It was damn-near poetic. Call me a sucker for hometown heroes pulling out a win in front of an adoring crowd, but Kanoa Igarashi’s inaugural US Open victory on Sunday was incredible. Full disclosure – having grown up in Huntington, too, I’m even more partial to HB folk winning contests at home. That goes for Simpo too.
We recently caught up with Kanoa for his take on the win, and his voice was a little hoarse. “You can probably hear it,” he laughed. “After [the contest] was over I was screaming for like 25 minutes.”
So, gut reaction? Kanoa says it was the best day of his life.
“It was such an incredible feeling. Yeah, you know, being able to compete in front of all my friends and family was a dream come true.”
But for anyone who didn’t see it coming, one need only look at years past to know that it was only a matter of time until Kanoa pulled out a win at the US Open.
“I’ve gotten third the last two years in a row, so I knew I was capable of winning the contest,” he said.
With the best swell on tap in recent memory, there was ample opportunity for some amazing performances – like Jadson Andre’s barrel to shoot-the-pier.
But when I asked Kanoa what his toughest heat was, he said nobody in particular.
“The wave can be so tricky, it’s really just you versus Huntington.”
And how about that little interference call against Filipe Toledo in the semis?
“It was unfortunate what happened,” said Kanoa. “But I’ve also had a few instances where the same thing has happened to me, you know.”
“I stuck to my guns, and the call went in my favor, and just stoked that I went on to win the contest.”
Now up to no. 3 on the ‘QS rankings, we’ll see if Kanoa can carry that momentum into Tahiti.