Welcome to the 11th episode of our podcast.
Today we have a very special episode featuring Japanese surfer Kaito Ohashi, the interview is both in Japanese and English, it was quite interesting to see Kaito’s perspective on surfing and the sport in Japan.
You can find the interview on all major podcast platforms (Spotify, ITunes, YouTube and many others) or read the interview below (forgive us of spelling mistakes done while transcribing the podcast)
TTOS: Aloha Kaito, welcome to the show! where are you today?
Kay’s in the home and she goes hockey. Japan.
TTOS: Nice to have you’re on the, on the show. Today is a very special day because we we have with us a person that translates it. So you will have audience from Japan, I guess in English. The first question that I had for you is in your opinion, what is the most important thing in surfing?
The most important thing in surfing for me is to enjoy while I surf and be connected with the wave, kind of like dancingwith it. Being able to connect your mind with the wave, is so important.
TTOS: I agree with you, being one thing with the ocean is so powerful
when did you start surfing for the first time?
When I was three years old
TTOS: was it in Japan? Yeah, in my hometown.
TTOS: Do you remember your first surfboard?
Yes, I do.
It was shaped for me by a local shaper, Mr. Matsumoto and I still have it in my collection.
I still remember the first wave I got, when I was a kid, it was with my father, he got me standing in the same surfboard he was riding.
TTOS: Wow, that’s a great memory.
It is very interesting that your first surfboard was shaped by a Japanese shaper, actually, I believe, it’s very important ….it says all about the culture of surf in Japan.
Over there there is a community that grows every day and a number of people that are practicing the sport. How do you see surf evolving in Japan?
First thing is about the level, there are some Japanese surfers that are getting famous and competing in pro-events, while others they make a lot of surfer friends overseas and learn from them.
The combination of these two factors make the whole surfing-scene improving.
TTOS: That’s very important, because more the level goes up more people who will decide to follow, maybe there will be more and more surfers, right?
Yeah. That’s right.
TTOS: You surf a lot of different waves all over the world, which one is your favorite one?
Initially, my favorite spot was khloe Island, but last year I went to Fiji and I changed my mind….Fiji is the number one.
Not only because of the wave, but also because of the atmosphere, there was a moment that only me, Stephanie Gilmore and Mike Fanning in the ocean, surfing together.
But I forgot the name of the point! Somewhere in the island! LOL
TTOS: You were in good company with with the great surfers!
Let’s talk about 2021, it is going to be a great moment, I guess, because it’s the first time that surf is becoming an olympic sport as well….It’s a very important because is going to give visibility to you, to the sport and and to Japan.
how are you preparing for, for this moment?
It is going to be a very important moment for sure.
What I would like is that people, Japanese people, will also understand the Surf Culture and not just on the pro-competitors.
TTOS: You’re gonna go back on tour in 2021? What are your personal objectives?
I will not going back on tour this year or next, because of coronavirus , but instead, I would like to focus more on films, my own surf films.
I already started discussing with Kai Neville on how to make a film, an epic signature film that I can show to people around the world.
TTOS: Now that you cannot move out of Japan because of coronavirus, do you have any other projects you are currently working on?
Yes, I have so many projects, but one very meaningful for me is called “Knot”, it is an online surf school
I really want to help Japanese surfers to improve their skills and to enjoy surfing, not necessarily become pros, just have fun in the waves.
There is also another project I’m currently working on, is a deck – patch made in Japan and try to sell it overseas.
TTOS: we’re gonna finish our interview with a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes up to your mind.
The best surfboard that you ever ridden….
The first surfboard that my father shaped for me
TTOS: Your favorite shaper?
My father, but unfortunately, he passed away
For now Mike Walter, Channel Islands surfboards
TTOS: personal question….your favorite song….
I listen to everything
TTOS: your favorite surf spot in Japan
In my hometown
TTOS: Your favorite surfer in Japan and outside Japan.
Rob Machado outside Japan and Ohsawa in Japan, he is from the same town than me and he is like my older brother.
TTOS: Last question….we want to know your best relationship advice.
Understand what your partner is thinking and do an action on it by yourself
Recorded in July 2020