Chiba is located just south of Tokyo, literally just a stone’s throw away from the capital.The Chiba prefecture is divided into north and south. This spot is just a little far for most to commute to Tokyo so the area still has a quaint country feel to it. Chiba is an area packed with activities, where you can experience the charming Japanese culture, food and wildlife. SUP in Japan is becoming more and more popular, with lots of SUP race competitions and not to mention the Tokyo Olympics it is a destination that is worth investigating!
We chat to SUP rider and wave seeker Dane Gillett who introduces us to what makes Chiba such an exceptional place to SUP, with his great knowledge of the area he tells us what makes Japan really unique as a place to paddle, and why we could spend the next 10 years seeking out perfect paddle conditions.
Dane Gillett’s Link to Chiba
I originally came to Japan on a vacation and ended up discovering all the mountains and snowboarding. I loved it here so much I wanted to stay. Living in Hebara, Chiba I am surrounded by so many people that I love. The surfing community here is so respectful towards me and also very supportive of my photography and the surf guest house. Words can not describe how happy I am to be living in Japan and doing what I love, if I had to describe what it means to be a surfer in Japan, I would say Japanese surfers are extremely passionate about surfing.
The country has so many different spots that stretch from Hokkaido to the tiny island of Ishigaki.
Local riders and community
The surfers in Japan are also really inviting to travellers. The local surfers really want foreigners to come and surf on their waves and spots. To sum it up, I would say Japanese surfers are friendly, passionate, and open to sharing waves with everyone!
Renting SUP boards and SUP gear in Chiba
Splash guest house rents out boards and SUP gear in your local spot they do everything rentals / tours / school you name it.
Major local stand up paddle events
The Olympics are coming to Tokyo in 2020, it is going to be totally amazing! It will be fantastic for the sport and of course it will be fantastic for Japan. It is something the sport of surfing needs and Japan needs as well. I think once the games are all said and done only positive things will come from it.
We also have the local race , that is the Katsuura Challenge Cup, held every October.
Best SUP spots in Chiba
Here in Chiba we have some quality wave riders and some amazing waves more on the advance side when it comes to waves , we have more than 30 mapped routes for flat water over the 30 km of coastline we live on.
My local line up is Hebara Beach in Katsuura, Chiba, the vibe there is epic. There are lots of different breaks in the area (6+) which keeps everyone pretty mellow. Although, I will say that when the surf gets epic the vibe changes really quick and the usual testosterone in the lineup appears.But as long as you are respectful and friendly you can still get waves in any conditions.
Hebera break is a Chiba classic, every Japanese surfer knows about it (sometimes it seems most of them are trying to surf it together) and usually, when talking about it, everyone is referring to the reef in the middle of the beach. However this is only the main break on a beach just over 1 KM long with reefs north, central and south and sand bar beach breaks in-between.
My favourite break is Obachans which is a left. Obachans is located right in front of the Splash Guest House, with a sandy bottom that breaks close to the beach and depending on the swell size and direction can be ridden either left or right.
But surfers here get a lot of choice, from eastern (Pacific Ocean) facing beaches to the Southern reefs and beaches and to the Western beaches in Tokyo Bay.This choice is good when big storms roll up from the south and the winds move around a lot.
And as a tourist…
Around the area there is the local market where people sell fruit and vegetables, lots of scenic walks, bike riding and temples to explore.
There are a lot of hidden Chiba secrets that you won’t find in any guide books, it just takes a little exploring.
‘Shrimpy would go’* and Shrimpy keeps going, stealing the limelight from SUP veterans at some of the most iconic SUP racing events both in the US and Europe. Shuri Araki aka Shrimpy from Okinawa, Japan, has just turned sixteen but his remarkable and consistent performance has already ranked him among the top pro athletes in […]
In the past 24 years, Japanese waterman Tomo Murabayashi aka SUP Tomo, FOIL Tomo or just Tomo, hasn’t spent many days away from the ocean. After years of windsurfing, kiting and stand up paddling, he was in 2016 one of the earliest takers and subsequently pioneers in the Foil revolution the watersport world has been […]
After a frustrating ‘leap year’ for global sport, the APP World Tour will return to action for 2021 with a full line up of events spanning the globe and set to provide the World’s Best Athletes with what looks like a phenomenal and well-rounded challenge in their quest for the World Title. 2021 sees the […]
The APP World Tour team is not slowing down and has released official 2020 schedule with new stops added to the pipeline. After a spectacular 2019 season that saw dramatic action across every event on Tour, the APP is continuing its legacy in Osaka, San Francisco and Paris, while adding a new World Tour Opener […]
The beautiful City of Osaka, Japan will play host to the world’s best Stand Up Paddle Athletes this weekend. The Osaka SUP Open presented by Remax will take center stage on Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd September, it will be an epic weekend of action, entertainment and participation for all. It all kicks […]
The Osaka SUP Open is stop #3 on the APP World Racing Tour, and the 3rd iconic City on the 2019 schedule (following on from London and New York). The event will also host a Pro-Am Division, Amateur and Youth Divisions as well as entry level racing for all ages, providing an exceptional SUP experience. […]
Last week the 4th annual Mynavi SUP Japan Cup was held at Chigasaki, one hour south of Tokyo, the race was a 4-star “Regional” The Paddle League event. There were 300+ amateur paddlers in the water plus a dozen top international athletes creating one of Asia’s biggest-ever races. Solid typhoon swell made for challenging but entertaining racing […]
Japanese rider Yuri Takimoto is immersed in the world of foiling. Being the wife of Takuma founder Cyril Coste she has access to the full Takuma quiver of foils. Currently based in Japan, Yuri chats to TotalSUP about why “the only way is foiling”, and introducing the concept of foiling to women riders! Hi Yuri, […]
Last weekend was the Kerama Blue Cup, it was the 4th stop of the Paddle League held on the the tropical islands of Zamami, Okinawa, Japan. A dozen of the world’s best stood on the start line alongside Japan’s finest, with grey skies and light rain greeting competitors this morning after a week of blue skies. The long course […]