The Calm After The Storm

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By Stu Nettle (stunet)
Photo: Andrew Shield

The Calm After The Storm

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

“In the years to come I see at least three Brazilians going after the world title every year on the WSL, and I believe it’ll be hard to simply wipe them off the top.”
-Bruno Santos, 2016

At the time it was an unremarkable statement to make; dull in its ambition. In 2016, the Tempestade Brasileira - transl: Brazilian Storm - was raging. It was easy for anyone, irrespective of their nationality, to agree with Bruno and think Brazil possessed both the talent and the numbers to press hard for every world title into the conceivable future. In 2014, for instance, Gabriel Medina won the world title, while the following year Adriano won, with Brazil posting three surfers in the top five.

In the decade since Medina won his first world title, Brazil has been the world's most dominant surfing nation. They may not have had the sheer number of surfers on the men's Championship Tour - Australia wins that contest - but they’ve had the numbers where it counts.

However, this year that top end domination has hit a hurdle. It began with Filipe Toledo taking time off tour and Joao Chianca copping an involuntary leave of absence after injuring himself in Hawaii. Meanwhile, dark clouds are gathering as the tour approaches Margaret River and the dreaded mid-year cut. Two of Brazil’s top dogs, Medina and Italo Ferreira, are languishing deep in the ratings: Ferreira at 18th, with Medina even deeper at 20th - and in real danger of being cut. Sitting at 16th, Yago Dora is currently Brazil’s highest ranked surfer.

All of which is a turnaround from 2016. Steve Shearer, who’s watched every heat of CT surfing this year, has posted an analysis on how Medina and Ferreira ended up in this predicament. However, there are broader question that need to be asked. Has Brazilian surfing peaked? Why did this happen? And where is Brazil’s new generation of Championship Tour talent?

Peak Storm. Though John John won the title in 2016, Brazil fielded a record (for them) ten starters on the CT: Clockwise from back row, Adriano, Alejo, Miguel, Alex Ribeiro, Italo, Caio, Wiggolly, Gabriel, Filipe, and Jadson.

If an Australian surfer visited Brazil around the turn of the century they would’ve been shocked by the surfers in the water. Hundreds of surfers at each beach, hardly any of them aged over thirty, and most under twenty, with the situation repeated from Florianópolis north to Natal. A great demographic bubble skewing towards the young and male - women surfing is lagging in Brazil for reasons best explored in another article.

Brazilian pros had been on the tour since it started in 1976. That same year, Rio’s Pepe Lopes made the finals of the Pipeline Masters and came 18th on the inaugural tour. However, being a surfer, particularly a travelling surfer, wasn’t as easy in Brazil as it was in Australia or the USA. The country was ruled by an authoritarian military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. Even after the advent of democracy, it took a decade for inflation - the scourge of all travellers - to be brought under control and the economy to stabilise.

A rising middle class gave free time to a new generation of kids, and with a warm climate and existing beach culture huge numbers of them took to surfing. This back-of-the-napkin explanation illustrates why Brazil had but a sprinkling of pros on the world tour, while our turn of the century traveller would’ve seen legions of kids on the beaches. Things were about to change, big time.

Many people point to 2014 as the beginning of Brazil’s dominance - it was the year Gabriel won the world tour, also Brazil’s first. However, Gabriel was a streaking asteroid from the time he got on tour in 2011 when he won two of his first three CT’s, a feat beyond even Kelly Slater. A lone blaze, Gabe’s early success was a sign of precocious talent not national success, or that's how it was argued by the denialists in the USA and Australia

By 2015 it was impossible to argue against. It was apparent to all that something had happened. After being perennial outsiders, fringe players on the world tour, Brazil was now the dominant surfing nation.

