8 Famous Japanese Surfers: The Best!

It’s always up for debate, "who are the most famous Japanese surfers"?

We list the current most famous Japanese surfers, going into detail of their impact on Japan's surf culture and surfing as a whole.

The list of famous Japanese surfers is forever growing so here is our 8 best!

Most Famous Japanese Surfers

Famous Japanese surfers include Kanoa Igarashi, Shino Matsuda and Amuro Tsuzuki all known for honourable contributions to Japanese surfing.

This list of famous Japanese surfers is forever growing! Let's get into each famous Japanese surfers story below in detail.

Want to find more surfers? View our list of the most famous surfers ever!

Amuro Tsuzuki

Born: April 5, 2001

Origin: Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan

Style: Regular

Famous Japanese Surfers

About: Amuro Tsuzuki, born on April 5, 2001, is a trailblazing Japanese professional surfer hailing from Tokorozawa, Saitama. Currently residing in Shōnan, Kanagawa, she stands at 5 ft 3 in and has made significant waves in the surfing world. Amuro achieved international recognition by clinching a bronze medal in Women's shortboard at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Her remarkable journey includes winning the 2019 World Junior Championship, solidifying her status as a rising star in the surfing community.

Achievements: Amuro's surfing prowess extends beyond national borders. In addition to her historic Olympic bronze, she secured victory at the 2019 World Junior Championship. Amuro is also making waves on the World Surf League Tour, demonstrating her skill and determination on the global stage. Her achievements mark her as a pioneering force in Japanese female surfing.

Instagram: @amurotsuzuki

Famous Japanese Surfers - Amuro Tsuzuki Surfing

Hiroto Ohhara

Born: November 14, 1996

Origin: Chiba, Japan

Style: Regular

Famous Japanese Surfers

About: Hiroto Ohhara, born on November 14, 1996, hails from Chiba, Japan. Standing at 5 ft 4 in, Hiroto has etched his mark in the world of professional surfing. In 2018, he showcased his team spirit and skill by winning a gold medal at the ISA World Surfing Games in Tahara, contributing to Japan's success in the Team event. Hiroto continued to excel, earning silver in the 2021 Surf City Team event and bronze in the 2019 Miyazaki Team event. His competitive spirit and dedication propelled him to the 2020 Summer Olympics, where he reached the quarterfinals in the men's shortboard event.

Achievements: Hiroto claimed a bronze medal in the 2013 World Junior Championships in Florianópolis. In 2021, he secured 4th place overall at the ISA World Surfing Games, earning his spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Instagram: @hirotoohhara

Famous Japanese Surfers - Hiroto Ohhara Tears Up!

Kanoa Igarashi

Born: October 1, 1997

Origin: California, U.S.

Style: Regular

Famous Japanese Surfers

About: Kanoa Igarashi, born on October 1, 1997, hails from Huntington Beach, California. He started his surfing career in 2012 and has since become a prominent figure in the world of professional surfing. Standing at 5 ft 11 in, Kanoa is known for his natural foot regular stance.

Achievements: Kanoa boasts an impressive surfing career with notable achievements. He secured victory in the WSL Championship Tour, claiming an event win. Additionally, he is a two-time US Open of Surfing champion (2017, 2018) and has earned a place in the Surfers' Hall of Fame. His remarkable performance extends to the international stage, winning a Silver Medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and clinching the title of the 2022 ISA World Surfing Games Champion.

Instagram: @kanoaigarashi

Famous Japanese Surfers - Best of Kanoa Igarashi

Jonathan González

Born: February 15, 1998

Origin: Hawaii, United States

Style: Regular

Famous Japanese Surfer

About: Mahina Maeda, born on February 15, 1998, is a professional surfer with roots in Hawaii. Raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Mahina holds dual American-Japanese citizenship, born to Japanese parents in the United States. She stands as a three-time junior World champion, making waves in the surfing community from a young age. Despite her Hawaii upbringing, Mahina switched to represent Japan at the Olympics due to Hawaii not being recognized as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Achievements: Mahina's impressive career includes winning her first WSL world junior title at the age of 16 in Portugal. She achieved a significant milestone by qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics following her outstanding performance at the 2021 ISA World Surfing Games. As surfing made its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games, Mahina represented Japan, marking her debut appearance at the Olympics. Though she was eliminated in the round 3 of the women's shortboard event, Mahina's journey continues to inspire.

Instagram: @mahinamaeda

Famous Japanese Surfers - Mahina Maeda Surfing

Ryo Morioka

Born: 1997

Origin: Hamamatsu, Japan

Style: Regular

Famous Japanese Surfer

About: Ryo Miura, a talented regular-footer from Hamamatsu, Japan, has been making waves in the professional surfing scene. With a career spanning several years, Ryo, at the age of 23, has demonstrated his commitment and skill in the sport. While specific details about his early life are not provided, his journey in the world of surfing is characterised by consistent participation and ranking in various tours.

Achievements: Ryo has left his mark on the WSL Men's Junior Tour with annual rankings, showcasing his progression and dedication to the sport. In 2013, he achieved a ranking of 19, followed by rankings of 21 in 2014 and 23 in 2015. Additionally, in 2019, he secured the 37th position in the JPSA shortboard annual ranking, further solidifying his presence in the competitive surfing community.

