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Kanoa Igarashi - Interview (Part 2)

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Continued from Part 1 of my interview with Kanoa Igarashi.

What are you riding these days?

I am riding a 5’6. I usually ride a 5’4” but I am getting bigger and growing a ton, so I am moving up to a 5’6” and I’d like to thank Channel Islands for working with me and supporting me with my boards. I like shorter boards, maybe an inch taller than I am.

So, you’re in 9th grade now. How do you coordinate school and surf trips?

I’m 15 and in 10th grade. I skipped a grade in 3rd grade. I was already in GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) class which I guess wasn’t enough. My teacher recommended it. I travel about half the year, maybe more. It’s hard but I usually get all my school stuff done before, so I don’t have to worry about it on a surf trip. I have tried to do homework while I’m on a trip, but it’s hard. It’s pretty stressful. I’ve learned that my teachers are pretty good about it, so I’m lucky. But whenever I’m home, I have to get my work done like every other person, but even when I’m home, I have to do stuff for Quiksilver and stay caught up with my work.

What’s your home spot?

Huntington Pier, South Side. It’s pretty crowded but know a lot of guys.

Where have you surfed the biggest waves of your life?

Definitely, Hawaii! It’s always a good challenge, for sure. It’s coming up at the end of the year and I’m looking forward to it. It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s something that every surfer experiences. I can’t wait. I caught big Pipe last year. I had good equipment with me. A couple years ago I was easing my way into it, but last year, I got a couple really good ones. You know, you get that one wave in every few sessions. If you’re lucky you get 3 good waves in a session. I’ve never surfed on any of the outer islands, but I haven’t had the chance to do it yet.

Who do you dread drawing in a heat?

I go into every heat the same. I don’t dread any one surfer. There’s always one favorite in the event, in every contest, and you don’t want to draw that favorite. The way it’s been lately, the seeding is really well formatted so a lot of the top seeds always stay in the event until the semifinal. It’s good in a way. It’s harder to win a contest, but it’s more fun. But everybody these days is surfing really well, so you need to surf a smart heat and always stay on your toes.

Smart heat?

It depends on the conditions. I like to get a quick start. Whenever I get a quick start I feel confident. I usually win when I get a quick start and build a house. I try to surf smart to get enough waves but not too many. You don’t want to overdo it.

What’s next for you?

Hawaii is a big one. It’s the last one for me this year. I’m going to Santa Cruz Monday for the WCT and surf around there. I learn a lot from the CT events. I love surfing the waves the CT guys are surfing. Mostly I’ll just surf and stay at the Quicksilver house with all the boys and stuff. It’ll be a good experience.

What’s the plan after you graduate?

I want to do a bit of college and have a backup plan. I love surfing, but I want to be smart about it and want to have a good balance.

Anything else, so I can let you go do your homework?

I just want to thank my sponsors: Quiksilver, Channel Islands, Ocean and Earth, Oakley, and Bonzai Bowls and my parents.

Good luck with everything, my man.

Thanks!

Check out Kanoa ripping in Prodigies!

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