In 2010, Gabriel travelled to the Rip Curl Pro as a sponsor wildcard. Though the-then 16-year old was comprehensively beaten by Mick Fanning in Round 3, he put on an incredible display of aerial surfing adjacent to the contest bank at Johanna. For many, it was ther first sighting of Medina and left them in no doubt the kid had a big future (Craig Brokensha)

If we’re to wonder what’s happening to Brazilian surfing now, it pays to look at a few factors. Yet before we continue, I’m gonna leave all conspiracy theories at the door and hope you will too. By that I mean the belief that the WSL is deliberately hindering or hampering - the accusation changes depending on nationality - Brazilian surfing. I understand the thinking is pervasive so if you must continue with it, knock yourself out. Don't forget to offer some concrete evidence.

Stepping onto ground that’s slightly more solid, it pays to scrutinise Brazil’s first wave of success. Of the surfers who comprise the Brazilian Storm, at least six of them: Medina, Toledo, Ian Gouveia, and Miguel and Samuel Pupo, are second-generation surfers. Following closely in their wake is Mateus Herdy, the nephew of a successful pro - Guilherme Herdy.

It’s a significant fact, one that’s worth wondering about. Despite there being legions of new young surfers in Brazil, one thing that hasn’t changed is the difficulty of making the leap from local hero to touring pro. Securing sponsorship, being exposed to heavy waves, and traveling with English as a second language - if they speak English at all - has hindered many Brazilian surfers. Famous Brazilian talent scout Luiz ‘Pinga’ Campos has nurtured breakout stars such as Adriano de Souza, Jadson Andre, Caio Ibelli, and Italo Ferreira, yet Pinga understands the pathway to pro surfing is vastly easier when the guiding hand is that of a family member, and when that family member understands the surf industry and its requirements.

“For sure,” says Pinga, “some of those athletes had a positive and fundamental support from their families.”

So it’s possible many of the surfers who comprise the Brazilian Storm raced ahead; that they got a leg up through family assistance. And those surfers who don’t have a father or step-father to guide them? That falls to individuals such as Pinga, or to institutions such as the Brazilian Surfing Confederation to guide talented surfers over the economic and cultural barriers. Like forerunners to a groundswell, the Brazilian Storm arrived first due to inherent fortune, while the rest will arrive in due course.

“The first thing that comes to mind is cycles,” says Brazilian journalist and one-time touring pro Julio Adler when asked about Brazil's current predicament. “[We’ve had] ten years of absolute dominance. One day there will be a decline, a slip.”

Though Julio isn’t convinced that time is now. 

“I don't think Brazilian surfing has ever been so well structured. Whether this will generate new world champions is too early to say.”

“As for new surfers,” continues Julio, “I'll go back to Gabriel. Until he came along in 2009 and won the King of the Groms Final in France with two 10s, he was off the radar, no-one knew him.”

Of the surfers most likely to replace the Brazilian Storm and jump onto the CT, Julio nominates Mateus Herdy - who’s won the South American Qualifying Series, missed the CT by two places, and come third in a CT as a wildcard - plus Leo Casal and Ryan Kainalo. 

Looking at the next age bracket down, Julio mentions Rodrigo Saldanha, Gabriel Klausner, and Cauã Costa. Are those names familiar to Western ears? Perhaps not yet but maybe they will be soon.

Also, for what it’s worth, despite this article being about Brazilian surfing slumping in 2024, Julio is keeping the champagne on ice. “I'm still convinced that Gabriel will win the world title and the gold medal in 2024,” says Julio boldly.

Despite sitting in 20th place, Julio doesn’t “see anyone better prepared, surfing better, better advised, better trained than him. Andy King is the best coach we have in the world of surfing, miles away from the rest, because he is able to find small flaws and big solutions in all sorts of surfers from Mick Fanning to Tiago Pires - two surfers who achieved more than they themselves believed.”

“He's turning Gabriel into a better and better surfer; it's scary what these two can do together.”

Brazil's next gen? From left, Mateus Herdy placing second in the Corona Open Mexico 2021, Leo Casal turning off the bottom on his way to second place at the 2022 Nias Pro Junior, and Ryan Kainalo winning the 2023 O'Neill Smith Shapes Rookie Rippers (WSL/Heff, Hain, McGregor)

If Julio’s vision materialises and Gabriel wins the world title then it’ll be the greatest title chase of all time, though even if it did happen it’s highly likely that Brazil will end up with the fewest number of surfers in the top 22 since 2014. Meaning we’re back to where we started questioning why the numbers are reducing instead of increasing.

