A Pinch Of Griff, A Dash Of Morais, And A Wallop Of Pastel De Nata - Stab Mag
Pastel de Nata is Portugal's most iconic sweet treat. Here's Joao with a slice of his own at home. Frame: Havivisuals

A Pinch Of Griff, A Dash Of Morais, And A Wallop Of Pastel De Nata

Here’s 10 minutes with one of Portugal’s brightest young talents.

elsewhere // Jun 28, 2023
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: < 1 minutes
Video: Billabong x Havivisuals

I don’t know who Joao Mendonça is.

I was sent his clip on our Stab Slack channel and was asked to write about it. So I did some snooping.

Joao is from Arrifana, Portugal, he’s 18, he’s steadily making his way up the WSL QS rankings (currently ranked 56th), he rides for Billabong, and he does big carves on big boards.

This edit is his big break — his coming-of-age ceremony — if you will.

I don’t know if the Bong sticker was tricking my subconscious, but the kid appears to have inchoate elements of Griffin Colapinto in his whippy, bendy backside bashes (1:43) and elements of Jai Glindeman in his smooth-yet-powerful forehand carves (7:30).

Joao also makes the pilgrimage to Hawaii for some boot camp training at Pipe/Backdoor. He even takes a big, old, yellow mamba jamba out to Waimea for his first proper big-wave battle.

My wager is that we’ll be seeing more of Joao soon. He’s got the right stuff.


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