Photos Andrew Shield, Words Ryan Jones
The door gently slid open and we were met by placid, sparse tunes, as a demure and bowing Japanese lady greeted us, “Ohayooooooou”. We were quietly ushered to our dimly lit booth, waited on attentively, managing to prescribe our order through a mix of smiles, nods and hand gestures. We gorged ourselves on ornately presented morsels of rice, nori, ebi tempura, cochin karaage, kihada and sawara sashimi, ikura, tarabagani, edamame and miso – perfectly accompanied by a precise mix of soy and wasabi, washed down with a can of Suntory iced coffee and some green tea ice-cream.
We weren’t in Japan, however. Far from it. We were at Broadbeach Sushi Train. How exotic! How opulent! Now, although we were eating at the best Sushi Train on the Gold Coast – take that, Miami Sushi Train! – we felt a little empty inside, for there was a crew of far better surfers than us gorging themselves on Japanese delicacies of a different kind: double-typhoon-generated-ground-swells in warm, tropical water. In mid-to-late August, not one, but two typhoons, a month or two earlier than usual, lined up and fired corduroy lines of swell at a reasonably quiet stretch of Japanese coastline, littered with setups. Lens-man, and budding sashimi chef, Shieldsy, explains.
“I spotted some early typhoon activity in the Pacific a week or more out from this trip, and made sure to keep an eye on it. Ever since the Surfing Life Hot 100 trip from a few years back (Typhoon Wasabi and the Kamikaze Kids – click for the video), with Coleborn, Wilko, Julian, Joske, Davies and Owen, this region of Japan has been on my radar, and it looked like it had the potential to pump with this generating typhoon. And then a second one popped up! I knew it was going to be worthwhile after that. I quickly hooked up with (filmer) Shane Fletcher and we corralled Noa and Dion into coming along, and before we knew it we were getting off our second flight at the same time the first swell arrived.”