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Few countries have had a relationship with the sea as prolific as that of Japan. Composed of nearly 7,000 islands, the country’s history and culture have been intertwined with the ocean as far back as records can trace.

MEET SHINO MATSUDA

MEET SHINO MATSUDA

SURFER FROM JAPAN

Leading the next generation of professional female surfers in Japan is Billabong Japan sponsored surfer, Shino Matsuda. At only seventeen years old, the goofy-footer from Shonan has already secured a provisional spot in the 2021 Olympic Games’ first-ever surfing competition, which is set to be held in Chiba, only a few hours from Shino’s hometown.

Growing up in Shonan, a coastal community just outside of the Tokyo area, Shino was six years old when she started taking lessons in a local surf school, and entered her first competition by the age of nine. Now, she travels the world competing, and finds herself away from home often more than she is there.

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"For me surfing is a constant challenge. It’s exciting and gives me clarity on my dreams & goals. I hope, for that reason, it becomes more popular for women everywhere."

MEET NATSUMI TAOKA

MEET NATSUMI TAOKA

SURFER FROM JAPAN

During the first session in the once-in-a-few decades typhoon swell we chased in Miyazaki, Natsumi Taoka snapped her longboard. Washing over slippery boulders, in storm surge, tied to half a board, she came back to the beach with a smile. This says alot about Natsumi. Whether it’s two foot or ten foot (and beyond), she made it clear that any wave was worth riding, no matter what size.

Born and raised in Chiba, home to the laidback surfing just outside of Tokyo, Natsumi was brought up in a family of ocean-lovers and surfers. Competing originally as a shortboarder, Natsumi gradually shifted towards competitive longboarding.

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"I can’t imagine my life without surfing! It makes me happy all the time. Female surfers are powerful & surfing shows us just how strong women are."

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