Brazilian surfers have a tough time earning respect outside their home country. Though they’ve been a force on the world stage for decades now, no Brazilian male has captured the hearts and minds of surfers outside of South America. We know this because none has come remotely close to cracking any of the major peer polls in either the U.S. or Australia. And to this day, most surfers have a tough time picturing that ever happening.
Yet, believe it or not, the surfing community used to feel the same way about Floridians. Truth is, back in the early 80s you would’ve been laughed out the room has you suggested for even a second that Floridians were going to be dominating the world stage someday.
The gritty reality is guys like Heitor Alves and Adriano de Souza are much better surfers than we give them credit for. While it’s easy to nit-pick at their flaws, or curse them when they beat our glossy cover boys, when you look closely at where they’re putting their boards and how hard their gouging you simply can’t deny their talent. But if you’re still not convinced I have another Brazilian for you to consider…his name is Jadson Andre, and I suggest you get familiar with that name quickly.
Andre has been dominating the WQS this year, and is a virtual shoe-in on the ASP World Tour next year assuming there still is one. Take one look at his surfing and I think you’ll agree this guy’s going to make an impact. I’ll be keeping a close eye on him in Hawaii, because if he can handle the big stuff I think he’ll be the first Brazilian surfer to actually crack those peer polls.
We’ll get a closer look at Andre next week as he heads to Bali for the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge, a gathering of the world’s best junior talent competing for a $20,000 first prize. He’ll be facing some stiff competition, for sure, versus the same guys he’ll apparently be battling with for years…but only if they can match his WQS success.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.