we decided to call it a night and turn in.

We only had one more night before we took off so we decided to drive to the coast to catch another surf and stay with our Japanese team rider Flyboy. The waves were small but we made the best of it, Daniel and Ford did their best to impress the crowd while Flyboy zipped around showing us how it was done.That night Flyboy threw a farewell BBQ at the beach and invited all his friends to come celebrate with us. We ate all sorts of exotic Japanese cuisine and drank Saporro. It was the perfect way to end the trip and this long boring journal… till next time.

Surfing will be following The RVCA Team and Japanese Motors through their Right Coast Tour Aug 14- Aug 19th as they invade the Northeast with an Matt and Ford Archbold, Alex Knost, and Jarrah Tutton.