Without wanting to sound like a broken record or boring, banging on about Portugal being the bomb, ask anyone, it's consistent, it's got a mix of the heaviest beach breaks and reefs in the world and each year it plays host to the build up and Finale of the APB world tour....
This year the women's contest was off the hook, I can't remember ever being so tense and our next interviewee contributed to this, making it all the way to the final and only narrowly missing out to Alexandra Rinder, setting up a super final between her Japanese counterpart Ayaka and Alexandra, could next year be her year.
Please let me introduce to you Sari Ohhara.......
"I'm 23 and I'm from Chiba, Japan.
My parents came from Tokyo so I was actually born in Tokyo but moved and raised in Chiba right after this.
I'm living Ichinomiya Town where the surfing and Olympic Games 2020 is going to be run!
I have no idea where I would live if I was not living there but definitely I would be living somewhere in Japan.
I started bodyboarding when I was 11.
First of all, my parents wanted me to do surfing or bodyboarding when I was 7, my dad is surfer and my mum is bodyboarder so there was already two options to do but I was not too curious I was busy with my new school life haha.
Then, I started to feel bored with my school after 2 years.
One day I went to beach with my family and I met Aoi Koike who is the most famous Japanese bodyboarder. She changed my life, when I was 10, she said "you are going to be a good bodyboarder so come to my shop and take BB lesson" Finally I got interested to do bodyboarding seriously! Aoi is my childhood hero and it is still my goal to achieve like she did.
I used to surf and I usually go to surf around Ichinomiya town. There is the possibility to surf constantly in Ichinomiya and it's most famous surf area in Japan because of it. Normally I go to Tsurigasaki beach where we call it "Shidashita".
My favourite spot is definitely Shidashita! But there is hard competition between Shidashita and the other spot which is in front of my house... I can't say where it is haha.
I also like to surf in Miyazaki in southern Japan.
I love Puerto Rico! I have a lot of good memories from there, I need to go back...
My first board was "V Bodyboards" which is cool because I'm still supported by them! That's funny! I started with that board and I am supported by them for 5 years now.
There were over 10 juniors taking Aoi's bodyboard lessons and they were all my friends, surf buddies, also my rivals.
We used to compete many times and we used to have good times.
I don't remember when my first competition was but I'm still competing. I got the gold medal at the ISA Bodyboarding Championship 2012 and I was the first Japanese gold medal holder and I got 5th place at APB World Ranking 2018.
I'm a professional bodyboarder and I also work part time to support my passion as body boarding alone does not allow this.
I'm supported by V Bodyboards, TOOLS Surf Japan(fins and reash), Mermaid&Guys, White Buffalo, Bodyboard shop SUNTURTLE, alive Wetsuits, Taiyou fitness&relaxation, GoPro Japan, O&I clothes, and Global WIFI. Thank you guys a lot!
I choose what I'm using because I want to use it, If I would want to use another things, it means time to leave because I am over it and it is no longer my passion.
There is no particular music I listen to pre surf but I would want to go surf if I watched some bodyboarding video or DVD and it fits with the music.
I can't forget about my first Hawaii trip, It was my first year bodyboarding seriously and everything was so new, I Surfed at Pipeline, met many famous bodyboarders, I Got so pounded in the surf like never before, was so scary but character building, I spent good times with friends.
Those experiences made me want to join the world tour for sure.
I appreciate to Aoi who brought me there.
Thank you for reading all. Sari x
Photo credits include:
@yasushi_photos- Yashushi Murata
Rute Penelope/Wonderland Prod
Next week we catch up with France Hazar, originally from Brazil but now residing in Avalon, NSW, until then thank you for the continued support guys it means a lot......❤️🖤
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