I once attended an extremely exclusive investment/financial conference in Miami. The founder of the event loved throwing curve balls at the attendees, a various assortment of the world’s richest men and most savvy investors, and I was that year’s Uncle Charlie, invited to interview General David Petraeus on stage.
After my duties were done, I mingled freely, trying to glean any insight I could as to how to actually make money. I chatted with some principal of some high-end firm and told him that everything investment-wise I ever touched turned to dust, every spark of inspiration I ever had was exactly wrong.
He told me that I was extremely valuable in his field and there was even a name for it which eludes me now but something like a canary in a coal mine. Someone who gets things so wrong at such a high frequency, has such bad instincts, that others can do the opposite and win.
It made me feel good.
Two years ago, BeachGrit‘s great business mind, Jazzy P, told me that Kanoa Igarashi was going to explode and become the face of surfing. I snorted so loudly that it shook the room.
Today, the very mainstream New York Times confirmed that Kanoa is, indeed, the face of surfing and becoming very rich to boot, keeping my losing streak alive.
-With a back story ripped from a Hollywood script, crossover charisma and surfing skill that would impress Duke Kahanamoku, Kanoa Igarashi is riding a wave of opportunity that could carry him to Olympic gold and the sport to new heights.
-Last year with surfing’s Olympic introduction picking up buzz, Igarashi’s income hit $2 million, according to Bloomberg.
-Engaging, cool, distractingly polite, multi-lingual and accomplished, Igarashi is an endorser’s dream.
-Duke Kahanamoku is widely regarded as the father of surfing, even though he won five Olympic medals in swimming including gold at the 1912 and 1920 Games, while American Kelly Slater is seen as its greatest champion with 11 world titles. In between, however, there had been no transcendent figure, and the sport is hungry for its next one.
-Underscoring his crossover potential, you are just as likely to spot Igarashi in a GQ magazine photo spread as on surfing websites in ads for surf wear apparel company Quiksilver.
-If Igarashi’s story wasn’t compelling enough, the Olympics will bring it full circle when he competes for Olympic gold at the same Tsurigasaki-kaigan beaches where his father surfed growing up.
So, are you going to push your chips onto Igarashi? Should I destroy the young man’s potential by pushing my chips on too?
More as the story develops.