ADS channeling his master at the backdoor. (Photo: Wsl)
Adriano De Souza: In Good Company
Words by Ali Klinkenberg
Adriano de Souza grew up surfing gutless beachbreaks in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The swinging, rapid peaks of the North Shore, naturally, were completely alien to him when he first competed in Hawaii. So what did the title hungry ADS do? He walked up to the door of perhaps the greatest Pipe surfer in history, Jamie O'Brien, knocked and said, "I want to surf pipeline. If you say no to me then I'm going to sleep outside your door."
Jamie invited him in, and for the last five years Adriano has spent his winters improving his Pipe act. "I realised four or five years ago what it took to be a champion out at Pipe, and I got to work," ADS told Rosy Hodge after his heat yesterday. "I don't have a big sponsor like Billabong or Quiksilver, with a house out front. When you stay at Pipe it makes such a difference, you're watching the waves all the time."
"Adriano's been staying with me and we've been surfing together a lot." Jamie told Stab a few days. "There's definitely a big support crew here behind him." To add to the intrigue of this awesome power couple, notorious Pipe enforcer Jason Frederico is ADS' roommate at Jamie's place. A powerful pit crew indeed. Jamie O is facing up against Mick Fanning in round three of the Pipe Masters, and has the potential of becoming the best landlord in the history of North Shore real estate. With Filipe Toledo's hesitance in the juice; the kink in his otherwise electric act, it'll be interesting to see if he'll learn from Adriano's dedication and take steps to iron out his creases. One thing's for sure, if things fall into place for Adriano and he ends up taking the crown, no one can dispute that he's a worthy champion.