Terasawa Girls Festival
By Keiao Bucasas
It was my first time going out of the country and I found myself having to run to the gate as I hear an announcement, “final call for Osaka, Japan.” I was invited to attend the Terasawa Girls Festival, a women’s skimboarding competition sponsored by Exile Skimboards, and I definitely was not about to miss my flight.
Once in Osaka, I was able to meet up with a good friend, Shiho Yamamoto, who became my tour guide and translator for the remainder of the week-long trip. We spent night in Osaka before heading east to Aichi prefecture where the contest was to be held. We had some time to kill so we thought we’d hit up the Osaka castle to see it lit up at night. I had no idea how hot and humid Japan would be around this time of year.
After the three hour drive from Osaka, we arrived in Nagoya where we would stay for the remainder of the trip. Here we met up with Sachiko Ohara, the contest coordinator and Arlene Nonato, who traveled from the Philippines to participate in the event as well.
The following morning women from all over Japan came together for the 1st annual Terasawa Girls Festival. It was one of the world’s largest women’s skimboarding competitions, with over thirty entrants. A nice swell rolled in just in time for the contest. The waves were breaking a little far out, but with calm winds the conditions were looking fun for the contest.
The event was an all day affair consisting of both group and individual contests. The day started off with the group contest, with the girls being divided into different groups, each assigned a coach. The coaches were given a certain amount of time to teach their group different maneuvers. For example how to water drop, speed run, shov-it, wrap etc. The groups gathered together and prepared to compete against one another. Each group had to perform a list of maneuvers in the given order. Each rider in the group had to do one maneuver on the list and if it was completed a judge would allow the group to move on to the next one. Whichever group could complete their list of maneuvers first won free dinner at the after party. The group contest not only gave the girls a learning opportunity but was a great way for them to interact with people who they normally don’t get to skim with. When it was time for the individual contest the girls fought it out until the end.
As the end of the day rolled around the competition was all in good fun. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Not knowing any Japanese, the girls were patient with me as I tried to communicate with them. The one thing everyone seemed to know how to say was “YouTube video.” The girls were so much fun to be around and there was never a dull moment. They were smashing watermelons blindfolded and singing Karaoke. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anyone rock out harder than they were! The stoke everyone had for their sport and one another is what made this event successful. It was the experience of a lifetime.
1st Keiao Bucasas
2nd Sachiko ohara
3rd Shiho Yamamoto
4th Chieko Mizutani
1st Saori Tanizawa
2nd Miki Noguchi
3rd Satsuki Hamada
4th Ibuki Kim
1st Hiromi Aihara
2nd Noriko Fujita
3rd Tomomi Takayanagi
4th Aika Fukaya
Photos by Tetsuya from Resistance Wetsuits