Filipe Toledo won the event in a canter, the 21-year-old Brazilian in another league in beach break conditions that oscillated between some of the best barrels we’ve seen all year, a whole lot more closeouts, and some classically rampy and rippable stuff for the finals.
He destroyed giant killer Ricardo Christie in the quarters with a corked, turbo-speed air rev, did the same against Brazilian rookie and small wave specialist Italo Ferreira in the semis, and left the best for last–a perfect ten for an impeccably timed projection off a heaving lip into a fully rotated air reverse in the flats.
The Brazilian storm wreaked havoc on the World Tour, ripping off roofs, shattering windows and reducing thought to a whir of deafening whistles and screeching.
The son of a Brazilian National Surf Champ, he grew up with the Padaratz brothers (Brazilian surf heroes from the nineties) cutting sick in his kitchen, and was raised on a steady diet of heavy metal, his father’s froth, and wedgey beach breaks, was untouchable in Rio. He is a freak.
His board creased as he landed, but it wasn’t enough to stop him tagging it a few more times with lightning foam climbs and a re-entry. As the tour heads for the cylindrical blue water perfection of the Pacific, Toledo now sits in second place behind fellow countryman Adriano De Souza.
When the World Tour went to metropolitan beaches in the 1980s under the “bums on seats” strategy–designed to lure thousands to surfing contests–they could only have dreamed of the spectacle that unfolded in Rio this past week.
John John Florence, meanwhile, also provided a fresh breath of freak power in the tricky conditions, locking in one of the event’s highest heat totals, an 18. 77 against Adam Melling, with a rodeo flip on his first wave followed by dirty brown drainer for a 9. 77.
Read more here: The Inertia