Rasta and 30+ surfers paddle out to honor Dolphins slaughtered in Taiji Japan

Less than 24 hours after professional surfer Dave Rastovich led an international group of over 30 surfers, celebrities, and musicians on a peaceful paddle-out ceremony to honor the more than 25,000 dolphins killed each year in Japan, fishermen in the tiny village of Taiji resumed the slaughter that had been delayed by the increased worldwide media attention.

In response, the surfers decided in solidarity to make a pre-dawn return to the killing cove to recreate the ceremony, albeit with fewer people to evade detection. Rastovich and the others paddled within a stone’s throw of a pod of captive pilot whales and their calves that had been herded into the cove for early morning slaughter.

“The reason we surfers were there was to share the blood-stained waters at eye-level with our ocean kin awaiting their execution,” said a dripping, visibly shaken Rastovich just after paddling in. “Despite the fishermen taking great pains to hide their acts of cruelty, we seized an opportunity to bring this travesty to the world’s attention.”

Taiji-area fishermen, who kill dolphins and whales for their meat, netted off the bay and constructed green tarps to shield the slaughter from prying eyes and front-line cetacean activists bent on shutting down the dolphin trade forever. When the surfers learned of the imminent slaughter, they did not hesitate to return despite the distinct possibility of violent resistance and police arrest.

Rastovich and his core team of surfers trailed by camera crews arrived at the infamous Taiji cove to paddle out to the captured pilot whales. After entering the water they quickly arrived alongside the whales who swam back and forth along the edge of the seaward net.

The six paddlers, including Rastovich, his wife mermaid model Hannah Fraser, Heroes TV star Hayden Panettiere, Australian actress Isabel Lucas, author Peter Heller and professional surfer Karina Petroni, formed a traditional surfers’ memorial circle situated between the whales and the blood-ridden shallows.

Local fishermen converged almost immediately, harassing the paddlers with yelled threats and advancing on them with whirling propeller blades. The irate fishermen, who yelled “Why are you here? Go Home!” then used a long wooden pole to attack and intimidate the surfers.

“Even though the fishermen used force to try and break us up we held our peaceful stance. The feeling in the circle was of incredible strength” said mermaid model Hannah Fraser.

With tensions escalating and the police sirens growing, the surfers quickly paddled back to shore where a distraught Hayden Panettiere fell to her knees sobbing, overwhelmed by the carnage she and the group had just witnessed.

“I couldn’t believe how red the water was,” said Panettiere. “The whales were so scared. Hopefully their deaths won’t be in vain.”

After hightailing it out of Taiji, 30 policemen readied with a paddy wagon stopped the three-van convoy at the border of the Wakayama prefecture. After politely checking passports and questioning the group intently, the police waved the crew on their way.

Rastovich expressed extreme sorrow, saying “With many nets and kill boats waiting beyond the cove, the fishermen’s intense desire to kill left no room for escape.”

Reflecting on the day’s experience, a somber Isabel Lucas expressed that the worst part was that the whales are probably all dead by now. “We couldn’t save these whales but hopefully shining the light on their deaths will save others.”

For more information:

Surfers For Cetaceans


Save the Whales Again

Save Japan Dolphins

Minds In the Water Visual Petition

Sea Shepherd http://www.seashepherd.org/


How sick are these shots!

Here are a few photos of Sendai Shinkou on a very solid swell, I tell ya this place has its dayz and then it has dayz like this!
How much would you like to trade places with this guy! Great thing about this break, when it turns on like this there are only a hand full of guys with the right boards and the nerve to go out, so you can get waves like this with only 5-10 other surfers out on the peak, and on days like this it is usually the older crew out and there is a lot of respect floating around!

Now this is the setup we all dread, the ol' caught inside feeling that you just have to accept is gonna happen if you paddle out in surf like this!

Pics sent in by Alexei Kononenko (pictured below)

Photos by Yoshi Slow Surf


This here is my buddy Jason. Jason is one of those guys you can count on to try his best when the camera is on, here are a few shots of him doing his thing, no matter what the conditions! One super stoked surfer for sure!

Taking a wipe out on a closeout day. The break is called Shichigahama,Japan.

"There is a Tube here somewhere I seen it!"

"Ha, ha Told ya I was gonna get a cover up today!"

Setting it all up!

It should be said that Jason is now over in Margret River tearing into huge pits, no more laydown barrels aye boi!