“Despite having memorable names, I agree that Brazil has a gap,” says Pinga of Brazil's immediate future. “We don’t have a strong generation, in terms of quantity and preparation for the CT. We have potential, but nothing similar to what we have today.”

In the early 2000s, Pinga worked with Oakley Brazil to establish a talent development program. Nothing like that existed in Brazil and Oakley took a gamble on Pinga’s vision. Their trust in him paid off enormously when first Adriano, then Jadson, Caio, and Italo, were taken under Pinga’s wing, gradually exposed to the world of competition and travel before making their own imprints on the CT, replete with Oakley stickers on the nose of their boards.

Not only does Pinga have a theory on how to make it as a Brazilian pro, he’s successfully put that theory into practice. Few people know what it takes like Pinga.

“We had a poor period of good events in the country,” says Pinga by way of explanation, “combined with the indifference of most companies, including the surf ones investing in young surfers.”

“Added to it, the absence of a planned development and consistent project created this gap.“

When the Brazilians started making the CT, there was a belief that the surge would continue indefinitely. As the saying goes, young surfers could see who they wanted to be. Now it was only a matter of striving. Yet Pinga knows that striving isn’t enough. Programs such as he had with Oakley need to be continually driven, because without them the hurdles are too great.

Brazil's first successful pro, Pepe Lopes, in action at the 1976 Pipeline Masters (Alberto Sodre)

Paulo Vinicus Borges is a 45-year old surfer from Florianópolis who’s lived in Australia for fifteen years and he has a slightly different explanation for the current trajectory of Brazilian surfing.

“From the late 1980s until the mid 2000s, most of the crowd was formed by young kids, mostly below 20-years old - which was understandable as surfing was relatively new in Brazil,” explains Paulo.

“That is no longer the case - the kids are gone. I spent most of 2023 in Florianópolis, surfing at Praia Mole and Joaquina most days. When I stopped to think about [the makeup of the crowd], I was semi-shocked to notice that the majority of people in the lineup were above 30-years old.”

“Where were the troops of annoying 15-year-olds that would surf for hours non-stop and have infinite energy to paddle back and forth? Not to be seen.”

“There were the lone wolves here and there, but the packs were no longer present.”

Paulo emphasises that the observation wasn’t just his own, but was “shared by many of my older friends. If any unconscious bias existed in our view, it probably would go the other way: That is, old men would be complaining of too many over-entitled kids in the water.”

There’s a bit to unpack here, so let’s break it down into parts. The first is that, if Paulo’s observation is true, the “demographic bubble” noted around the turn of the century is evolving; it's moving along the timeline. The very same thing happened following surf booms in the USA and Australia. As surfing’s popularity retreated fewer younger surfers took it up, while those already surfing skewed the demography towards middle-age.

This alters the culture of the host nation. Feeling the first flush of physicality, young surfers crave to compete. They want to find the limits of capability and competition is the best way to do that, while also feeding their growing egos. It follows that a surf nation whose surf population tends towards the young and competitive should see results on the world’s competitive stage - as Australia did through the 1970s and 1980s, as Brazil has for the last decade. Despite having a long history of surfing, Brazil is still a young surf nation - or at least it was when our turn of the century traveller clocked his eyes on the lineups.

The USA and Australia are undoubtedly mature surf nations. Our surf cultures are multi-dimensional and have gone through many cycles. When Gabriel Medina recently took time off from the Championship Tour a commenter on Swellnet opined that Gabe was having a moment of self-realisation - that perhaps there was more to life than surfing heats - and he’d soon be seen riding a twin fin.

It may have been intended as a throwaway comment but here’s an element of sagacity in the statement. Brazil is reaching a point where it’s no longer a young surf nation; it crosses over to also become a mature surf nation, and with that comes many changes. For one, competition is no longer the collective project of Brazilian surfers. As they age, they’ll want to express themselves in other ways - perhaps by riding twin fins and alternative craft.

