Go-Party 2011

gosh, i can’t believe 3 years already went by since the crazy Go-Naminori party on top of the ilikai hotel. i had these photos sitting on my desktop in a folder and thought i’d post them before i lose them.
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the preparations took all day long. Halekulani chef Craig Sako and his assistant Shaden worked hard and provided over a 100 hungry surfers with the best food i’ve ever eaten at a party.
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little by little people started to show up. i had a feeling that a lot of people were coming because i invited every japanese surfer on the island.
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Seth and Isaiah came early to help hang the signs all over the hotel pointing everybody to the party.
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by 7pm, it was full house!
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we had live okinawan music, happy people, dancing, great food, and awesome memories. i still can’t believe we didn’t get kicked out by security because we were making so much noise.
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yes, there was beauty everywhere. meet the surfer girls.
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people came and went, food was prepared and gone, and all i remember was waking up the next morning with a big headache and a very messy penthouse. it took hours and hours to clean and after that morning, i told myself that i’d never do this again. but 3 years went by and i think it’s time for another Go-Naminori party?
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my dear friend Holli made this for the party. Holli always supporting me no matter what. that’s what real friends are for.

anyway, i’m thinking of planning a huge party again. and next time, i’m going to invite the world! Go-Naminori!

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i was driving around yesterday looking for a good spot for a morning surf. ala moana looked small and very clean.
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diamond head was the best spot. some head high waves and lighthouse was the spot to be! it was such a beautiful day!
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every time i watch my grand nephew, he would cry because of my loud voice. finally he go use to it and laughs at me. such a beautiful kid!
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i’ve either been catching fish or getting it free from friends. i got tired of eating sashimi everyday so it was time to get more creative. sprinkle some cajun spice, sear it in a hot pan, cut it, and cover it with special mustard sauce. a platter like this would go for $20 in a restaurant, but for me, it’s free!
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5 star dining right in my house. cool!
happy to welcome Inaida-san back in hawaii. we’re surfing everyday!
and also Yuki-san. just keep on getting better and better.
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wanted to thank Matchi and Scarfini Japan for my new sets of fins.
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i’ve had over a thousand boards in my life so that means over 3000 fins. to me, these are the best! the HX1 has the perfect flex and it’s the perfect size for small waves.
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here are the new bamboo ones. i still haven’t tried them but i’m going to put them on today and give it a go.
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these blue fins are a little bigger size for bigger waves. thank you for always the support Match! hope to see you and surf with you soon!


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I Wish they Could all be California Girls!

at one point in my life, i really took photography seriously. i bought all the top equipment, i studied day in and day out on the internet and by reading books. i kind of self taught myself. i loved learning how to adjust my camera, get the right angle, and was happy with the results. luckily i have many of friends who are professional photographers so that helped a lot too. after working for many magazines here in hawaii and in japan getting thousands of photos published, i kind of got burnt out after a while. shooting wasn’t 100% for me. it was more like a hobby than work. i went on so many surf photo trips and while i was shooting, i was really wishing i could be surfing instead. but my camera gear is going to be with me forever as i will never sell it. i know someday that i will get the passion to shoot again and when that day comes, i don’t want to spend $30,000 again. as for now, i’ll take side jobs, shoot when i want to, and hope to get the photo bug again.
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a few months ago, i was offered a job to shoot 2 surfer girls for Marlon Brand. i took it because it’s been a while since i shot. i had fun, met new people, and enjoyed my job of working on the beach and in the water. they used some of my photos at a big event in tokyo.
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“i wish they all could be california girls!” by the beach boys.
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and my favorite of course is getting in the water. how do i get photos like this? i paddle out my 9′ longboard, sit on it with my 70-200mm lens and camera in the water housing, wait in the impact zone getting pounded by waves, then when one of the girls take off, i make sure there are no water spots on the lens, i look into the viewer, zoom, focus, take the shot, then get pounded by the waves again. it’s not easy and not fun getting wave after wave on your head paddling a longboard with one arm and holding on to a $5,000 heavy camera with the other. but hey, it’s work and i don’t complain when it comes to work. all i’m concerned about is the results. i love this photo.
and speaking of love. i love my life. i’ve been talking to close friends recently about how short life is. airplanes disappearing, ferries sinking, people getting murdered, radiation, earthquakes, guns, drugs, aids, and war. innocent people in this world are dying by the thousands every single day. i understand that my life could be over in a second so that’s the reason why i live my life the way i do. it’s not about being selfish, it’s not about being wealthy, and it’s not about being free. it’s about enjoying every minute of the day and every breath i take. life is so precious so live it up. and when that day comes when my time is over, i will say the exact thing my grandpa told me before he died, “I HAD A GREAT LIFE!” i hope you can say the same thing too.

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