Students of competitive professional surfing know that the game extends far beyond our World Surf League and its Championship Tour. There is, also, the Challenger Series, Qualifying Series, Junior Tour and International Surfing Association World Surfing Games, to name but a few thrilling iterations.
There is also, of course, Olympic surfing introduced last year in Japan and set to roll out in 2024, 2028 and likely 2032 as the Games will be in Teahupo’o, Los Angeles and Brisbane, all surfing hubs. But you would imagine surfing gold the very height of achievement? Would you imagine surfing so lucky to be included?
According to California superstar, and current number twenty in the world, Kolohe Andino, f*ck no and, frankly, the other way around.
In a shockingly frank interview ahead of the aforementioned World Surf Games, currently underway in Huntington Beach, Andino unleaded a rebel yell:
“Being honest, more than surfing needs the Olympics, I think the Olympics needs surfing. I think the Olympics are pretty stale and boring and that surfing is the best sport in the world. You add surfing to the Olympics, I think more people will watch it.”
He followed a question from Pete Townend if he would attempt to qualify for the Olympics again and quickly answered, “100%. That’s like asking if the sun is going to come up tomorrow.”
Andino was subsequently defeated by Huntington Beach’s own Kanoa Igarashi, surfing for Japan, in the quarterfinals but, man.
Stale and boring?