The Brazilian Contender

| posted on October 16, 2011

Medina's performance in France was the necessary validation for all the hype that surrounds the phenomenal young Brazilian. Photo courtest of the ASP

Shea Lopez

The author of SURFER’s Top 32 Review, Shea Lopez spent 11 years competing on the World Tour and now reigns as our resident expert on the pro surfosphere.

It is okay to be hesitant. I felt the same way at first. I had even battled similar stereotypes growing up on the Gulf of Mexico. But now that Brazilians have asserted themselves as true equals amongst the world’s best surfers, they also have a legit World Title contender amongst their ranks.

Gabriel Medina has come out hotter and faster than any other surfer since Kelly Slater. Even Kelly was not as dominant out of the gates as Gabriel has been with his European performances. Medina is not only winning at will, but also posting more 10s in average beachbreak conditions than any other surfer by a mile.

At a time when the performance level is so high, the fact that Medina has been able to distance himself so far from everyone else is unbelievable. Kolohe and Evan from America, as well as Cathels and Freestone from Oz aren’t even close to being compared to Medina. Medina is to be compared to Owen, Jordy, Taj, and Julian—guys he’s going to be competing for the World Title with very shortly.

So embrace this new superpower of surfing. And enjoy the show from a multitude of talented Brazilian surfers that are making professional surfing more exciting to watch every day.

  • Danny

    Yep, agree 100%

  • Danny

    Is great to see new talents in our sport. I admire surfers from all over. I don’t care where are they from

  • Bruno

    Yeah Shea, great article! I remember seeing Gabriel´s perfomance for the first time in a King of the Groms event a couple years ago At Arpoador in Rio and got really impressed at how fast he was going on the waves. From that day on, I knew he was a special surfer, the other kids were all lame compared to him at that event, and don´t forget that he´s gonna shine in barrels as well, you can mark my words.

  • Alexandre

    i think that is important and healthy for surfing (not only the competitive side of it) to have people from all over the world. it keeps things more interesting than having a one-sided vision

  • You Have It.

    This was Especially for your brazilians fans/reader, uhn? Not really necessary though. I guess by now no one can doubt that the kids is gifted.

    I thought that you would at least point the rights and wrongs on the kid’s game, but good anyway.

  • Nicc P

    Ditto on Bruno’s YEAH SHANE!! I love your connection / comparison of the stereotypes against East Coast surfers of yester-year (hopefully) to the currently strong prejudice against Brazilian surfers. Hopefully this opens peoples eyes to the fallacy of blindly categorizing Brazilians as chop hopping small wave surfers.

    I personally think Gabriel is capitalizing on a period of confused judging in competitive surfing which overly weights airs… hilarious to say this b/c it was only months back when the Owen v. Adriano floater debacle occurred…In time the judging will adjust appropriately but good on Gabriel for going for broke and confusing the judges further.

    Main point: Gabriel rips.

  • Matt OBrien

    Good stuff… Could even make for a great Surfer Issue: Guest editor Adriano de Souza (maybe one other Brazilian guest ed – i.e. Shane & Kelly, Mick & Parko, Chris & Jack J., A.I & Bruce). It would be a first to have Brazilian guest editor(s)

    I was wondering: has any other time in a World Tour (not QS) year – had 2 Different Brazilians winning 2 Different events? This may be a first. THE KID looked solid today in Supertubos barrels.

  • charliep

    this kids style looks like shit. yes those airs are good. but the other 3/4 of the wave he is hopping, flapping and just ugly

    transitions are important and i think the bottom turn is just as important as the top turn and well gabriels look like shit

    when kelly was a kid he didn’t have this problem

    if this is the future of surfing i will gladly stay in the past

    dane does better airs than this mosquito and has good style, power and smooth transitions

    but maybe the future of surfing just isn’t competitve surfing anymore

    is there something i am missing here?

  • Major Pain

    By Day No. 04, of the “2011 HURLEY PRO,“ Gabriel Medina and Miguel Pupo were already “Out.” However, before Competition resumed, I spent time photographing the Two of Them, as They got in some “Early – Morning – Waves.” Shortly after I took a photograph of “Gabe,” I walked up to Him and told Him to “Kick – A**” in France. Always The Humble and Polite Lad, He simply responded, “Thanks!” I suspect that His Performance against SL8R (losing by .3 Points), will be discussed for some time. However, no one can take away his Pro Junior First Place.

    Respect For Brazil: When Rob Machado is not in The Line – Up,” I am always hanging – out with “Da Boyz From Brazil.” Consequently, I am NOT surprised regarding Medina’s Performance. Perhaps, with Pupo‘s Performance at The 2011 Nike Pro, Toledo‘s Performance at the 2011 Nike US Open, “Cyborg” Alves’ Performance at The 2011 Hurley Pro, and now Medina’s Performance at the 2011 Quiksilver France Pro, FINALLY Brazilians will Publicly – Receive The Respect which They have already Earned….,

    Now, please excuse me; I have to get back at Drooling at ESPN Photographs of Stephanie Gilmore and Gretchen Bleiler (Dayum !!!!)

  • Danny

    Uou! It took 5 comments to have a comment brazilian hatter and a I love Dane. But iwtth CHARLIEP you get 2 for the price of one folks! lol

    Now, seriously, why this obsession with Dane Reynolds!? he surfs great and all. Call him the best today, whatever. But he has nothing to do with this article. We are talking about Medina. Nobody said that one is better then the other. Dane Reynolds was not even mentioned in the article or comments.

    That’s hilarious! Go lick Dane’s balls or something, I’m sure you will have more fun that reading or watching Gabriel

  • charliep

    hi danny

    if its ball licking you are after you might prefer gabriel’s small prepubescent hairless balls.

    danes ventura sweaty balls probably smell like bums in the wash

    you have some weird ideas you pervert

    i was just talking about surfing

    as for braziians just so you know i love them, but not the nazi fleeing giselle types

    i prefer the natives

  • Danny

    Even Shea,who, most of the times, is very down to earth in his articles, because of a big carve and an regular air 360 in a heat did a whole piece of how Dane still is the best surfer on the world. But Reynolds surfed like shit the heat before and after

    If he announces to stop surfing, even then, Quicksilver would be dumb do dump him because you guys love him so much that he could just write poems in he’s website and he still would be the best.

  • Fishboard Twin

    Brazilians are coming. Like Europeans, Tahitians, Peruvians etc.. It’s fun to see surfers from all over the world doing well. I loved seeing Joel Parko lose to a guy from Morocco in France! Whenever we travel to places such as Morocco we find good surfers. I often wonder why they are not in WT? I think the future is this. The Medina kid is showing the way for Brazilians but soon we will have kids from other countries also. Just wait and see.

  • Trombone

    You forgot about John John, kid makes Parko look like a brazilian.

    Well, like a brazilian from the previous generation…

  • dgcova

    SHEA, good stuff brow…fair…it’s shows that you are a very kind man!!!
    It’s not been often, to see someone who has skills in surf , talking good about brazos….principaly Snake ( who surfs like a Gorilla and think that he is one the bests ever……shame…..nowadays he won’t surf WQS)
    I think we have to recognize who’s is ripping, no matter where he is from, and this kid is a ripper!!!!

  • Fernando Tomazi

    Nice post… agree 100% !!!!

  • trent

    kid is butter smooth, deadly accurate.

  • nick Schnider

    His style is pretty sick. But i prefer Ian Walsh, anyone check out his web series? compare the styes.