Weight: 140 lbs.
Home: Copacabana, New South Wales, Australia
Sponsors: Fox, Etnies, Spy, LSD surfboards, Gorilla Grip, FCS
When you hear the name “Samba Mann,” you immediately think “Latin America,” don’t you? Well, Samba Mann is an Aussie, and he’s as hard as Aussies come. He has a mop on his head reminiscent of style-king Rob Machado’s. His nickname is Sheep, and when you see his mug, you’ll know why. Samba comes from the reef-break region of the central coast, his mate is Adrian “Ace” Buchan, and his face is pretty popular among Australia’s top juniors. Samba first popped onto the scene a few years back when his surfing prowess was shown off by Quiksilver’s big hit-vid Enjoy The Ride. Since then, things have changed. Samba rides for Fox Racing now, and his dedication to reaching the heights of professional surfing has soared. He took out the Brothers Nielsen Pro Junior in 2000, and won the Billabong ASP junior title that same year. The WQS has been his home over the past two seasons, and like many other Aussie juniors, Samba is finding his feet on the bumpy road of professional surfing. In 2002 he reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open at Huntington, eventually getting knocked out by then-reigning World Champ C.J. Hobgood. The WCT will come soon to the young, blond-headed Copacabana local. His patience will reward him, and the talent and desire he has shown through his junior years will shine through. Make sure you check out Samba Mann.—Tom Herschell