Meet Seiichi Sano, world’s oldest surfer who still rides waves at 893 min read
89-year-old Seiichi Sano, who turns 90 later this year, holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest surfer on Earth, but what makes his feat even more impressive is that he only start this sport at the tender age of 80!
They say surfing is a young man’s sport, and it’s easy to see why, as it requires a combination of balance, coordination, and speed, all of which decrease considerably later in all our lives.
Add the fact that you have to pull themselves out of the water onto the board and then into a standing position, not an easy thing to do for the average elderly.
But there are exceptions, of course, and the most notable is our Seiichi Sano, an 89-year-old Japanese man who was recently crowned the world’s oldest surfer by Guinness Records.
“I am not a good surfer. So I call myself a ‘small-wave surfer’ — out of respect for those who surf well,” he told in an interview at Enoshima Beach, an area of relatively small waves near Yokohama.
Seiichi started taking surfing lessons only 9 years ago, after conquering Mount Fuji, the highest mountain peak in Japan, for the first time.
He was looking for a way to challenge himself while staying in shape, and he was inspired by a tan bank employee, not the typical office worker.
The man had told him that his secret was surfing, so he decided to try himself.
The octogenarian’s instructor admitted that he was both surprised about his desire to learn how to surf, and worried that he might injure himself but, to his pleasant surprise, he proved to be just as good as his young students.
He lives about 20 minutes from Yokohama and now gets out most weekends on the black-sand beach near Enoshima, the small island that hosted sailing for the recent Tokyo Olympics, and was the harbor for the 1964 Games.
Moreover, he still runs a business that supplies timber to construction companies, and the surfing is a stress reliever.
“People tell me surfing is dangerous, but I had far more scary moments in a car than on a surfboard!” he told Guinness Records.
“Holding the Guinness World Records certificate, I feel for the first time I have been acknowledged for something,” the 89-year-old surfer added.
“And it’s making a lot of people – including the bank manager who made me think about surfing – happy. Whether it be surfing or world record titles, it’s the can-do attitude that will get you there, not logic. Don’t complicate things. Just think that even this old grandpa’s done it – you should be able to achieve something as well!”
Images from web – Google Research