Olympic Silver Medalist Surfer Kanoa Igarashi Is Studying at Harvard

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Kanoa Igarashi is a savvy surfer, when it comes to competition strategics, physical and mental health, analyzing and improving his surfing, and well-spoken interviews.

But out of the water, it looks like Igarashi, who was born and bred in Huntington Beach, California, but represents Japan, is a bit on a brainiac, too.

In his downtime from the World Surf League’s Championship Tour, Kanoa’s been studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the world: Harvard.

Per a recent announcement on his social media, Igarashi shared the news:

“So I’ve been spending time this off season studying at Harvard University, it is an honor and privilege to be learning at the highest level. It’s been a fun few months of juggling surfing, training and attending classes. let’s keep it rolling”

Congratulations flooded in:

“THIS” – Surfer and sports commentator, Selema Masekela

“Way to go!” – World Champ, Carissa Moore

“Sooo good bro” – Nic Von Rupp

“Wooo and I thought you couldn’t surprise me anymore! I was wrong. Well done grasshopper” – from pro surfer turned surf coach, Jake Paterson.

“What an incredible journey you're on” – the official Olympics account.

“More surfers should pursue higher education.” – a fan.

Kanoa ranked 14th on the 2023 World Surf League’s Championship Tour, and now, before the 2024 season starts, he has some free time. Why not make the most of it?

Back at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he earned a silver medal, falling only to Brazil’s Italo Ferreira. He’ll also be representing Japan in the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will be held at Teahupo’o, Tahiti.

Maybe he’ll have a degree by then? Would be a pretty accelerated academic timeline to do so, even though, from the photos, it looks like he’s doing it online.

What might Kanoa be studying?

Marine biology? Sustainability? The perfect cutback? WSL judging criteria 101?

No word yet on his major.


Don't miss another headline from SURFER! Subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Instagram, and stay connected with the latest happenings in the world of surfing. We're always on the lookout for amusing, interesting and engaging surf-related videos to feature on our channels.

Whether you're a professional surfer or just an amateur, we want to see your best footage and help you share it with the world. Submit your video for a chance to be featured on SURFER and our social channels. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch high-quality surf videos.