This is What Your 2019 World Champ Surfed Like Three Years Ago
The airs were always there, but oh how Italo’s mid-face surfing has progressed.
Progression, you love to see it.
But in the case of our 2019 World Champion, Italo Ferreira, it was actually reverse progression (or “rev prog”, as the cool Aussies call it) that enabled his maiden Title.
The Brazilian has always had airs, tail flicks, and shuv-its on lock. For some mysterious reason, he was also naturally gifted in large, reefy tubes, despite never having surfed such waves before joining the World Tour.
As important as those skills are in this modern competitive era, nobody has won a World Title without a polished, or at least serviceable, turn game. And in 2016, Italos carving skills were comparable to a six-year-old’s jack-o-lantern (see above).
Italo recognized this gap in his skillset and worked vigorously to improve it, training his legs hard in the gym and putting in more time at carve-centric venues.
In 2019, a quarter at maxing Bells (that would have been at least a semi, were it not for his ludicrous interference against Jordy), a quarter at solid Margs, and a second at roping J-Bay.
Oh, and the World Title.
Now, is Italo fortunate that most of the “turn” venues on Tour happen to be right-handers?
Due to his body’s composition (specifically the squared setting of his knees and hips), backhand snaps are much easier for Italo than frontside carves—a fact that facilitated his triumph on our most recent Tour.
But tell me, what success story doesn’t involve a hint of good fortune?
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