Not many 14-year-olds come to mind when thinking of the world’s elite Pro Juniors, but that’s all changed since local HB shredder Kanoa Igarashi took second in the biggest Pro Junior on the planet, the US Open Pro Junior this past summer. He lost to Conner Coffin, but in the end was a big winner himself…. Ghetto Juice’s Skip Snead interviews….
Ghetto Juice: What up K, man you look like you’ve grown just this past week alone! How much have you grown this past year anyway?
Kanoa: I have no idea, but I remember last year around this time I was riding 5’1”s and 5’2”s….
Ghetto Juice: What size stick are you riding now?
Kanoa Igarashi: 5’5” … so I’ve grown a couple inches… it feels like I’ve grown a bunch… but it’s hard getting my boards ready growing so much… it’s not like I grow everyday, but yeah every time I order a board now I order a little bigger cause I know I’m gonna grow.
Ghetto Juice: Uh- yeah. So talk to me… How are good are you feeling right now? You’re just 14 and you took second place in the biggest Pro Junior surfing event pretty much in the world!
Kanoa: Yew! Yeah I just can’t believe it.
Ghetto Juice: You were just stoked to get in the Junior, huh?
Kanoa: For sure. Each round I was just going as far as I can just so I could get a little more points to get a good seed for next year… and I kept going, and kept going… and I was a little surprised… each heat I made I was just like, oh well, there’s a little more points, then a little more points, then some more points…. Now there’s a little bit of money in it. Then the next round there was a little more points and a little more money… so I kept going. And I made the final and got second. So I was pretty psyched.
Just as we were doing the interview, former ASP World Surfing Champion and ASP pro surfing analyst Barton Lynch, aka BL, walked up and into the conversation…..
Ghetto Juice: Now, Barton, you were a talented young surfer, so what do you think of Kanoa?
Barton Lynch: Oh, wow, he just has great style, great technique. Hell, you’re only 14, huh?
Barton: (to Kanoa) Incredible!!
Ghetto: Any surfing stages this big when you were 14, Barton?
Barton: Well we didn’t have those opportunities when I was a kid. You know what I mean? There was one Pro Junior in the world. Just one event I the world, and I got lucky to win that event in 1983 or so… but watching these guys surf, it’s a different level… the performance level .. you actually go from the Men in the Open to the Juniors and you don’t see that much of a difference…. So when they grow and get their strength, watch out! So congratulations Kanoa!
Ghetto Juice: BL said it! You’ve officially arrived now in the Pro Junior ranks….
Kanoa: Yeah, hopefully I’ll do good in a couple more events and keep going and hopefully make the World Juniors (pro tour) next year, or the year after… just keep going up the stairs!
Ghetto Juice: What’s it like to be part of surfing now that it’s getting bigger and bigger… one day it could be in the Olympics and you’d probably make the Olympic team? What’s it like to be part of surfing in 2012?
Kanoa: Yeah it’s crazy. I mean everybody’s surfing amazing … and especially the girls, too, they’re getting better and better every time I see them… it’s crazy, they’re even doing airs now, too… And the guys too, John John and Julian, they’re just doing crazy airs… they don’t even seem like possible, and then just from them, all the kids get inspired and we just want to go out and do bigger airs, and more rotation, and I’m really stoked to be part of this generation where it all changes and this is one of the biggest changes in surfing. It’ll be fun to see how it all evolves.
Solspot: We’re certain there is a bright future for this young star. We are excited to see what’s next. Just look at the photos from team manager Quiksilver team manager Chad Wells. Keep charging Kanoa.
Tags: Chad Wells, Ghetto Juice, Kanoa Igarashi, Quiksilver, Skip Snead