Meet Kanoa Igarashi. Kid is 13-years old. Lives at Huntington. Born in Santa Monica to two Japanese parents who sought to have a life surrounded by half decent waves. Kanoa, is currently in the country surfing in events like The Rusty Gromfest and The Occy Grom Comp. A few weeks back, he placed third in the USA Championships at Lower Trestles. We’ve been intrigued by the kid for a lil’ bit now after hearing whispers that he’s America’s equivalent to Jack Robinson. We thought we’d give him a hit and share some vocalisms.
Okay Kanoa, who are you?
I’m 13-years old and live at Huntington. My local is Huntington pier.
Talk to us about your Japanese heritage?
My parents are from Tokyo, but I was born in Santa Monica. My parents moved over in 1990 I think.
What was the reason for the move?
It was so I could get into surfing. The waves in Japan are bad, so they moved to Huntington where there’s a lot more choice.
Do you go back much?
Yeah, I go back once a year. Just for sponsor stuff and to see my grandparents. I like Japan though, the waves are bad, but it feels like you’re going to the future with all the technology there.
You’ve had Japanese film crews doing docos on you too huh?
Yeah they came over to California and filmed a day-in-the-life type of thing on me. I’ve been on the news a couple of times too. It’s cool.
Is it frightening to have a documentary crew following you around?
Nah it’s fun. It’s something different. They approached me when they found out my parents were from Tokyo. My Dad actually knows a few people over there because he used to surf really well. He was a pro in Japan and he had the connections. I was stoked.
Do you get to surf with your Dad much?
Nah, he comes out in the water though to help my little brother, but he’s going to start surfing on his own soon, so all three of us will get to surf together.
What sort of waves have you scored on this Australian vacation?
I got fun waves at Snapper, down at Little Marley. Now I’m at Lennox and it’s pretty small, but might start picking up soon. Every time I’m here I like to surf Snapper. It’s one of my favourite waves.
Where will be you be traveling over the rest of the year?
I’m not exactly sure. After here, I’m going home for the US Open. I’m pretty sure I’ll be in France for the Tour event. Then… umm, nothing is really planned, it all happens at the last minute. Hopefully, I can come back here too.
Where do you want to go?
The Mentawais. I’ve never been there. I’ve been to Bali and G-Land, but never the Mentawais.
You also share a lot of sponsors with Kelly and Dane, do those guys teach you anything?
Yeah for sure. When we went to G-Land, Freddy P and Julian (Wilson) were cool. They’d give me a bunch of tips. It’s cool.
Photo from Quiksilver.