Exciting times to be a surfer. The most exciting in history, perhaps, or at least since the great Duke Kahanamoku strode the earth nearly a decade ago. More people enjoying the pastime of kings since ever before. An Olympic birth just over the horizon. Our own Duke Kahanamoku reborn as an extremely handsome Japanese by way of Huntington Beach statesman named Kanoa Igarashi.
The young-ish surfer was recently profiled on Australia’s ABC News and the comparison between Kahanamoku and Igarashi was obviously striking.
Igarashi will be the same age as Duke Kahanamoku was at his first Olympics, but it’s not the only thing they share.
The young Japanese surfer exudes the same statesmanlike qualities as the Hawaiian who first believed surfing could be an Olympic sport.
“You know, this is a huge moment, I’m sure not just for me but I can speak on behalf of all the other surfers we’re going to feel pressure that we’ve never felt before,” he said.
“You have Brazilians, you have Australians, you have Americans all feeling pressure from their country and we are all really proud to represent our flag.
“But there’s something about it being in Japan and I feel like in a way I am representing our country to the world of surfing, and also representing surfing to the Olympics.
“So, in a way, I feel I have a lot on my hands,” he says, “but this is what I feel like I was born to do.”
Very cool. Igarashi also talks about his new megaphone and butterflies in his blood.