Before each surf stretching is so important. When I first started surfing in Japan 6 years ago, my buddy and mentor pointed over at a couple of Japanese surfers who were stretching on the sand and laughed.
“Look at those wallies!” he mused, “It’s 2 ft, what the hell they thinks gonna happen? Probably saw some pro- surfer do it on a dvd or something!”
At the time , I was just as amused, couldn’t understand the reason for doing stretches before a leisurely surf session, then one day I actually saw former WCT pro Danny Melhado stretching before heading out into 2-3ft onshore chop. I approached him and asked why he was stretching so intensely for these conditions, surely he wouldn’t get hurt in this, his reply opened my eyes.
“it’s not the size or the injuries I am stretching out for bro, it so I am limber and can perform better! Not worried about ripping a muscle, I want to rip the wave!”
After that I thought why not give it a try, I have never looked back since, my friend still doesn’t stretch before a surf despite my assurances, but I can’t blame him, he is from a different era. So in this article I will briefly outline a few of the stretches I do to limber up before I paddle out and rip!

days like this you really should stretch just a little

1. I start by rolling my head around to limber up my neck, in surfing where you look is where you go and it is so easy to tweak your neck in the moment, just watch a Slater DVD that guy rips his head all the way round in each turn.

2. Touch your toes, I tend to bounce down slowly letting my weight take me to full extension, don’t force it or you will cause an injury before you even get wet!

3. Pull my feet to my arse, stretch them quads, they are the mot fundamental part of any maneuver

4. It on the sand with 1 foot crossing over the other knee, then twist from the waist looking over your opposite shoulder, right foot over twist to the right

5. While sitting arch your back and reach for the stars, lock your fingers palms facing up.

6. Lastly I do a bridge, feet flat, reach back and place your hands on the sand and arch your back, with your stomach facing the sky.

7. Lastly stand up shake loose strap on the leg rope and go rip!

Great Waves at my local!

This here is Makato San, former Japan pro surfer now owner of a local surf shop in Sendai Japan, called M-ing. Typical day out at Sendai shinko, crowded line up and a super fast inside wall, ton of guys out but only a few who can keep up with this section, Makatou is one of the best rippers in Sendai, even on his backhand.


My Buddy Alexei Stylin'

Dropping in, but hey I guess thats what long boards are for! Always seems to be one on every wave I catch hehe

But with a section like this can ya blame him? Also helps to be 6x Japan Kudo champ in your weight class! Tuck in bro!
Alexei and Former WCT pro Danny Melhado, a regular face in the Sendai Line up

Photos by Yoshi Slow Surf

Wipeouts Video!

Now what surf blog or site is worth a damn without a wipeout section!
Check this vid for some crazy wipeouts from the Superbank!


What the hell would love to know what that story was, but that guy is suffering from major stoke, or perhap something else, who knows funny shit!


This girl was in the lineup

Yeah I know what your thinking, "Yeah sure she was in the friggin' line up" but for real, I was sitting there at pipe it was 6ft pure glass, no one out. I paddled over the sholder of a wave, taking my time to feel the line out, and there she was, just like this, looking back at me. That look in her eyes saying, "Glad you're here, was getting a bit lonely out here"
I said "hi" she said, "do you have any wax? My board is all wet and slippery, it needs a good rub down"
The only shitty part about the whole scene was when my friggin alarm rang, she vanashed and I realised I had to go to work!!!!!
But I guess thats what you get when you get home drunk, throw on a surf vid or 2 then a quick prono before bed huh?



Damn this girl makes the winter season look bleak! So after seeing this I have decided to take a surf trip over winter and head to the Gold Coast for a month then up to Bali for 2 months, any of ya green? All my mates are! hehehe


Crazy Kitesurfer pulls into Mavericks Bomb!

What can I say, this is mad, I had to post it!

Fund raiser For Midget Smith!

Well-known shaper, ASP judge & local surfing icon Midget Smith was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Midget beat the disease 22 years ago & has been unable to obtain medical insurance since. With his ongoing treatments the medical bills are stacking up. Midget has touched the lives of many in & out of the water and this is our chance to give a little something back.On October 27th there will be a benefit party at Duke’s Grill located at 204 S. El Camino Real in San Clemente. Throughout the evening there will be multiple products raffled off with the grand prize of a brand new Surfboard. Beer specials kick off at 6:00 p.m. and local band The High Life rocks the house at 10:00P.M. All proceeds will go toward Midget’s medical debt. The OC Tavern located at 2369 El Camino, San Clemente will host the next event on November 15th staring at 7:00 p.m. There will be a cover charge at the door of $10. This party will be one you don’t want to miss. A surfboard & art auction, huge raffle and live music all night are just a few on the list of events for the evening. The entire cover charge, the money raised from the auction & raffle will be donated directly to a Medical Fund that has been set up for Midget. For those of you who don’t know who Midget Smith is he played a major part in the San Clemente progressive surfing movement. Midget was one of the heavy hitters that frequented the Pier back in the 70’s & 80’s. He has been shaping for over 30 years and for many of today’s top pros along the way. Andy Irons, Occy, Luke Egan, Martin Potter, Dane Kealoha, Ben Bourgeois, Shane Beschen, Chris and Pat Drummy & Travis Mellem are just a few on Midgets list of pro customs. Midget has also served as head judge for the ASP North America, Bud Tour, ASP World Longboard Tour, X Games, and National Surf League. Midget’s work as a judge is respected worldwide, and in his hometown of San Clemente he has long been revered as a surfing legend and mentor to many. We are currently looking for product to raffle off at the 2nd event November 15th. Anything is appreciated. For Product or Private Donations please Contact: Sean Haggar/Hobie Surfboards32921 Calle Perfecto Suite B/San Juan Capistrano/Ca. 92675
Ph#949-525-3784/email: haggar@hobie.com