It’s worth noting then that São Paulo ripper Victor Bernardo is cutting edits for Album, riding boards shaped by Matt Parker, the apostle of lavish vintage style. Twins fins, wide point forward, full-railed, full gloss too, some shorter than normal, some longer than normal. Critics call this hind-ways experimentation 'historical baggage', the inference being that looking backwards weighs down a culture. Yet for surfers raised on a steady diet of 6’0” by three fins, it feels fresh as morning dew.

Which, as an aside, means that if you’re a surfboard shaper in Brazil, start working on a mid-length model pronto.

So perhaps a tipping point has been reached? Brazilian surf culture has officially reached middle-aged and they can’t just assume everlasting success. The USA went through it in the 1970s, Australia in the 1990s. Each country had to put systems in place to nurture young and talented surfers and provide them with pathways to the top.

Hawaii, in case you’re wondering, is considered neither young or old, but simply a surf nation. Surfing is deeply embedded in the culture, across generations and ages, making it impervious to the cycles of fashion or trends.

No longer just ripping their way to contest results, Brazilian surfers can express themselves in other ways. Victor Bernardo has become a fan of the high line glide (Banks Journal)

Another aspect of Paulo’s observation about fewer young kids surfing is to ask why that is so. In Brazil, as in other countries with rising affluence, the distractions are endless, much of them coming from online.

Answering his own question, Paulo says of the missing kids: “Perhaps they were focused on Minecraft or their smartphones, who knows?”

Being a father to three young kids myself, I despair at the creeping prevalence of screens. In my more righteous moments I wonder what’s happened to surfing that an arvo session runs second fiddle to Xbox.

Says Paulo, “I feel surfing is not seen as the ‘cool kid’ sport it once was in Brazil.”

With a ladder company sponsoring the WSL, Kai Lenny towing Mark-fucking-Zuckerberg on a foil, Woolworths with their fingers all over Aussie surfing, Gerry Lopez selling popouts in chain stores, and once-edgy clothes brands sitting on the racks of fishing shops, terminal uncoolness appears to be the case everywhere. We may tell ourselves we’re cool, but in 2024 surfers look like jocks and shills to most everyone else. At least it’s the same the world over.

The final aspect to consider from Paulo’s observation is that, if fewer kids are taking up surfing, and competition isn’t the collective will of all Brazil’s surfers, how does a nation stay successful on the world stage? As mentioned earlier, both the USA and Australia already went through this, with both countries replacing organic means to success with institutional structures. In the 1980s, the USA started the NSSA - the National Scholastic Surfing Association - which had near-immediate success, while in Australia boardriders clubs had always been hothouses of talent, yet when in the 1990s they weren’t enough to combat the resurgent Americans, a rebadged Surfing Australia brought surfing into the government fold.

Before taking in the Brazilian response, it’s worth noting that Pinga believes surfing in his country is going through “an incredible moment - a lot of kids are surfing”.

As has been explained, however, that doesn’t simply translate to success. “A lot needs to be reviewed,” says Pinga, “and a key change is essential for us to develop good surfers and athletes again. Also, we must keep hoping that some companies wake up and believe in something in this direction.”

If the support of surf companies bothers Pinga, the institutional support delights Julio Adler. “The Brazilian Surfing Confederation is doing an exceptional job with Flavio ‘Teco’ Padaratz as president,” explains Julio.

“We have a very strong national professional circuit, the return of the grassroots circuits, and a pile of money pouring in since we won the Olympic gold medal.”

That last sentence could describe the situation in the USA or here in Australia. Each nation had their organic success, their once-in-a-generation surfers who arrived on the beach fully formed, dragging their peers along for the ride. But ongoing success has proved elusive, as dawned upon the USA and Australia, and is dawning upon Brazil now. It'll only get harder as newer surf nations enter the fray and the number of competitive surfers increases.

