Rising Up: Ryu Adegawa

Over to Japan for Rising Up this issue, and introducing Ryu Adegawa, a talented, multi-disciplined foiler who is also proficient in a range of other water sports… Not bad going for a ten-year-old.

Photos: Pedro Gomes


Hey Ryu! So firstly, tell us how old you are, where you live, and where do you like to ride?

I live in Isumi town in Chiba prefecture, Japan, and my favorite place to ride is the Isumi River Mouth, the closest spot near my house. I like Isumi because it's easy to pump back, and it’s great for long riding.

What’s your usual go-to foil setup?

Right now, my go-to setup for prone and winging is the Takuma foil Kujira 980 with carbon mast, the board is a Takuma Morning Sun 4`2 30L. Besides prone and wingfoiling, I also enjoy kitesurfing, stand up paddle, prone surf, and I sometimes do tow-in foiling with my father. I like to see the day's conditions and choose the proper setup for the conditions. If it's shallow in the low tide, I do SUP, if it's windy, I go wingfoiling, and so on…. But foiling is my favorite kind of surfing right now, I always go for long rides, and it makes me feel good.

How much time do you get to foil outside of your schoolwork?

In summer, I can foil like two to three hours every day after school. In winter it gets dark very early, so I can only get in the water for 30 minutes or less. On days off school, I can foil for eight hours or more. If the conditions are good, I basically spend all day long in the water, just having a little break to eat a rice ball or some snacks.

Do you find it hard to balance the two?

Sometimes it is hard, but I can handle that; I put a lot of time into foiling, but I don't forget to do my homework, and I attend a normal school like the other kids of my age.

Does anyone else in your family foil?

My father does, as well as all kinds of surfing, and I learn a lot from him.

Who’s been the most significant influence in your foiling?

I really like Kai Lenny and Adam Bennetts. Kai goes for big waves, outer reef deep water stuff, and Adam has a very beautiful and unique style. They both have a nice style and inspire me a lot.

Have you ever competed in foiling? If not, do you think you might someday?

I took part in a foil contest this year, I ended up losing in the semi-finals. I didn't win, but I really liked taking part in it; I like to compete. I also compete in stand up paddle competitions a lot… I won the Oamishirasato City Cup this summer, and I got second place at the Miyazaki contest in southern Japan. There are more SUP contests than foil contests in Japan right now, but I hope that from now on, more foil events will be held in Japan.

It’s clear from these shots that you like to get air… what’s the next move you hope to perfect?

I want to get used to backflipping, but I still can't make it. And I also want to improve my landing on big airs; that is something I am working on.

It’s ten years from now. What is 20-year-old Ryu Adegawa doing?

I want to be a complete waterman in different kinds of surfing, ride big waves like Jaws and chase barrels all over the world. That's what I dream about.

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