One of the most established surfers on the Japanese Professional Surfing Association (JPSA) Tour is Australian Adam Faunce. Outdoor Japan caught up with Adam to hear his thoughts on the JPSA tour, surfing and life in Japan.
What brought you to Japan?
I came because my shaper got asked to come and bring a rider. (It was) a long time, before there were any bars or convenience stores in Kaifu (Shikoku) where I live.
Your first impressions on surfing in Japan?
I thought I was going to end up in a big city, in a place like Shonan. (Instead) I found Shikoku to be kind of like where I’m from in Australia; the locals rip and the waves are good. Basically, I was blown away!
How did you get on the pro circuit in Japan?
Bribed all the judges! No. I did the world tour, but it wasn’t my thing. (The World Championship Tour wasn’t held in the world’s best waves back then.) My sponsors at the time asked me if I’d like to do the Japanese tour. It sounded cool, but I had to stay a whole year. It was really hard. Winter has no waves (in Shikoku).
Did you intend on staying as long as you have?
Definitely not, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve got a great wife and two beautiful daughters, and my house is very close to one of the best waves in Japan. The typhoon season in summer is pretty close to a surfer’s heaven. I love it.
What are your best results on the circuit?
I nearly won the whole thing (in 1999) but the JPSA and my sponsor at the time made me go to Hawaii to compete. It’s cool, though; I got a ninth at Sunset Beach.
Where are your favorite locations on the JPSA tour?
Anywhere it’s not onshore and barely knee-high. The contests are getting way better for waves.
Who are your favorite surfers on the JPSA circuit?
Anyone who’s into punk rock, beer and surfs with a no-holds-barred attitude.
Are there other foreign surfers?
Yeah, heaps now and I hear there’re more coming. (It’s) better for the Japanese.
Do you think a Japanese surfer can get on the World Championship Tour? (There are currently none.)
Hell, yeah. I know of two, but I’m not going to name names. Basically they need to surf big waves a lot better. Go, kids! Start now!
What do you like about surfing in Japan?
Mainly the typhoons. Also the river mouths, the heat, the vibe and the beers after a good session with the boys.
Is there anything you dislike about surfing in Japan?
I used to loathe packed Sundays. I used to get in hassles and fights. Now I just leave it to them. Hell, (for many) it’s their one day-off.
What advice do you have for foreigners surfing in Japan?
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself at a spot with good waves, chances are it has some nasty locals. Be cool. Don’t hassle and (definitely) don’t drop in!
What are you riding these days?
I’m now riding Channel Islands “Tufflite” flyer model boards. They are the best I’ve ever ridden, super strong and light. If I had to buy a board, this is the board I’d get. That advice is worth a beer!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve lived here for ages, been through stuff with the mafia and pissed off some locals. I’m sure there are rumors. Some may be true, but I really love this place.