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Beach Grit

Chas: “I’m in Hakuba with Mick Fanning!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Your fifth favourite surf writer snowbound with ol pal Mick!

So I’m in Japan exploring what our Olympian surfers should do when they come for the 2020 games and they should do EVERYTHING!

They should go to Harajuku and buy rainbow cotton candies and to Comme de Garçon’s flagship and to a Shinto shrine. One thing they won’t be able to do is snowboard (since surfing is part of the summer games instead of the winter ones) but they should come here and do it in the offseason like me and Mick Fanning.

We are both at the same resort, right, like, this very minute!

Can you believe that? Can you even believe it? Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world!

I am not actually staying at this resort and, if his Instagram ain’t lying, neither is he but this is where we both are today.

I want to see him. To give him a hug and ask to be friends. I also don’t want to wreck his vacation. We’ll see how it all shakes out I suppose.

I don’t know how Mick got here but I drove a van because I’m the only one in my group with an international driver’s license.

Ken Block, one of the most famous drivers in the world, left his international driver’s license at home but is in my group and, this morning, in then van behind me.

Have you ever watched his gymkhana videos? Of course you have along with 20 billion others. He has elevated driving to a high art.

Anyhow, Ken is in the van behind. I am leading. Driving over the snow but no big deal until I take my first left, slide off the road, and high center on a ditch.

Totally stuck.

Spinning tires etc.

Everyone piles out of the van. Ken comes to my window and explains so kindly how I can get out.

His advice worked! He is the patron saint of driving. A gift from God to us dumb bastards!

And now I am at the same resort as Mick Fanning. Can you believe that? Can you even believe it?

If I see him I’m going to hug him and ask to be friends!