WRV's newest location is nestled in the heart of Japan's surfing community, Chiba, about an hour south east of the dense hustle and bustle of Tokyo. In 2020 Chiba will host the Olympics of surfing at Shidashita Beach.
Shidashita is a beach break featuring several jetties that create consistent sandbars.
The WRV Chiba location features a an on-site shaping bay where WRV Ambassador and shaper Macoto Kurihara builds his hand crafted boards from start to finish. Macoto, or MA, has shaped an estimated 1550 quality wave riding crafts.
How did WRV make the leap from east coast of the U.S. to the east coast of Japan? Not surprisingly by way of the Pacific. It was on North Shore Oahu two years ago, at WRV Haleiwa, where Macoto made the connection that initiated the latest link to the land of the rising sun.
Q. How did you first hear of WRV?
A. It was a Surf NRG surfing video I saw over 20 years ago when I first learned about the existence of WRV. There were a lot of waves and surfers from the East Coast I didn't know. At that time, I saw the WRV surfboard for the first time.
Q. What led you to become a shaper?
A. I have been surfing since I was a kid. I was a competition surfer but I was hurt at the age of 18, and I could not surf for a while. The injury recovered but I couldn't do competitions. Then I started shaping surfboards when I was 20 years old. My shaping is all self taught and it was John Carper's Shaping 101 [video] that I referrenced.
Q. What or who are your influences?
A. Surfing, my wife and WRV are big influences in my life.
Macoto's wife and daughter
Q. How is your shaping influenced by your location?
A. Chiba's waves are like the East Coast of USA. I shape designs that can demonstrate good performance even in small waves with no power.
Q. Are there any new technologies you are integrating into your shapes?
A. I'm trying now on EPS boards and various fin position boards. And I scan the board on the computer so that I can faithfully reproduce it in USA.