Mick Fanning Looks Good In A Brazilian Bikini, And The Brothers Chumbo Are The Country's Next Big Things
No Contest Unplugged Brazil Edition!
If you still happen to keep track of the Things That Should Have Been during this extended pause we're all waiting out, you migh recall that the Brazilian leg of the World Tour should should have just wrapped.
Did you miss it? Did last year's historic finals day, and the freesurf drama during the event, not win you over for the Most Dominant Nation in surfing?
We'll tell you who did miss it: No Contest Unplugged co-hosts Mick Fanning and Ashton Goggans, who hopped on the line with Saquarema's darling brother duo—Lucas and Joao Chianca, aka The Chumbo Brothers—who have been making names for themselves over the last few years. Lucas is a dominant force on the Big Wave Tour and at every heavy left in the world, while Joao, at just 17, won his first QS in Chile last year, bagged a few scroll-stopping bombs while the tour was in town, inked a deal with Volcom, and proceeded to establish himself thoroughly and respectfully in the Pipe lineup his first year staying in the Volcom House dungeon, then capped the season off with a second-place finish at the Volcom Pipe Pro.
In this episode, we get Mick's take on the Brazilian culture, having come to Saquarema for the first time in the early-2000s, and for the last time in 2017 on his farewell tour. We also get the story of his fabled Florianopolis celebration for his 2007 World Title win, which involves, of course, pro surfers and Brazilian bikinis, though not in the way you might hope.
Mick enjoying his 2007 World Title win in Florianopolis.
As Mick notes, Brazil gets a bad wrap for conditions, but while it might not be a perfect right point or left slab pit, "that's what it takes to be a World Champion"—shining in all conditions.
Once you land in Rio, it’s anywhere from a two- to five-hour drive north through Rio De Janeiro state and Saquarema.
Lodging is normally ultra-affordable when the contest isn’t in town. You can find a waterfront spot with great food and very strong cocktails for anywhere from $40-$100 USD.
Saquarema’s sandbars are notoriously shifty and ridiculously tide-dependant. Hence the reputation for some of the most treacherous backwash on tour.
But the south end of the beach, a spot called Barrinha, has surprised the surfing world twice now, delivering world-class sandbank pits that made a mockery of last year’s Gold Coast event.
This is where we first saw one of our guests, Joao Chumbo, getting blown out of six- to eight-foot pits while the ‘CT ran in challenging conditions just a half-mile down the beach.
Joao Chianca aka Chumbinho during last year's world class freesurfs at Barrinhia.
When you’re talking about surf seasons in Brazil, you have to break it down into three separate coasts: North, East, and South.
The Northeast and north-facing coasts take North Atlantic swells from storms between September and March; The eastern coast, where most surfers live, runs from Rio state to Sao Paulo state, and still gets swell during the winter, but it comes with onshore winds; the rest of the year is less consistent and smaller. You’ll find the most consistent quality waves in the south, from Sao Paulo all the way to the Uraguay border, where the coast is exposed to Antarctic swells from the south and enjoys consistent morning offshores during high season.
Saquarema 2019 crowds.
On the next episode of No Contest Unplugged, we’ll be talking Jeffrey's Bay with its current World Tour overlord, Jordy Smith. Jordy’s been holed up along with some of South Africa’s best and brightest during what’s been an all-time winter for waves. We’ll also hear about his new family business, Smith Shapes, and building the brand with his pops, Graham Smith.