As for surfers, Dane reckons that, besides the obvious fact that the event would have placed Japan on the radar and that a few spots have been banned for health security reasons, the pandemic and postponement of the games haven’t shaken local communities – they may have even strengthened them. “You’ll often hear people saying ‘shoganai’, which means something like ‘that’s just life’ or ‘such is life’,” says Dane. “And what they’re really saying is that if we knuckle down, put our heads down, try to work hard, we should get through this together.”
He goes on to stress that this sort of mentality has allowed many people to concentrate on the upsides of such a sudden change of course, reimagining ways of enjoying and promoting what is already there. After all, in a country of 120 million people and millions of active surfers, a self-sustainable surf industry and culture, and thousands of spots to choose from, the Olympics would have been a channel to more visibility – not the visibility itself. The visibility is there: surfers are out in the water, the waves keep on rolling.