Seiichi Sano, an active business owner in his early years, started over at 80 by climbing Mount Fuji. The highest peak in Japan didn’t seem to push him enough, so he started surfing immediately.
Sano, who will turn 90 later this year, is prepared for additional challenges after Guinness World Records named him the oldest man to surf.
He suggested that he might begin by practicing climbing at a gym. “It might be a little scary outside.”
He was disqualified from bungee jumping. Too frightful, he said.
Or perhaps he will simply stick to what he knows.
Sano remarked, “I think it would be interesting to try to surf till I’m 100.
“I believe that when I have goals like this, I take better care of myself. Even now, I treat myself better than I did in the past.
Sano spends most weekends at the black-sand beach close to Enoshima, a small island that served as the harbor for the 1964 Games and recently hosted sailing competitions as part of the Tokyo Olympics.
Sano lives about 20 minutes from Yokohama.
He claimed that a bank employee who was usually brown and didn’t appear as a conventional banker served as his inspiration.
He said that surfing was his secret. Sano then looked further and located a teacher.
He was wearing a wet suit, and a board stood behind him. “I don’t consider myself an old man,” he remarked. “I’ve never considered myself to be an old person.
I always have the impression that I can advance. I can still manage it. It’s still enjoyable to me.
Little waves can be found in Enoshima, which is ideal for Sano. On Thursday, he joined hundreds of other surfers waiting for the more giant waves.
Of course, all the surfers were younger. Several of them worked with Kazuto Shimizu, Sano’s 46-year-old surf teacher, and were in elementary or junior high school.
They were eager to extol the virtues of their “great grandfather,” if you will.
Iroha Shimabukuro, 12, remarked, “I don’t think age matters in surfing.”
He’s more like a family member regardless of age, said Fuka, her twin sister.
Their younger brother Shua said, “I believe he’s fantastic.
The other teenage surfer in the group of four, Rokka Saito, summed it up nicely.
She declared, “I respect him.
Sano launches his paddle and waits for a wave to come. He grabs it, rises, makes a few acrobatics on the board, and frequent trips into the shallow water at the beach’s edge.
I enjoy myself and do what I want without worrying, is all I can say,” he remarked. Thus, you lose the fun if you attempt to be too excellent at it or believe you must do it in a certain way.
He said, “I like getting carried away on the wave. I’m not very good at surfing. To show respect for people who surf well, I refer to myself as a “small-wave surfer.”
Sano continues to work a 9 to 5 job and manage a business that provides wood to construction companies.
He takes a break far from the coast and floats on his back with his legs wrapped over his blue and whiteboard, making it clear that surfing is a stress reliever.