Gabriel Medina Victorious in SF

Medina wins his second World Tour event in just four starts

| posted on November 07, 2011

The 17-year-old ripper enjoys his second trip to the podium in just four events. Photo: Ellis

At the risk of being called Captain Obvious, I’m going to go ahead and say that this is the year the Brazilian insurgence matured into a legitimate force. The youngsters have been carving a niche for themselves while Adriano continues to be a potential event winner in any conditions. Between Adriano, Miguel Pupo and Gabriel Medina, the Brazilian flag has been waving on the podium at the last four major events (counting the O’Neill Coldwater Classic).

At the end of what must have been the strangest week in recent pro surfing history, Medina cut through the competition to win in San Francisco, drawing our attention towards the young Brazilian’s talent on a surfboard and away from the ASP’s monumental math mishap last week.

It was Medina who took down the now 11-time World Champion in the quarterfinals. Unlike their previous encounter in Round 4, where Kelly’s floater/turn combo was favored by the judges over Medina’s frontside aerials, the pendulum swung the other way this time around, putting Medina well out in front by heat’s end.

Medina’s victory over the Champ, much like their previous encounter in France, seemed to foreshadow another stroll across the finish line for Gabriel. Sure enough, Medina took down Taylor Knox in the semis and then beat Parkinson at his own game in the final. And by that I mean Medina executed big, powerful turns as opposed to the predictable air-reverse combos we’ve come to expect from this new wave of young surfers.

This marks the second event win for Medina out of his first four World Tour events, signifying one of the most impressive rookie starts in pro surfing history and a hint at where this incredible talent is headed.

  • Daniel

    Outstanding performance. And this is just the beginning.
    I’m pretty sure Gabriel will excel in Hawaii as well.

  • Fernando

    To understnad why Brail is firing, you have to know that:

    – Brasil has a solid local circuit ( the biggest and the highest moneyy prize)

    – surfing is the second or third most popular sport there

    – a rising economy with a powerful internal market, that makes it possible to have sponsors and big surf events

    – a favorable media, that gives huge attention to surfing in sport channels

    – a richer middle class and a low rated dollar, alllowing more traveling

    – surfing is seen in Brasil as good sport, so parents support the kids

    – the example of the previous surfers who opened doors , such as Vitor Ribas, Neco,, Fábio Gouveia, Flavio Padaratz, etc

  • Mik

    The surf today was 6 to 10 ft, powerful, with shifty conditions. A very difficult line-up, or lack thereof… And Gabriel, and the WCT pros, surfed it better in these conditions than anyone ever has. The bar for surfing in SF / NorCal has been raised dramatically. Also, Kerr’s huge arial (quarter final?) is the highest punt (completed) I have ever seen up here. All in all, my take is that we have just witnessed a major apex in competitive surfing at this uniquely NorCal event: Kelly just won his 11th title, and Kelly’s heir apparent has just emerged: Gabrial Medina—and he is a monster talent.

  • 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….,(Nobody laughs anymore within The Ranks of My Buddies within Professional Bull Riders (PBR), Incorporated, regarding The Prowess of Brazilians.)

  • Whamo

    I’m expecting a “We’re Tops Now” speech from Brazil any minute now.

  • dgcova

    Congrats Kelly, Medina, Parko and Alejo…..

    The first one for the 11 World Title….Parko to show again his turns, barrels and his power with a huge style!!! (one of my favorites)…..
    But we’ve got to recognize the brazilian charge!!! I’ve been saying this a while, the Brazos are strong, not only in small waves as before, but with the points like sad from Fernando in this comments, brazilians surfers are ready to compete in any condition…..
    I have no doubt about the next year we’ll have much more from these guys.
    Medina you are a Beast!!!! Alejo congrats man (huge style too)…..

    Let’s see what happen in Hawaii…..Pretty sure good stuff is coming!!!!

    Huges Bros and Peace!!!

  • Julio

    Are you missing the “poo stance” brazzos?
    Medina & Pupo it´s not the whole pack. More to come.
    Wait for Caio Ibelli, Jesse Mendes, Felipe Toledo, Junior Faria, Thiago Camarão….

  • William

    9 pt floater from kelly, nobody cares, he is the best surfer in the world, but ASP had to give the 11th title shortly after the mess-up. Medina Won the heat. Pro Surfing is winning events, catching the best waves of your life is SOUL surfing, so if you dont like the WT why bother commenting on it.

  • alexander

    As a brazilian surfer, this is the real first time I like to watch my countrymen surfing.I mean, despite of cheering for the old guys like Fabio Gouveia, Teco, Neco, Peterson and others, I always enjoyed the aussie,hawaiian and US surfers hundred times more and my heroes always have been Kelly, Occy, Egan.
    Now I believe we have a real phenomenom that has style, power and delivers the airs that the judges like so much.And he is Medina.

    Congrats Medina, Pupo(i used to see your dad surfing mate) and Alejo Muniz.

  • Eddie

    hate haters, hate!
    This kid is very good, if he is gonna be the next thing, is too early too tell, I saw “next things” before, remember Nick Wood ? (for the young ones , do the home work) I hope he keeps winning, not because I am brazilian, but because we need something new, now.
    Slater is the man, and always will be.
    But I am tired to see the Aussies wining, because despite Curren and Slater all the rest of the world champions were Australians, (andy and Sunny were hawaiians)
    So lets enjoy the new blood.

  • guilherme

    I don´t understand why my brazilians fellas are giving so much explanations on Medina´s latests wins… Come on, some gringos are just like that, they will try to convince they are better on soccer too… Congrats MEDINA!!!!!!!!!!

  • Row Bear

    So does rookie of the year get decided by the world rankings or by the world title rankings?

  • Matt O’Brien

    Medina did a great job winning the Search – a first for Brasil (or is it Brazil?). NOW he gets his name added to a list of a VERY select few: Mick Fanning, Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, and Kelly Slater. Not a bad list to be a part of.
    Congrats to all…

  • honest indian

    someone please tell joe turdpeal to shuuuuuut the fuuuuuck up!!!!!!!!!!


    impressive performance dude..

  • Joe

    Fernando from Nov. 7 is right on the money. Been to Brazil a couple of times, surfed there, love the people. Brazilians value independence, achievement, patriotism and self expression. A lot like Americans except for the group singing/chanting in public (think Disney tour groups). Slater’s my hero, but thrilled to see Medina and the rest of the Brazos do so well. Boa sorte!