Is Brazil One Of The Most Beautiful And Misunderstood Surfing Nations?
No Contest hits the streets (and sandbars) of Saquarema, tours Rio's iconic favelas, and gets a Brazilian BBQ sizzlin'!
Brazil is probably the most misunderstood and stereotyped country in the surfing world, and amongst the world's best, it's the most oft-skipped stop on the World Tour.
But what love is lacked from a few, overflows in the surfers who get absolutely psyched for Saquarema, the wild, full-throated crowd's roar, the lime-tart caipirinhas, and the local population's unrivaled physical beauty—bronzed, fit, wearing very little, etc.
And all absolutely in love with surf. Brazil is the largest modern country in which surfing has gone mainstream. There are more Brazilian surf fans, either living in Brazil or residing in every surf town globally, than any other country.
Professional surfers experience more fame here than they do anywhere in the world; they get treated like kings and queens, people scream their name and love them.
On this episode of No Contest, the boys take Brazil head-on. We took a chopper ride over Rio de Janeiro—one of the largest coastal cities in the world, with almost 7-million residents and over a million tourists arriving each year to visit what is widely considered one of the top-10 most beautiful cities in the world.
With local slab hunter Daniel Rangel as a guide, we'll see Rocinha, the largest favela in the Southern Hemisphere, which shares a beach with Rio's wealthiest individuals, who live just on the other side of the freeway. We'll also get a look at an everyday pack of hungry locals, feasting on a Saquarema sandbar just up the beach from the Oi Rio Pro.
We'll also meet Gui Mansur, second generation heir to the Fu Wax dynasty. For the last 45 years, his family's hands have been responsible for perhaps the most universally adored and coveted surf wax in the world, Stab's 2018 Wax Test winner, which broke into the mainstream in 2011 when Kelly Slater, using only Fu Wax, stuck a traction-less full rotation into the stiff New York breeze, to beat Taj Burrow in the semifinals of the Quik Pro.
Kelly Slater slipped into this Barrinha session on the downlow, while the WSL was still apparently blinded by the Itauna backwash. He returned calling the wave "Off The Wall-like," and we can assure you he's not being hyperbolic.
The evening before this session, Joao Chianca, aka Chumbinho, got what he admitted was the best wave he'd ever caught at his local haunt, Barrinha. The evening after this session, we ran into him again and he looked rattled, sunburned and glassy-eyed. "I think I got an even better one today! He said."
Closing out this episode, the boys score two mind-bendingly good sessions at Saquarema's beloved Barrinha, before meeting up with Yago and Leandro Dora, as well as Daniel Cortez, Matteus Herdy, Joao and his brother Lucas, for a proper Brazilian barbecue: a never-ending tray of sliced picanha, Portuguese-style sausages called linguiças, and all washed down with good red wine, cold beers, and, well, sure we'll have another caipirinha...
Brazil is incredible, and anyone who thinks otherwise, well, they've probably never stepped foot here—and how unfortunate for them.
Maybe this will start to change their mind. This is No Contest Brazil.