If you'd like to help Midget out with an online donation, WSA has set up a donation site. Click Here to Donate Online

Japanese surfer girls!

here are just a few quick shots of some Japanese girls out in the surf!

Enjoy there will be more coming next summer

Nihon ha Saikou ( Japan Goes Off)

When Hurricane Loke crossed the International Date Line, it got everyone on the eastern shore of Japan buzzing: Typhoon 12 was on its way and man she was a big one.
The news programs seemed obsessed with her, giving off their warnings in their usual foreboding way, the elderly people with whom I talked with, talked of the wind and the rain, many of whom knew I was a surfer and gave me the standard “Kiosukete ne” (be careful). My wife stared at me after the six o’clock evening news and gave me her best, ‘do you really have to go surfing’ look, and I was straight on the phone with all my surfing buddies, my voice strangely several octaves high with excitement, planning, anticipating and dreaming of the waves to come. The typhoon was big; way off shore and all we could think of was those epic clean lines that would soon be marching towards us from the horizon.

On the morning of September 3rd 2006, I paddled into the line up of my local beach break, Sendai Shinko, along with two of my friends James a fellow Aussie, and Alexei a Russian surfer, the day was a clean if not slightly full 3-4ft we paddled down the beach several hundred meters to the third peak along to avoid the epic crowds that had formed on the “Main peak”, all of us agreeing that it was a bit bigger and far better down the line. Japanese surfers in general are very loyal to the “main peak” often surfing it when it’s not working rather than driving an extra 20mins to find a clean ride.
The three of us traded off waves getting a few nice ones, the lip crumbling with the high tide, but providing a fair bit of wall to play with. During the lulls we sat together and talked of the swell to come, the general feeling was that Shinko gets big hollow and perfect, but it’s a straight beach break,
without a boat or ski it’s a very daunting place to surf over 8ft, the water rushing out off the beach creates a vortex in the impact zone that neither wants to let you out or in, but being a port break it has great potential as a tow-in spot. A boating lane less than 600meters to the left of the break, which is sizable enough to give way to ocean going ferries, gives easy and direct access to the outer banks which can easily hold epic surf. Unfortunately none of us had the equipment or experience to attempt this. We surfed our peak for three hours or so with around five other surfers tripping out on the mayhem of the main peak, which by 8am was swamped with close to sixty surfers dropping in on each other in packs of five or six per wave. While chilling in the car park after a great session, we decided to head up the coast a few hours The next morning to surf a remote cobble stone reef break known as Gakemiaya.
That night I couldn’t sleep, my mind was full of images of the 4-5ft empty right hand reef break that I had only surfed once prior.

The trip north was made by myself, James(Aust.), Danny(Aust), Omar(USA) and Jason (CAN), what a motley crew we make, three Aussies, and American and a Canadian who calls the icy breaks of Nova Scotia home. We all piled into Danny’s 8 seater van at 3:30am and made the two hour trek north along tiny back streets of sleepy towns. Reading old surf mags, talking of barrels, the excitement level was maxing. I remember as we pulled up to the rocky car park and got a half a second peak of the waves, Danny turning around, smile ear to ear and saying “Mate, she’s cranking”. We all dove out of the car like it was on fire, scrambled up the hill to the viewing area, smiling like kids in a candy store, fingers already pointing out to sea in anticipation, the feeling only a surfer knows, but it was short lived.
It was cranking, but it was way out of control, our anticipated hollow right barrel was there but it was made of thick white foam, the place was exploding. The outer reef about one kilometer off shore was epic sending huge walls of white water towards shore with so much force it was reforming onto the inside reef. I stood there thinking those most dreaded of words, “should have been here yesterday”.
We spent the next twenty minutes pointing and shouting as huge sets closed out on the outer reef, sending spray so high it looked like depth charges going off. Our eyes collectively scouring the length of the bay searching for some little pocket that might be ride able, but we all felt it, we had been skunked! I looked over at Jason and saw a look in his eyes that I was sure I had in mine, pure awe, the force of nature that exploded before us was truly amazing. Now I’m no expert on big waves but if I had to guess I would say the outer reef was some where in the 20ft range, I’m not Hawaiian so probably only 10ft to you guys. (The buoy just off the coast was registering 29ft). After we had all come down from the stoke high the call was made to try a few of the smaller more sheltered bays up and down the coast. We piled back into the car and began the search, but found nothing overly ride able, wrong swell directions etc. It was now about 8am and we headed back to the reef for another look. The tide had come up a ways and we found a wave that looked pretty wild, but ride able, off to the left of the reef, and decided to give it a go, I hit the water first with Jason right behind me and we tried to make it through the closing inside section to little avail, meanwhile Danny, the most experienced of our crew found a nice rip and made his way out, he spent about an hour or so surfing the wild swell solo, with us boys just standing on the shore hooting and hollering for him on every wave; Danny got a few good ones and we called it a day.

