Kanoa Igarashi's star is rising quickly, buoyed by a raft of big-name sponsorship deals and his position as Japan's best shot at a a gold medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics, which the nation is hosting. The dual-citizen of Japan and the U.S. learned how to surf at California's Huntington Beach, and has transferred those skills into a rapid ascent through the ranks of the WSL Championship Tour. A household name in Japan thanks to his starring role in a reality show, Igarashi is surfing a metaphorical wave of hype into what may be surfing's biggest contest to date: the Olympics.
In the lead-up to surfing's Olympic debut, Igarashi has been traveling the world in search of waves to train on, visiting several of the world's premiere breaks alongside cinematographer Tanner Carney. The two have put together an edit from January's clips, appropriately named Freedom, presumably based on the Hawaiian translation of "Kanoa." It's full of barrels, aerials, and some more creative moves from the Japanese surfing phenom, so take a look!