The Igarashis risked it all when they moved from Japan to California to give their son a fighting chance at becoming a pro surfer. Now that Kanoa Igarashi has made the Championship Tour, all that risk is starting to be rewarded.
As the Qualifying Series moves to Huntington Beach next week, Igarashi will once again have the opportunity to perform in front of his hometown crowd. Last year, the 20-year-old took the win over the best 100-odd competitive surfers that stream through Southern California every year. While the swell started to deteriorate on Finals day, after a week of ideal Huntington conditions, Igarashi's strategy went unmatched. He knows the beaches of Huntington like the back of his hand and after his performance earlier this month on the Corona Open J-Bay, there's a real chance he will climb his way back to the podium.
"It's about time!," yelled Igarashi after his 2017 win. "It's crazy how much this means to me. It's the biggest win of my life."
Watch the Vans US Open of Surfing live daily July 30 - August 5 on the WSL website, app and Facebook.