Stab Magazine | Stab's Biased Picks For The Oi Rio Pro!
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Stab’s Biased Picks For The Oi Rio Pro!

Despite less than ideal press of late, the Rio event can be quite amazing. Here’s some performances to look forward to:

news // Jun 7, 2016
Words by Damien Fahrenfort
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ah, Brazil. Shit waves in poop water. But, I’d rather watch Rio than Margs. It’s high performance and unpredictable. Last year we saw surfing by Filipe better than any freesurf clip that had dropped all year. I suspect we can expect big surprises – even bigger surprises than Wilko winning the first two events. Also, you can bet the surfers will be trying extra hard since they’re more than likely contracting the Zika virus and are scared of getting caught in gunshot crossfire out front of their hotel. Better make that trip to Brazil worth it. Regardless, I’m excited to watch the contest and after that Keramas feed by the Mad Hueys, the world tour webcast and Joe’s voice will seem like a gift from God. With Kelly, Mick, Taj and Joel out this might be the youngest median age in World Tour history.

Gabs Rio 2015 cestari

Expect plenty of twists from Gabs at Grumari.

Photography

WSL/Kelly Cestari

Gabriel Medina

God Bless this arrogant prick. He’s still the best all-round surfer on tour and way overdue for a win, especially in his own country. Gabs is yet to win in Brazil but I think this year could be his year. He’s got the title and all the fame he could possibly have. The only thing he needs is an Oi Rio Pro title and I’m sure he knows that this might be the event’s final year, so he (along with Charlie) will be applying some extra pressure on himself.

John Rio 2015 Cestari

John’s never been so fiercely competitive as he currently is. But, will he play a safer game, or indulge in the unpredictable ramps that Brazilian sand so often serves?

Photography

WSL/Kelly Cestari

John John Florence

He’s won in Brazil before and if I watch him lose to Caio one more time I’m going to break my computer screen. John strives in unpredictable surf. He is a wizard at finding diamonds in the rough and his short game is good. One big move suits JJF just perfectly. It’s no secret that John wants a title more than anyone and because of the unpredictability of this year, he might still have a chance to win the 2016 tour. He got to Brazil early and knows this is his chance to turn his year around.

Filipe Rio 2015 Cestari

Filipe’s first surf back after two months of injury recovery was only a few days ago. Stab was told he was firing, but will he be 100 percent for first siren?

Photography

WSL/Kelly Cestari

Filipe Toledo

While I don’t think he will win this event, I think he’ll get a good result. Filipe was a crowd fav and had he not injured himself on the Gold Coast, I expect this year’s rankings would be quite different. He’s the obvious favourite and if the surf is anywhere below four feet, it’ll be nearly impossible for him to lose. Filipe just announced he’s going to be a father and if he doesn’t want to become part of the ‘Dads Club’ with Joel, Bede and the gang he better put on an electrifying performance.

Italo Rio 2015 Smorigo

Fun fact: One particular Stab staffer ordered Italo’s WSL Jersey (2XL) whilst inebriated and it now hangs on a mirror at Stab HQ.

Photography

WSL/Daniel Smorigo

Italo Ferreira

Because he’s just so good in every condition. Brazilians do well in Brazil. Italo is one of the best surfers in the world, although he doesn’t get credit for it. He’s just so confident, I believe he thinks he can be a world champ, which is what it takes to be a great competitor. He’s also got the skills to back it up. Italo has a unique ability to combine moves that don’t make sense, like coming out for the barrel straight into a big straight air. Italo makes things happen for himself and you’ll seldom see him lose because he didn’t ‘find the waves’.

Jordy Rio 2015 Smorigo

Dooma can’t help himself. But, Jordy has won here before…

Photography

WSL/Daniel Smorigo

Jordy Smith

Because why the fuck not… He’s my bru and he’s won in Brazil before. I had a surf with him last week at terrible Lower Trestles and he did some of the best surfing I’ve ever seen him do. His boards are on point and his surfing might be the most all-rounded it’s ever been. Jordy is excited to compete and so long as he gives himself chances he will be the man to beat.

Freestone Rio Picks 2015Cestari

Jack, back on the Gold Coast before he tore his MCL and became an “advanced intermediate bodyboarder.”

Photography

WSL/Kelly Cestari

Best rookie result: Jack Freestone

Jack’s boards don’t allow him to compete with the best surfers in the world, despite being one of the world’s best surfers. I think his boards are too small and they don’t produce enough spray. The length looks good, but they might be too narrow or thin. His carves look weak despite his technique being great. Jack could do some serious damage in Brazil and I hope he does because, if he doesn’t, the rest of the year might be a struggle for him. Confidence will make all the difference to Jack’s year.

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