The Story of a Surfboard

In case you haven’t heard, I recently bought a surfboard.

On Monday, March 18th, I was going to meet a friend at the mall food court for dinner. When I arrived, two other foreigners I knew were there! These two aren’t in the JET Programme; they work in Tateyama as high school and eikaiwa ALTs.

I walked over to them, and immediately one of them said, “Hey, do you want a surfboard?”

Uhhh… sure?

As we had dinner, they all explained that he was being deported, so he needed to get rid of his stuff quickly. Something was wrong with his Visa, and he was leaving Japan in three days. Three days to get rid of all his stuff! It seemed impossible.

My friend was buying his bicycle, and he was trying to sell three surfboards—two short boards, one long board—and a wetsuit.

I may be from California, but I’ve never surfed before, so I wanted the long board, not the short boards. (Long boards are better for beginners.) It seemed that he was going to sell the long board to a friend, though, so he had to call that friend to see if he was still interested.

Luckily for me, that friend was no longer interested!

Even luckier, the guy who was selling the surfboard needed to sell it quick, so I got a really good deal for it.

Long boards like the one he had apparently usually go for about $900.

For the surfboard and a wetsuit, I paid $260.

…As far as I know, that’s a good deal, with the wetsuit thrown in there. :D

First, I wanted to see the surfboard, though. I’m not going to fork over money without seeing the product first.

So we stopped at the police station to change the bicycle registration over to my friend’s name (bicycles have to be registered like cars in Japan, can you believe that?), and then I drove to Chikura with the departing surfer. It was a long drive, but we sang songs and talked about I don’t even remember what. XD

He directed me to his friend’s house, where he left the surfboard because Chikura is a good surfing spot and his Tateyama apartment definitely cannot fit a long board. His friend turned out to be a teacher at Chikura Elementary School, and she was this really nice lady who I think has the best English I’ve ever heard from a JTE. It was amazing.

I checked out the surfboard, and he pointed out some spots where he made repairs and gave me some tips. It looked fine to me (but what do I know, haha), so we strapped it to my car with some straps we bought at Cainz (which was a hilarious endeavor in itself, since we didn’t know where the straps were and neither of us speak Japanese) and drove off with it.

It was kind of scary to have that thing strapped to the roof of my car because it was really windy that night, and I was afraid it wasn’t very secure. It stayed up there all the way home, though.

I totally wanted to take a picture of it up there, but it was raining when I got home, so I just hurried to get it off and stuffed it into my apartment.

Where it totally didn’t fit.



I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I just left it there for a week and stepped over it every time I walked through my house. It wasn’t too bad, but it was definitely only a temporary situation.

I wanted to rearrange my living room anyway, so while I was Skyping with my friends one afternoon, I tried to move some things around so I could fit the surfboard in there. Unfortunately, rearranging my living room at all proved impossible—the couch is much too big, and the TV can’t be moved to another corner because of its cable.

So this is what I ended up doing:


Well, that’ll do.

So I’ve never surfed before, and now I don’t know anyone who does—or at least, I didn’t. That night, we stopped by someone else’s apartment so I could try on the wetsuit, and a woman I’d met before was there! She’s super cool—she’s in a band and we’ve sung karaoke together before and now I know that she surfs!

Me: “Oh my God, teach me!”

Her: “No, no, no, I can’t teach. I’m not good.”

Me: “You’re better than I am, if you’ve surfed at all.”

So now we’re going surfing together in the summer. ;)

I’ve wanted to learn how to surf for a while now. The only thing holding me back was my lack of a board—and how expensive they were! That, and a lack of a teacher. Now, though, there isn’t any of that holding me back. That night, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy the board. Was that really a good idea?

But I figured that it was the best deal I would probably ever see. So it was now or ever.

And besides, it looks bitchin’ in my living room.

Hiking in Kurotaki

March 20th was a national holiday, so I didn’t have to go to work! Instead, I went hiking with Sam, Ebony, and Melissa.

It was absolutely beautiful up there.


It reminded me of a hike I took in Santa Cruz with some friends—that one also had a waterfall.



Kick ass trees.

Kick ass trees.

More kick ass trees. ...I like trees.

More kick ass trees. …I like trees.

Wiggly tree! Whoooa!!

Wiggly tree! Whoooa!!


I have antlers, y'all!

I have antlers, y’all! (Photo taken by Ebony)

We found a playground halfway up!

We found a playground halfway up! (Photo taken by Melissa.)

:D It's... er... Kurotaki Road.

:D It’s… er… Kurotaki Road.

And as a bonus, there were some cops doing some safety stuff at Aeon mall, and we got to sit in their cop car (I was in the driver’s seat!). They took a picture of us, so we were probably in the paper the next day. |D


(Photo taken on my phone by Ebony.)

I am so glad that it’s spring now.


Cainz n. a home goods store that’s kind of a mix between… Target and Home Depot? More on the Target side, I guess.

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2 Responses to The Story of a Surfboard

  1. Kim says:

    I think I mentioned this before, but Sanae (Hanawa sensei at the elementary) has a friend who is a surf instructor. She is SUPER nice and took my brother out surfing when he came to visit me.
    But you never talk about Hanawa sensei, did she get transferred or something? Because she should be coteaching all of the elementary classes with you….

    OH… also, the living room used to have a surfboard rack right on the wall behind the couch, but it was ugly and I don’t surf so I took it down… whoops >_> you could probably find a similar one for super cheap somewhere though.

    • O: I don’t recall you mentioning that! But I’ll ask her about it.

      No, I totally talk to her all the time! I adore her! Actually, she’s a featured player in the next entry I have lined up. ;)

      Oh noooo!! XD That’s kind of funny that this place used to have one. The apartment must go through so many changes with each ALT…

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