Brazil can't count on another superstar like Gabriel Medina or Filipe Toledo, nor can they lean on second-gen talent, so they're building frameworks to develop successful surfers. Already they have the Brazilian Surfing Confederation, while Pinga is trying to recreate his past mentoring success, each hoping to put the next generation of Brazilian surfers onto the Championship Tour.

"We need to be careful in these next steps," says Pinga. "It’s a challenge, but this was once only a dream and we have achieved so much."

“If I were Australian or American, I'd be worried," laughs Julio Adler.



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Slackjawedyokel Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 4:01pm

Perhaps it’s because all the Brazilian surfers moved to the Gold Coast and birthed their surfing progeny as young Australians ?

Julio was right….we should’ve been worried.

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pvfloripa Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 5:06pm

As one of them, I agree: too many of us! One comment, however: a couple of times I have seen Spanish-speaking surfers in the water being referred to as "the Brazzos over there" in conversations. As everyone knows, Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Apparently, it can be confusing :)

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surf.rat Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 7:17am

@pvfloripa "As one of them, I agree: too many of us!"
Glad you said what many of us were thinking. Thanks for having the guts to say that.
(I would also make a similar statement that there are too many Aussies in some places like Indo)

The following tirade is NOT nationalistic, as I have no problem with any nationality as long as they play by the rules. Unfortunately the Brazillians on the Goldy have brought their OWN rules to the game.

What really gets me is their inability to even smile or say hello, yet still paddle straight up the inside and expect to get the best wave. No aloha at all.
The Duke would be turning in his grave to see such ignorance.

I see brazos every day at Dbah and not ONE of them has ever smiled or said hello. Not one of them has looked at a wave and NOT paddled over me to try and get it (even kooks who can barely paddle)
I get that Brazil has a macho culture but we don't have this in Australia so leave it at home before jumping on the plane and pack some aloha instead.
There also seems to be a giant lack of respect for older surfers who have more than paid their dues.
I guess that surfing is so young in Brazil that you don't have the "respect your elders" system yet?

As mentioned earlier, I don't have a problem with any Brazo, but I do have a problem with their "The world owes me" mentality. The world owes you what you give it. If all you do is take, then you deserve nothing.

Also a bit of humility wouldn't be a bad thing either. Whenever I have mentioned they have broken the rules, I usually get a push-back and very rarely if ever a "I'm sorry"

So to all the Brazo's out there, drop your Ego, and don't be shy, say hello, we don't bite! (unless provoked)

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simsurf Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 8:56am

There is a reason why some boats in Indo won't take Brazilians.

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Surfalot67 Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 9:19am

100% nailed it @surf.rat. The entitlement, even from barely standing up kooks is extraordinary. Having said that, some of the longer term Brazzo fellas in Cooly are legends and always down for a chat. I must ask them why they don't council their newbies....

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juegasiempre Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 9:24am

Brazzos are funny. I've never met a bad one on land, never met a good one in the water!

When they're in a pack, they're the worst although the euro kooks in Bali are giving them a run for that title.

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pvfloripa Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 9:47am

Thanks, @surf.rat. I am sorry your experience has been so bad. Also good to hear you don't bite unless provoked :) Brazilians are far from saints but I would respectfully disagree with some of your comments, as they seem overgeneralising. There is a nice quote (supposedly from British writer Jon Ronson): "Ever since I learned about confirmation bias I started seeing it everywhere". All the best!

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surf.rat Monday, 15 Apr 2024 at 4:28pm

@pvfloripa You are free to disagree with me, as it's of course overgeneralizing to say ALL Brazilians are like that. I know there are some chilled ones out there but they are a needle in a haystack. You seem like one of the good ones showing Aloha.
Please also don't feel like I am trying to single out Brazilians as the only ones breaking the rules of Aloha. Aussies do a fantastic job of that on the Gold coast as well unfortunately.
My opinions on Brazilians are based off hundreds of surfs on the Gold and Tweed Coast so please understand I am not judging from just a handful of interactions.
I just wish that they [and all others, including Aussies] would show some more respect [Aloha] out in the water.
Aloha means smile with love in your heart, be generous to your community, and be respectful to your elders. [and even more so when you are in another country]
I hope to share some waves and Aloha with you in the future. :)

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dingoslee Monday, 15 Apr 2024 at 9:56pm

Well said!

