Adriano Wins in Portugal

Adriano de Souza takes out Kelly Slater in flawless Supertubes

| posted on October 18, 2011

Adriano de Souza, on his way to a 9-point ride and another event win.

With huge crowds just a few feet from the action tuned in and appreciative of every surfer’s efforts in Portugal, the Rip Curl Pro actually began to take on the appearance of a real sporting event. With Pipeline at the top of the list as the ultimate event location, next in line may just be Supertubes with all day offshores grooming A-frame peaks into Pipeline looking sandbar pits.

It is nature’s many moods that determine the quality of an event more than any other factor. The surfers, spectators, and webcast viewers were treated to three days of nature putting on her Sunday best at Supertubes for all to appreciate. All that energy translated into inspired performance after inspired performance from a long list of athletes (the surfers on the WT are athletes now). It even motivated Cory and I to jump in the truck directly after the final for a 14 hour drive so we could get some tubes ourselves in the morning.

The best surfer of the event, Kelly, finished second here, cruising through heats with incredible high scores. The smile on his face and tone in his voice came across as a stoked grommet that couldn’t be happier doing anything else in the world. He was having so much fun that he lost his focus on the competition and played out the day relaxed in freesurf mode.

Adriano has no freesurf mode. He has no off switch either. Watching him charge through heat after heat wearing his heart on his sleeve, you eventually have to fall in love with his passion. Two wins this year is all the proof needed to justify his crazy emotional outbursts and outrageous claims—he must sleep very well at night, exhausted from all that exertion. Not tonight though, there will be no sleep tonight—only Cristal showers and a steady stream of perfect rides running over and over in his head. His 136 lbs of heart was what it took to beat the best there ever was/ever will be today, in waves that would break most in two.

And so in two weeks we’ve seen two young Brazilians winning WT events in Europe. This is the new norm.

  • Billy B

    Adriano your my hero, brazil bonanza! Braazzziillllllll

  • Luis Carvalho

    Totally agree that Kelly was the best in the contest and that Adriano is all heart and passion, which may look lame sometimes.
    I do understand why people hate Adriano so much (that claim in the first wave was totally unnecessary, as most of them are) but he is there to surf and not to be liked, so I guess this part he´s done pretty well.
    That being said, I bet the ASP will change the rules pretty soon.
    With all those Brazilian haters throughout the surfing world, a Brazilian dominance will definitely be bad for business.

  • stu kennedy

    Good commentary Shea!

  • Ayrton Gil

    E se o Brasil papar esse título, como é que vai ficar a cara desses gringos?

  • dude

    I totally understand all the hate over the brazos, including myself sometimes (80% of brazos are not very gentil) but adriano is a great figure indeed, fuck it if the stance is wide or whatever, two wins this year, where is Dane u know what mean… And i guess the world will remember kellys performances at supertubos forever, really. And one last thing, God save the spartan, what a guy

  • Major Pain

    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, Medina’s Performance at the 2011 Quiksilver France Pro, and now de Souza’s Performance at the 2011 Rip curl Pro, FINALLY Brazilians will Publicly – Receive The Respect which They have already Earned….,

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

  • Mik

    Adriano is an amazing surfer, and there is a growing Brazilian contingency emerging with him. I welcome everyone on tour. The world is my family. I like seeing anyone who surfs at a higher level win. Today, it was Adriano. (still not big on the claim thang tho).

  • dgcova

    Congrat Mineirinho (de Souza),

    Though i think you’re not my favorite, I growth looking you surfing at Pitangueiras, and we’re very proud for you and Medina…..
    I ‘ve been sad that is a new Brazilian charge on Tour and you started that pushing the others…..
    Congratulations for you too Shea, you are recognizing when someone was better than Kelly…though i think Kelly was the best of the event……not only the final, when the passion beat the reason!!!

    hughes bros…..

  • Larry Bird


  • Whamo

    Great beach break — better even than the River Jetties — back when it had jetties.

  • dirk

    right on major pain….add raoni to the list for his performance at chopes, which i thought was one of the best. brazilians are awesome folks, great culture. i welcome the change.

  • Daniel

    Hey Shea, great article. Few and very meaningful words packed with writing talent.
    As for Brazilians performances in Europe, well we’re all still walking on air.
    I also apologize for any jibe in this thread from my fellow countryman. Brazilian surfing has only reached this level because Hawaiians, Americans and Aussies have inspired us since the outset.

  • Roger

    Thanks to the Australians, Americans and South Africans that came to Brazil 25 years ago (1986 and 1987) and showed us (brazilians) what real surfing was. What you are watching now is the result of that seed planted in Brazil’s soil.

  • Dante

    That was a really good contest for sure ! So many great surfing performances and waves. And so many of the top 8 (quarter finalist;s ) could have won the event at 1st place.Kelly continues to amaze us with his abilities ! The rookies like Medina and Wilson do jaw dropping surfing for sure. Julian will know doubt be a top contender on the WCT in the next few years to come. Adriano wins ! Ya this guy is another great surfer for sure. I don’t think he is alway.s smart in his display’s like hasseling Kelly recently ! But then at the awards ceremony he took a big bow to Kelly and thank him for “Pushing him to surf better” That was really humble and good to see that side of this fiery guy for sure ! Taylor Knox, oldest guy on tour and he was ripping out there ! Taj surfing so well he should get to win a world title one year soon ! Jordy ripping in his come back after the rib injury in Tahaiti. Parko and Mick ! Wow ! You both are such masters of wave riding ! And last but far from least- John John on the tour ! What a great addition ! This kid has it all !! Jeremy Flores was missed in this one for sure ! San Francisco/Ocean Beach up next ! Glad the action is coming to our neighborhood in NorCal !

  • RH

    This is not Brazilian bashing: I like Heitor’s style and thought Adriano had come a long way, and was surfing well, a few years ago… but his surfing has come a long way since, back in the wrong direction… to the point that it looked like the person who did the kookiest surfing of the entire event WON the entire event. Which would be fine if he didn’t do any of that flat, ugly, flailing surfing on his scoring waves… cuz I can admire a “rip or have-one’s-style-die-trying” approach, as long as one’s supposedly GOOD rides do manage to look good. My point being, judging by the current criteria, Adriano won the contest fair and square, but… if it were a gymnastics competition, some of Adriano’s performances (including the last two moves on his highest scoring ride in the final) would have been the equivalent of poo-stance-ing the landing, instead of “sticking” it… and would not, and should not, have advanced him. I can see not deducting points for falling off, but there should be deductions for surfing like a kook, it seems… even though that might offend surfing’s biggest demographic.