It only took till about halfway through round two at a firing Snapper Rocks for 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour to have its first perfect 10 of the season. In round two against rookie Leonardo Fioravanti, Brazilian surfer Italo Ferreira threw up a prayer of a backside air and somehow came out riding away.
As you can see in the video, Ferreira’s backfoot even comes completely unstuck and loses his board nearly halfway through his rotation. He gets lost in the whitewater for a bit, but eventually emerges on his feet and rides away clean.
The one-maneuver wave was awarded a 10 by the judges. This caused a little bit of concern amongst other competitors, as some felt it was a 10 at a beach break but not at the long pointbreak of Snapper Rocks -- especially on a day where barrels and long waves were on offer.
Ferreira himself had this to say about the 10 in a WSL press release: “That 10 is probably the best wave of my life and definitely helps my confidence. It’s fun to mix it up and try new things in heats and it's awesome when that leads to a perfect 10 in a CT heat.”
The air also brings to debate the degrees of rotation, which has long been a point of contention between surfers. Some feel it was a 540 with a full rotation, while others call it a 360. The WSL themselves called it “nearly 540 degrees of rotation,” so there’s also that to consider.
Whatever your feelings on that, it’s in the books as the first 10 of the 2017 CT season -- and hopefully more are to come.