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seahound Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 4:06pm

Thanks Stu for the good read, great reporting. Insightful story with loads of angles and balance. As for the future of Brazil's surfing, it's a bit like what Gerry Adams said about the IRA in recent years "Well, they haven't gone away, you know..."

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jimbrown Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 4:45pm

As above, super read and thoughtful analysis Stu. Thanks heaps

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simsurf Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 4:47pm

Who out there would want their kid to try and grind for years to get into the top 32 or instead get a degree or a trade?

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BBrowny Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 5:30pm

I was that turn of the century traveller! Had a round the world ticket when those things still existed, planning to stay in Rio for a few weeks and ended up in the country for a year. Best not to stop and think but go with the flow in Brazil.
I could tell then that they'd blow up in surfing.

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southernraw Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 6:06pm

So we can expect a new wave of brazillians on mid lengths next? Awesome!!

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Standingleft Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 8:32pm

The chest beating claim wars
The combative heat strategies
Board stomping meltdowns
Judging towers stormed
o adeus Tempestade Brasileira
I'll miss you when you're gone

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Tooold2bakook Wednesday, 10 Apr 2024 at 8:44pm

I never thought as young people discovering old things - I mean shortboard-raised surfers trying twin fins etc- as innovative. But now that you mention it, it makes sense.

I guess from that point of view progression/innovation is contextual. So maybe surfing is progressing in Brazil, it's just not progressing in competitive surfing.

Also betting Medina and Italo blow up in margs and make the cut

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wavie Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 7:11am

looking like yago, italo and gab will make the cut if they win rnd of 16, if they dont win rnd of 16 they still have a decent chance depending on how others go. lets be real but gab aint getting cut and will be in top 5 at the end of the year, that being said gab is up against jack robo 1st heat. does the WSL run in shitter conditions so gab has a better chance of beating robbo first up ? haha

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Franck Zak Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 8:02am

Maybe it's a far more simple explanation: there's sweet FA money in pro surfing these days. We've all seen the horrendous cuts in sponno dollars to big-name legacy brand surfers recently. It just makes no financial sense whatsoever to follow a career in pro surfing if you're a youngster.

We all hear about how surfing brought chances for kids in Brazil to climb out of poverty, which is great. Those days are done. Lucky to get a tracksuit with your wetsuit these days if you shred - for all surfers of all nationalities.

The ROI in promoting young kids ain't there for any surf nation, so you'll see few fewer kids wanting to take that route I reckon.

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juegasiempre Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 9:19am

"Where were the troops of annoying 15-year-olds that would surf for hours non-stop and have infinite energy to paddle back and forth? Not to be seen.”

Twas pumping this morning and will be all day here, perfect opportunity to ditch school and get spat out of barrels all day. Maybe 40 odd out before school time but NO school kids around, maybe some late teens but mainly old dudes. Is surfing the new rollerblading? Shit, even skating seems to be replaced by fucking scooters!

Anyone with teens that are ho-hum about surfing want to share why they're not into it like us oldies? It can't be the lack of money because people would dedicate their life to it before there was a cent to be made.

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Franck Zak Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 10:00am

Instagram started in 2010, Snapchat, Tik Tok, FB, and all those variations yada yada have been a staple in kids' lives. A 13 y.o today would've grown up with all those SNS and modern parenting just chucks a screen at the kids and tells 'em to have at it. I reckon young teens of today are too invested in their screens to want to get off their sofa and into a wetsuit. "Wake up early? No thanks. Sand in my bum? Ewwwwww"

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gm14 Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 9:47am

if joao chianca wasn't out and sammy pupes was getting results in line with his ability / reputation for free surfs around the comp i don't think this article would exist in this form and we might be asking who'll be the next to join them in the top 5-10 while the older guard of gabby italo were still lingering. they've had a quiet year or three coming off the QS but at the same time, the aussies and seppos were definitely due to bounce back.

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memlasurf Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 3:22pm

Speaking of the seppos they are cleaning up at the moment and if they can keep it up the world champ could come from the US.