Instagram: @ryo_m_i_u_r_a

Famous Japanese Surfers - Ryo Miura Surfing 2016

Shino Matsuda

Born: August 13, 2002

Origin: Chigasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

Style: Regular

Famous Japanese Surfer

About: Shino Matsuda, born on August 13, 2002, in Chigasaki, Kanagawa, Japan, stands at the forefront of Japanese women's surfing. At just 5 feet 2 inches tall (1.57m), her small stature conceals a powerful and skillful surfer with her sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Shino's exceptional ability to control her surfboard with style and precision earned her a spot at the Olympics after finishing 15th in the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, making her the highest-ranking surfer from Asia.

Achievements: Shino's journey to the Olympics is marked by her victory in the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, securing the Asian Continental Slot. While the qualification is provisional until the 2021 World Surfing Games, Shino's chances are promising. As Japan's sole hope for a podium finish in women's surfing, Shino's dedication and skill make her a remarkable representative of the sport.

Instagram: @shinomatsuda 

Shun Murakami

Born: March 3, 1997

Origin: Yugawara, Kanagawa, Japan

Style: Goofy

Famous Japanese Surfers

About: Shun Murakami, born on March 3, 1997, in Yugawara, Kanagawa, Japan, is a standout pro surfer with a goofy stance. Starting his surfing journey in the 2011 Men's JR season, Shun, at the age of 26, has become a prominent figure in the surfing community. Standing at 5 ft 6 in (166 cm) and weighing 127 lbs (58 kg), Shun's hometown is Yugawara, Japan.

Achievements: Shun's surfing career has seen notable achievements since his debut in the 2011 Men's JR season. While specific competition wins may vary, his consistency and skill have made him a respected presence in the surfing world.

Instagram: @shunmurakami_mobb

Famous Japanese Surfers - Shun Murakami Surfing

Yuji Nishi

Origin: Kaifu Shikoku, Japan

Style: Regular

famous Japanese surfers

About: Yuji Nishi, a regular-footer from Kaifu Shikoku, Japan, has made a significant impact in the world of professional surfing at the age of 23. With a career marked by consistent participation and notable rankings, Yuji is recognized for his skill and dedication to the sport. Hailing from Kaifu Shikoku, he showcases the surfing spirit of his hometown.

Achievements: Yuji's journey in the WSL Men's Junior Tour has been marked by impressive annual rankings. In 2015, he secured 9th place, followed by 4th in 2016 and 3rd in 2017. His consistency continued with a 5th-place ranking in 2018. In addition to his junior tour successes, he participated in the JPSA short board in 2019, earning a ranking of 73th.

Instagram: @yujinishi3

Famous Japanese Surfers - Yuji Nishi Surfing

Famous Female Japanese Surfers 

Other Famous Japanese Surfers 

Famous Japanese Surf Spots

  1. Shonan: Located near Tokyo, Shonan is a popular destination for famous Japanese surfers with consistent waves and a vibrant surf culture.
  2. Chiba Peninsula: Known for its numerous surf breaks, the Chiba Peninsula, including spots like Ichinomiya and Hebara, offers great waves and is easily accessible from Tokyo.
  3. Shikoku Island: The southern coast of Shikoku Island has various surf spots such as Kochi and Tokushima, known for their good waves and beautiful landscapes.
  4. Kyushu Island: The coasts of Kyushu, particularly Miyazaki and Kagoshima, offer excellent surf conditions. Aoshima is a famous spot on the island.
  5. Hokkaido: Although known for its cold weather, Hokkaido has some surf spots like Shikisai Beach and Chitose Beach, attracting surfers looking for unique experiences.
  6. Omaezaki, Shizuoka: Located in Shizuoka Prefecture, Omaezaki is a renowned surf spotfor famous Japanese surfers with consistent waves and a laid-back atmosphere.
  7. Kujukuri Beach, Chiba: Stretching along the eastern coast of the Chiba Peninsula, Kujukuri Beach is one of the longest beaches in Japan and offers various surf breaks.
  8. Yakushima: An island located in Kagoshima Prefecture, Yakushima has surf spots like Nagata Inakahama, known for its stunning natural surroundings and good waves.
  9. Amami Oshima: This island in the Amami archipelago has surf spots like Kurasaki Beach, attracting surfers with its clear water and great waves.
  10. Zushi Beach, Kanagawa: Near Kamakura, Zushi Beach is a popular spot for famous Japanese surfers looking for good waves and a relaxed atmosphere.

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Now you have a vast list of the most famous Japanese surfers, be sure to check out famous surfers from countries around the world such as Italy and Spain!

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the most famous surfers in San Diego?

Some of the most famous surfers in San Diego include Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, and Joel Tudor.

Who is the Japanese female Olympic surfer?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the Japanese female surfer participating in the Olympics was Mahina Maeda. However, for the latest information, please check the most recent sources.

Who is the king of surfing?

The title "king of surfing" is subjective and varies among individuals. However, Kelly Slater is often regarded as one of the greatest surfers in the history of the sport and has won numerous world championships.

Is surfing big in Japan?

Yes, surfing has gained popularity in Japan, particularly after its inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The sport has a growing community and interest among the Japanese.

What rank is Kanoa Igarashi?

Kanoa Igarashi is a professional surfer who competes on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour. His ranking can change based on ongoing competitions, so it's advised to check the latest WSL rankings for the most up-to-date information.

Who is the most famous girl surfer?

Stephanie Gilmore is often considered one of the most famous and accomplished female surfers. She has won multiple world championships and has had a significant impact on women's surfing.

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