Rip Curl Diversity & Inclusion Program
Rip Curl Japan signs new contract with parasurfer Chikako Takao

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Rip Curl supports those who face all kinds of difficulties, search for life, and continue to look for new joy.

Chikako Takao is a parasurfer and has had an excellent career working for global companies.
She was born in Shizuoka with a congenital disability in her left arm. With 10 years of experience as a fan surfer, she participated in the 2021 ISA World Parasurfing Championships as a representative of Japan and placed 4th in the Stand 1 Women's class.
Currently living in Ichinomiya, Chiba Prefecture, I work remotely and enjoy surfing.

Here's how she describes her experience at the ISA World Parasurfing Championships in California in December 2021.

“The 2021 ISA World Para Surfing Championship will feature 130 athletes from 24 countries, divided into five categories: Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, Prone, and Visually Impaired. It is divided into a total of 9 classes. The national rankings are determined by the individual rankings of athletes who competed individually and the total points earned by each individual athlete, and it is a system in which athletes compete individually and nationally. As for the team results, the home team USA won the gold medal, Spain won the silver medal, Brazil won the bronze medal, Costa Rica took the copper medal (4th place), and Japan finished 9th out of 24 countries. I personally participated in a class called Women Stand 1 where I surfed standing up, and I won a copper medal (4th place). ”
“The tournament was held for 7 days, with a classification and opening ceremony in which the final participating class was determined by a doctor's diagnosis, followed by a 5-day tournament. You will compete and win based on the total score of the two races with the highest points.After winning several games, the finalists will be narrowed down to four, and the finals for all classes will be held on the last day.The weather and sea conditions of the day Depending on the conditions, matches start at 7:00 a.m., progress in 20-minute increments for each class, and end at 5:00 p.m.Athletes will generally be at the tournament venue, so they can start as early as 7:00 a.m. I gather at the venue at 7 a.m., and when I'm not playing my own game, I spend time cheering on the Japanese players, practicing and coaching next to the venue, adjusting game strategies, and recovering my body. Once the team is finished, we will have a team meeting and disband.As a player, I have learned from participating in international matches that it is important to prepare yourself in advance for the duration of the match, but also on the day of the tournament, you must stay focused during the long duration of the competition. I realized that top athletes who take care of their mind and body despite their busy schedules are the ones who accomplish amazing things.”

“In this tournament, I was not satisfied with both my individual results and the results of the Japanese team.However, after experiencing my first world tournament, I have a clear idea of ​​my next goal.I am also learning the basics as an individual. We saw issues with practice and match execution, and as the Japanese team still lacks recognition within the country, we realized that compared to other countries, the player base is thinner and the training environment is not as good.2028 Looking ahead to the Los Angeles Paralympics, I would like to prepare both personally and to strengthen the Japanese team.”



Final Day Highlight video

This is what she has to say about her new contract as a Rip Curl Japan team rider.

“I am very happy to have such a relationship with Rip Curl Japan.I hope to continue to enjoy life in my own way and be able to present myself in a positive way. There was a time when I wondered, "Who is this person?" However, in my case, the difference is visible, but I now believe that all people are different and unique, and that learning from each other's differences is fun and happy. Surfing is amazing! Sometimes people are surprised, but I'm just enjoying it because I like it. However, when I think about it, I feel that nothing is impossible if you try. I would like to thank Rip Curl Japan for supporting my challenge! “

Chikako Takao Profile
Background

➢ Born in Shizuoka, currently living in Chiba

Surfing Experience
➢ Fan surfing (about 10 years)
➢ 2021 ISA World Para Surfing Championship, Stand 1 women class, 4th place
➢ 2022 Rip Curl Japan Team Rider