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Halda Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 7:44pm

Some good points here - the money has gone, from the whole industry. Industry fell on its sword 20 years ago ”the big sell out”. No money to pay for surf programs, coaching etc, no talent to follow.
The screen/distraction thing is real, everyone sees it, I'm yet to see any hard stats, but objectively, you think about it, all these kids spending 3-4hrs per day on their phone, less time practicing.
Speaking to a friend in Brazil in property, coastal markets have gone through multiple boom cycles, pricing out lower middle class along coastal strips - talent needs tension, and unfortunately, privileged kids, (cue broad sweeping generalization) are much to comfortable to acquire rare and specialised skill sets.

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frog Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 at 8:47pm

Add wave quality into the equation. Brazil seems like a land of funky beachbreaks.

With more distractions for kids in the modern era and where endless vids of perfect waves can be seen online, chunky shorebreaks and semi closeouts might seem a bit lame.

Back to the xbox or putting up a ripped macho insta piccie for validation might be preferred rather than trying an air in the shitty shorebreak?

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sacash Saturday, 13 Apr 2024 at 7:26pm

Next generation look like Gringos

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MESR Sunday, 14 Apr 2024 at 12:07pm

I live in Currumbin Valley. I pay a shit ton of tax every year, and I’m ok with that , because it’s for the betterment of our country and the services for our people. I take my kids to the Currumbin valley park as the high slide is awesome, we ride our skateboards along the footpath, clean and well maintained, Tugun to Kirra, it’s safe. All from our tax dollars! Two weeks ago, surfed dbah and peaks were glassy and rippable. 5 brazos sitting on the middle peak dropping in on everyone. Were they royalty back home ? Up and coming Sponsored? Dont give a fuck. Paddling back out one guy came 1 cm from taking my head off with mistimed slash. Saw a hospital visit flash before my eyes. Told him to watch the fuck what he was doing and he told me to “fuck off”. Popped a fuse and paddled after him and told him to calm the fuck down and have some respect for the locals . He probably pays no tax here and his rich parents back home probably don’t pay any tax to corruption rife x bolsanaro Brasil either. I’ve travelled the world and love the good people of all nations and welcome them here. But hay, there is a limit to their brashness and cultural differences that many of us can tolerate, when they think they have the right to every wave in an already crowded and tense surfing environment where locals have to fight and get aggressive to score any waves. So , do we just sit there and take it in the bum and not try to educate on our culture and ways of living and rules of surfing.

As for the top guys . I love Medina . Good kid and one of the best of all time. we all have the right to believe in what we want in our private space and self . But if I hear another brazo hold up a WSL trophy thanking Jesus for choosing him over everyone else , I risk breaking another IPhone!!

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Nik Zanella Sunday, 14 Apr 2024 at 1:55pm

Great insight as usual. Just a note, If you had the chance to surf with Israel surfers then you know brazzos are a polite breed..

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stunet Sunday, 14 Apr 2024 at 6:00pm

The Italians are proper gentleman, eh Nik?

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Nik Zanella's picture
Nik Zanella Sunday, 14 Apr 2024 at 6:32pm

Hehe.. they are so gentlemen I migrated to China.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 14 Apr 2024 at 6:38pm

Ha ha

Nik Zanella's picture
Nik Zanella's picture
Nik Zanella Sunday, 14 Apr 2024 at 6:43pm

Oddly enough in Italian lineups your enemy comes from the next town up or down the coast, never from abroad. Also because it is very rare for international surfers to chose an enclosed sea for a surf trip.

booman's picture
booman's picture
booman Sunday, 14 Apr 2024 at 9:52pm

They still rip and they are still inspiring. Hopefully next year as a fan of WSL, it goes back to how it used to be, because that was cool. Appreciate the WSL bringing us entertainment!

My view is Medina got scored incorrectly. Transparency from judges with detailed explanations are very important.

Many Brazilians are inspiring, very motivated, fun and positive IMO.

I love seeing the ability to reach success from poverty also in board sports in Brazil.