Let’s get this straight – Brazil isn’t as bad as we all make it out to be. Yes, it’s not ideal that J-Bay is not on tour while Rio is, but apart from that, Brazil isn’t really that kak.
Firstly, after two pretty closely run contests there has been a month-long gap in the Dream Tour, meaning surf fans are frothing to watch the world’s best show us exactly why they are the world’s best. Whether that happens in Rio, so be it, but let them show us what they’ve got – after all, we should all be able to relate a bit better when the waves they’re surfing are similar to the waves many of us spend a large amount of our sessions in.
See, not so bad:
While watching heats in average waves can be a bit of a drag (especially when run from different time zones), thankfully the organisers supply daily video highlights and heat reviews on-demand, so you can just skip through the lulls and watch your favourite surfer explode, carnaval-style.
Hand’s up if you think the competitors are going to wear their flashiest neon boardies? To get the crowd fired-up, they could even don the traditional speedo and shake their groove thing. Brazil loves a good show.
Secondly, there’s a world title race unfolding, people. Kelly Slater is in Brazil, for goodness sake. The last time Kelly was in Brazil was when he really wanted a world title. Apparently he really wants this year’s.
If Kelly is to keep his lead atop the current World Tour standings, then he’s going to need to perform his wizardry in Rio’s beachbreaks – which will be hard considering that just about the entire tour are beachbreak wizards. But are they all competitive wizards? Adriano, for one, is…
Either way, Kelly’s brought his game face and his not-so-top-secret quiver to Brazil:
Thirdly, fresh from an X-Games Gold Medal, Jordy has recently tasted sweet victory, and like an expensive glass of champagne, it’s good. Look out for an on-fire Jordy to better his semi-final at Bells and look to book his place back in the Top 5 – where his surfing belongs.
The list continues with the excitement that the world tour rookies and younger, less-experienced Dream Tour surfers bring to Rio. Holy Toledo, did you watch Brazilian rookie Felipe tear apart Bell’s Rincon section during the Rip Curl Pro? Occy did, and he claimed it’s probably the best surfing he’s ever seen out there. Felipe’s father was well stoked too, as he whistled incessantly from the competitors lounge perched above the famous break. We’d be proud too, though, if he were our son.
Speaking of sons, a couple of daughters will also be battling it out in Rio for Dream Tour points. We know that all the the SA fans will be shouting for our very own Bianca Buitendag to take the title in Brazil, building on the steady start to her rookie season, and pushing the level of Women’s surfing on the Dream Tour – which is arguably better than it has ever been with the surfing seen in 2013 so far.
While the SA fans will be watching Bianca’s every move, the Aussies and Hawaiians will be watching the world title battle unfold between front-runners Carissa Moore (Haw) and Tyler Wright (AUS), and the rest of the world will be debating what colour thong Alana Blanchard will be surfing in. If they change their focus, they would have noticed that Alana is surfing better than them, adding to the argument that the ASP Women’s World Tour is blowing up.
We could go on listing why you should check out the Billabong Rio Pro, but action kicks off tomorrow 8 May, and we’ve got to get our Fantasy Surfer team together before Round 1.
Watch the event unfold on http://wctbrasil.com/rio13