That same day, Back at Sendai shinko it was huge, double over and a bit and triple on the sets. Alexei(RUSS), Jerry(NZ) and Dylan(USA) paddled out and joined the few older locals who were game to test themselves against the full fury of typhoon 12 as it was by this time sitting directly off the coast. Also out was ex- WCT pro surfer Danny Melhado. Alexei took a heavy one and snapped his leg rope on the wipeout, calling it a day after a crazy swim to the beach to find his new shape 6”6’ fish. Jerry also made the drop on only one wave before deciding he was outmatched, having recently recovered from a slipped disk from an epic session in Typhoon surf a couple of years earlier which kept him out of the water for many months. Dylan took a couple of waves charging hard before joining his buddies on the beach.
While waiting for Jerry and Dylan to come in Alexei saw Danny Melhado ride one mammoth set all the way to the inside closeout, as Danny walked up the beach Alexei asked him if he was going back out, eager to see a pro tear the arse out of another one, to which Danny replied, “Nah, it’s pure survival out there” That’s how heavy this place can get. If you’ve seen Taylor Steele’s “Drive thru Japan” then you may remember a big hollow beach break that swallowed Machado and co. up, well that was shinko at two thirds of the size we had it during this swell. My hat goes off to my boys for making it out that day.

The next day I couldn’t think of anything but waves, I tried to work but I just couldn’t, so I blew it off and headed down the beach, one of the few perks of working for your self.
When I got to the beach my first thought was that it was dropping, I saw a perfectly groomed face about 6-8ft where the main peak normally broke, and I started to think about waxing up my board, when the sets came through, I have never seen a wave break that far out at shinko, it stopped my heart. The wave looked so perfect breaking left and right so symmetrically that it seemed to shrink, but it was huge. I watched this perfect wave complete with offshore blow off through the viewfinder of my camera, so entranced by it that the camera seemed to disappear in my hands, Huey the god of swell as we Aussies call him had sent me soaring with stoke, I quickly burnt up two rolls of film then decided that was enough, it was time to just sit and watch this force of nature erupt before me. I sat on the tail gate of my Toyota 4runner for two or three hours with the biggest smile I’ve had in years, god it’s good to be a surfer.

Typhoon 12 blessed us with a few days of clean, off shore 3-4ft waves as it moved northward past us, some of the best surfs I’ve had. I don’t know if I’ll ever ride 20ft waves, head to double seems pretty much perfect to me at this point, but before this swell I had no desire to try it. After seeing those waves break over and over in my mind I feel like something has changed, it may take a few years before I attempt big surf, but the seed of temptation is now planted firmly in my mind, who knows huh.
Who knows what it is about surfing that draws us so intensely to it, but it has a hold over me so powerful that I can’t function without it. As I sat there and watched those perfect empty waves break around me, I spent some serious time reflecting on my life. I’m not sure what it is about watching empty waves roll through, that makes me so reflective, having never been a religious man I wonder if it’s akin to a religious experience.
I thought about so many things great and terrible that I have seen and experienced since my first wave 4 years ago. The garbage that litters the coasts of Japan wrecking havoc on it’s marine life, the great sea turtle’s I’ve seen in the tens washed up dead on the shores of Sendai, probably dying from mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish, the crowds, the constant drop-ins, a negative man could go on and on, but out of all the things that coursed through my mind that afternoon the one thing that stood out was, how surfing, a mere sport to many people could bring so many people together in friendship, the group of guys I surf with have little in common, but our bond, generated by a mutual love of riding waves is truly a blessing.

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