Sakawa RivermouthEdit Spot
I love this spot because it is a challenging wave when its big and because of its relative isolation from the madness of the Shonan Coast. Odawara and the Izu Peninsula are such a cool scene. I have never been hassled by the locals. The Japanese people are the most friendly and gracious people on the planet, but the folks in these parts are particulary nice to gaijin. At least that was my experience. Just remember that your in their house. Treat them and their place with respect and you will make friends. And if the break is not firing, keep heading south along the peninsula and discover one of the many "secret" breaks for yourself. Kambate!
This spot has become highly localized since the Dane/John John/Yadin photo/video shoot for surfing magazine. It's also the spot where Yadin injured his ankle. The only chance you'll have to surf it is to GO ALONE, unless your invited or already known by the locals.
This spot can be as fun as Inamuragasaki on the right swell but less crowded than the other spots on the Shonan Coast. Probably because of its driving distance and the intimidation factor of the wave itself. During the last typhoon swell I surfed in Japan there was a crowd at all of the usuall ridable breaks on Shonan, so my bro Dave and I took a chance on Sakawa. We had the spot to ourselves for a while, then we were joined by two profesional Japanese surfers (with photographers in tow) who were way cool to us. Thats it, not another soul out. Epic day! That being said, I have been skunked by the swell gods on a few occaisions going there.
This spot is fickle but gets epic on the right swell. It really only comes alive (like the rest of the Shonan Coast) in the summer and early fall months during the typhoon season. Basically it neads a sizable swell directly from the South or South Southwest generated by a typhoon or other low pressure system in the Philipine Sea. Do your homework before you go. This is too long of a drive to check it on a whim. If all the other spots on the Shonan Coast are firing or closing out, Sakawa may be worth a look. It can be packed during smaller days, but when its huge the crowd thins out real quick. It turns into a real serious wave when it gets overhead, and if your not an experienced surfer stay on the beach. Its a rivermouth wave so it breaks both left and right. Both are great. During a typhoon swell the wave is fast, hollow and powerful. The right breaks just like Off the Wall. You have time for one bottom turn and then pull in and enjoy the barrel. If you are goofy foot, pull in and grab a rail right away. Anything over 8 feet and you may not make all the sections. The left is just as hollow and almost as quick, but you have more opportunity to make some moves. To the right of the break its deep, so you just have to time the shorepound to make it out. Last time I was there we could park in the lot right on the beach. If typhoon passage is to the east (prefered situation)the wind will be a strong offshore out of the north. This tends to hold up the wave, and make the drop-ins vertical. The water temp is warm enough during this time of the year that you can get by with trunks or a spring suit.
From Yokohama it is 53km drive west on HW1. Sakawa is in the town of Odawara on the west side of the Sagami Bay at the beginning of the Izu Penninsula, Kanagawa prefecture. There are a number of ways to drive to Odawara from the Tokyo metropolitan area and nearby military bases. I highly recommend purchasing a road atlas (Shobunsha makes an excellent one) and studying it to decide the best route depending on where you are coming from.
Get off the Highway in Odawara. You will have to navigate your way through a few surface streets to get back to the beach. Its complicated to explain but you'll figure it out. You should wind up driving under the highway out onto the beach. Its the only sizable rivermouth in the area so its hard to mistake.
If your taking the train the quickest line is the Shinkansen to Odawara. Its probably about a 20 min walk from the station to the beach.
|Walk||Instant access (<5 min)|
|Direction||Right and left|
|Bottom||Sandy with rock|
|Power||Hollow, Fast, Powerful|
|Frequency||Sometimes breaks (50 days/year)|
|Normal length||Short (<50m)|
|Good day length||Long (150 to 300m)|
|Wind direction||North, NorthWest, West|
|Swell direction||SouthWest, South|
|Swell size||3ft-5ft - 8ft+|
|Tide||Low and mid tide|
|Tide movement||Rising and falling tides|
Rips / undertow, Rocks, Localism
16.51 miles away
|Direction:||Right and left|
|Bottom:||Reef (coral, sharp rocks etc.) with sand|
|Frequency:||Very consistent (150+ days/year)|
18.28 miles away
|Frequency:||Rarely breaks (5 days/year)|
18.76 miles away
|Frequency:||Regular (100 days/year)|