Another Brazilian World Title? Jake Paterson ponders!
Three events into the 2015 WSL World Tour and Adriano De Souza has been in a semi and two finals, the second of which he won. And that’s right on the heels of Brazil’s first world champ in Gabriel Medina. There’s no longer a rising Brazilian threat on tour – they’re here, and they’re a legitimate surf […]
Three events into the 2015 WSL World Tour and Adriano De Souza has been in a semi and two finals, the second of which he won. And that’s right on the heels of Brazil’s first world champ in Gabriel Medina. There’s no longer a rising Brazilian threat on tour – they’re here, and they’re a legitimate surf nation same as Australia, the US and Hawaii. It’s never been more ripe for Brazilian surfing’s animal spirit, Adriano de Souza, to claim his crown! “Adriano’s a top bloke, he throws his heart into everything, and trains so hard,” said Mick Fanning of his runner up at Bells. “He’s the elder statesman for the Brazilian Storm, and he does an impeccable job of leading those guys around.”
Stab sought further view on this from one of the world tour’s greatest observers, and a former Pipe Master, Jake ‘Snake’ Paterson. Snake has strong opinions about professional surfing, having been so heavily involved in it for so long (first as competitor, now as coach and passionate fan). We wanted to know if he thinks Adriano can tighten his grip around the current lead he’s holding, or if he’ll watch it slip through his fingers like he’s had to endure before…
Stab: Will Adriano win the world title this year?
Jake Paterson: Way too early to tell! Yes, he’s had a great start, but it’s a long year and remember, John John had a first, second and third on the tour last year and wasn’t even in the running going into Pipe!
How has he done it? He certainly hasn’t been flashy this year. Adriano is at every event to do a job, not make friends or have cups of tea or party! In those tight heats he finds a way to win. He studies what the judges are looking for and goes out there and does it. It changes from event to event and he adapts really well. He is flashy when he has to be, and super calculated.
First stop of the year, semifinals. No carrying on from this man about lack of swell – he just went and got shit done. Photo: Tom Carey
What makes him so consistent? Pure and simple hard work. Adriano knows his weaknesses and works his ass off so he isn’t weak in that area. He also doesn’t make simple mistakes in heats. One mistake can cost you a heat, an event, a world title! He just doesn’t make them. He’s like Rocky Balboa, “like a piece of Iron”… very hard to break.
In upcoming events this year, where’s he strongest? Where is he weakest? I can’t pick a weakness. I’d like to say Tahiti, but he’s worked his ass off to become an amazing backhand tuberider. He’s done well in Brazil before, J-Bay before, Trestles before, France before, Portugal before and even Pipe, so no weakness that I can see. Maybe Fiji, if I was forced to pick one weakness.
Who’ll beat him? Where do you want to start? Mick, John John, Kelly, Jordy, Julian, Parko, Gabriel, Filipe, Taj, Owen… all these guys are capable of going on a winning spree. Adriano will have a big old target on his back from now on in. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.
No good at The Box? Go work at it. Adriano admitted in post-heat interviews how inexperienced he was at the place – but where d’you suppose we found him on lay days? Photo: WSL
What’s the likelihood of another Brazilian world champ this year? Pretty damn good. Don’t forget, Filipe has a first and a fifth, and is in incredible form going into the Brazil CT. Gabriel could get on a run as well.
What does Adriano do that gets in everyone else’s head? He’s just a pest at the start of the heat, he’ll never give up the inside, he sits super close to his competitor and gets in their personal space, and makes them feel uncomfortable. No one likes it.
Who’s surfed best on tour this year? Mick at Bells was the sharpest anyone has looked all year. Filipe at Snapper was just Freakish! John John and Julian have been very entertaining.
“Filipe at Snapper was just Freakish!” says Snake. Ain’t that just the truth? Photo: Tom Carey
How will Gabriel finish? If you ask all the guys that have won a world title in the past 10 years, they’ll say the next year after winning their first world title was the hardest to back it up again. Gabriel will be top five for sure, I think.
What’s the percentage chance of a Brazilian world champ this year? Sixty percent chance of a Brazilian world champ, I’d say.
What does the Brazilian Storm mean to Snake? I love it! They bring a whole new passion to the sport. Well, when I say new, I should say old: Back in the Rabbit, Pottz, Gerr, Dooma Hardman days it was dog eat dog. Everyone on tour these days are way too chummy… I want to see some hatred and pure fire back in the sport.
Railwork on the Margies express. Win number one for Ads in 2015. Probs not the last tho. Photo: WSL
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