Watch: The Best Rookie Performance At Pipe In 2022 - Stab Mag
Joao, happy.

Watch: The Best Rookie Performance At Pipe In 2022

“Even not winning, it feels really good to prove myself.” — Joao Chianca

elsewhere // Feb 11, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Imagine drawing JJF at Pipeline for your first event on the CT.  And not just any ol’ day at Pipeline, but on a proper run of swell that had Ross Williams and Shane Dorian foaming at the mouth. 

Most would have crumbled on such a day, and many have. But Joao Chianca is not most people. While the young Brazilian’s performance throughout the event — most notably his round of 16 slugfest with John John — was a delightful spark of new energy, it wasn’t entirely a surprise for those who know “Chumbinho.” Big performances in waves of consequence run deep in the bloodline. 

You may recall from a previous episode of The Pick-Up that Joao was a standout during the 2019-2020 North Shore winter, and bagged “the dream of Off The Wall” roll-ins, according to Nathan Florence. Joao rode a 6’0 on that behemoth, so it makes sense he’d be even more comfortable with four more inches of foam beneath his feet. 

Evidently, Britt Merrick thought so too. In the video above, Britt and Joao go back and forth on Joao’s Happy Traveler, the Channel Islands stepup that Britt designed as am essential step-up when the waves get cooking. Joao proved to be more than willing to do some R&D, whipping the thing time and again into those deep, dark pits.

As any handyman will tell you, if you have the right tool for the job, the job gets a lot easier. But it’s one thing to have a good blade — it’s another to trust it completely. Not only did Joao look comfortable on the Happy Traveler, he looked aggressive, taking down Jack Robbo, earning one of the highest single-wave scores of the event and so far is an easy leader for ROTY (even if the official standings disagree).

And while that dynamic under-the-lip stall didn’t earn Joao a score, it sure got our attention. 


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