89-year-old Japanese man recognized as world’s oldest male surfer hopes to surf until he’s 100

89-year-old Japanese man recognized as world’s oldest male surfer hopes to surf until he’s 100
via Olympics
Michelle De Pacina
March 30, 2023
Seiichi Sano, the 89-year-old Japanese man who was recognized as the oldest male to surf by Guinness World Records, says he will continue to catch waves until he is 100 years old.
Sano, who turns 90 this year, changed his life at 80 by climbing Mt. Fuji after years of being a busy company owner. To Sano, conquering Japan’s highest peak was not enough to stop him from taking on new challenges.
In July 2022, Sano was named the oldest male to surf. 
He was inspired by a tanned employee at his local bank who didn’t look like a typical banker. 
“I think it would be interesting to try to surf until I’m 100,” Sano told The Associated Press. “I don’t consider myself an old man. I have never thought of myself as an old person. I always feel that I can still move forward. I can still do it. I can still enjoy it.”
Sano said that physical activity and his goals allow him to take better care of himself. 
“Even now, I take better care of myself than I did before,” he said.
The 89-year-old lives close to Yokohama. On most weekends, he travels to a beach near Enoshima to surf. 
His 46-year-old surf instructor Kazuto Shimizu was initially surprised by his age. 

I was most worried that he would get injured. I did not know how fit he was, physically. So when I heard he was 80, I thought it would be a bit tough to think about whether my own grandfather could surf. I was surprised he was able to do it as well as younger people.

Sano does a stretching routine before going out into the water. Although he still runs a business that supplies timber to construction companies, surfing appears to be his stress reliever.
“I can only say that I just enjoy myself and do what I want without stressing out. So if you try to be too good at it, or think that you have to do it this way or that way, I think you lose the fun,” he told The Associated Press.
“I enjoy being swept up in the wave. I am not a good surfer. So I call myself a ‘small-wave surfer’ — out of respect for those who surf well. People often say that surfing is life, itself. If I describe it in one word, I think it really applies to me right now.
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