Stab Magazine | Gabriel Medina Is Your 2018 World Champion

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Gabriel Medina Is Your 2018 World Champion

In pumping Pipeline conditions, Medina earned his second World Title over Australia’s Julian Wilson. 

news // Dec 18, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gabriel Medina is the 2018 WSL World Champion.

After a passive start to the season, with upsets from wildcard Mikey Wright and rookie Wade Carmichael, Medina managed to regain lost ground in the latter CT stops. With back to back wins in Tahiti and Lemoore, followed by a semi in France, Gabriel earned himself the yellow jersey for Portugal, where he achieved a semifinal finish yet again.

By Pipeline, Gabriel had a notable lead over his competitors Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo. Numbers-wise, both Julian and Filipe needed Medina to finish worse than 3rd to have a chance at stealing his Title. Of course, Gabby found a way to come out on top.

medina g0242PIPE18cestari mm

Medina is a superstar in Brazil.

Despite his perception as a win-at-all costs competitor, Stab believes it’s not actually the “winning” part that entices Medina, but instead the thrill of the chase, or more specifically, the advent of a worthy opponent. Not until Medina encounters a true adversary will he enter his Terminator mode, which is one of the most incredible things to watch in professional surfing.

“His frustration from starting slow seems to kick him into a gear. His surfing becomes so fiery in heats that he’s basically unstoppable. He’ll start making airs and barrels that you never thought he could. Even in free surfs at this time of the year he is a whole new beast which is so impressive to watch!” said Gabby’s long-time teammate and friend Matt Wilkinson.

And we saw those exact surfing feats at this year’s Pipe Masters, where Gabby stamped himself as the favorite from day one. 

Medina DX23488 Pipe18 Sloane2

“History doesn’t lie, he is a freak in all kinds of waves,” said WSL super-coach Jake Paterson.

Again, Medina proved this by making the final series at Teahupo’o, Lemoore, both Europe comps and Pipeline.

“I have my own goal, it’s to be three times World Champion, so if I win my second title this year it would really help me a lot with my dream,” Medina said in a recent interview.

Gabriel is now two-thirds of the way to his ultimate goal. With John Florence – who also has two World Titles – likely returning for the 2019 season, plus other notable competitors in Julian Wilson, Filipe Toledo, Jordy Smith and Italo Ferreira nipping at their heels, Medina will have his work cut out for him to win that third crown. 

But he’s more than game. 

Stab wishes a sincere congratulations to Medina for his remarkable season, and also to Wilson and Toledo who put up a worthy fight against the Brazilian 2x World Champ. 

Here’s a quick look at the wins and finishes that made Gabby our 2018 champion. 

His win at Chopes over Owen Wright: 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nBcYSWSPClw

The Surf Ranch Pro 1st place finish (including this Kerrupt Flip for a near-perfect score): 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ySC5d-SZNO8

Gabriel’s semi-final loss to his title contender, Julian Wilson (with a perfect ten) in France: 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/U4D7toB2IsU

Gabby and Italo’s airshow in Portugal – the event and semifinal finish that gave Gabs the yellow jersey: 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nrf2B3gyt_0

Then, in the Quarters today, Gabs was not going to let Conner Coffin shutdown his Title. Conner put up a couple decent scores early and Gabriel answered with this 10: 

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