12 Best Brazilian Surfers in the World

Surfing can be a highly competitive sport, and there are plenty of championships and tours that give the top surfers a chance to show their stuff. With the ‘Brazilian Storm’ hitting the surfing world in recent years, let’s take a look at some of the best surfers Brazil has to offer.

1. Rodrigo Koxa

Nicknamed ‘Koxa,’ Rodrigo Augusto do Espírito Santo is an extreme waterman and surfer who has seen worldwide fame and acclaim due to breaking a worldwide record on two counts.

First, in 2010, he was able to nab a record for the largest wave that had ever been surfed in the South American region. Later on, in 2018, he was able to take the prized Quiksilver XXL Biggest Wave title for riding what was at the time known as the largest wave ever recorded

2. Maya Gabeira

There’s no shortage of top female talent in surfing, and one of the best among them is Maya Gabeira, who takes some of the largest waves in the world head-on. In fact, one of her most impressive feats was conquering a nearly 74-foot wave in the famous Nazare waters.

It’s no wonder that she can rack up multiple world records for surfing and continues being an inspiration for women surfers around the globe.

3. William Cardoso

This impressive surfer has an aggressive surfing style and an equally imposing physique. Nicknamed the ‘Panda,’ William Cardoso is known for being a solid slab of muscle that can rip and shred with the best of the best, even in the harshest conditions.

He’s also known to be an unpredictable wildcard who takes advantage of sticky situations with his powerful and masterful control of the board.

4. Miguel Pupo

A surfer with a competitive spirit, Miguel Pupo has been a go-getter since his younger years as he watched the greats shred waves. With a tendency to come out on top when he’s on the back of a competition or a particularly challenging wave, his burning desire to overcome his obstacles makes him a fierce athlete and an amazing sight on the water.

5. Silvana Lima

Making aerial surfing look like child’s play, Silvana Lima has some of the best moves in the sport. Lima came from humble beginnings and grew up in a fishing village, to the point that because she couldn’t afford a surfboard, she would ride the waves with a piece of driftwood at an early age.

Despite the challenges that she faced growing up, she surfed her way up and became the first female surfer to nab a spot in the highly coveted WSL Championship Tour. Unfortunately, she still often struggles to find sponsors that will help her continue competing.

6. Jadson Andre

Known affectionately to many, including the big-name players as ‘Jaddy,’ Jadson Andre is a highly welcome addition to any competition or tour for his infectiously positive personality and his high-powered moves that can draw any wandering eyes.

But for what he may lack in crazy surfing chops, he more than makes up for it with honed technique and an optimistic attitude that never surrenders. And really, as a surfer, getting up and continuing to grow after a bad wipe-out is one of the most essential qualities you can have.

7. Tatiana Weston Webb

As a half-Hawaiian, half-Brazilian surfer, it seems like Tatiana Weston Webb was born to surf. Her mother was a bodyboarder who even competed in and won a Pipeline event during her time.

Mainly residing in Hawaii, where some of the best waves in the sport can be found, she continues to hone her craft to near perfection while also bagging the top spots in several competitions. Her preferred style makes her a powerful and aggressive boarder.

8. Márcio Freire

When you make a list of the greats, it would be a dishonor not to pay tribute to Márcio Freire. A pioneer of Brazil’s big wave surfers, he literally paved the waters with a bravado that allowed him to face the most terrifying waves imaginable.

He sadly passed at the beginning of 2023 while surfing in Nazare, but his legacy continues to live on amongst the world’s surfing enthusiasts.

9. Danilo Couto

He and Márcio Freire, along with another surfer named Yuri Soledade, were the main characters of the dramatic documentary ‘Mad Dogs - The Conquest of Jaws.

He and his colleagues revolutionized surfing by proving that surfers could paddle themselves into some of the most massive waves in Jaws instead of getting towed in. He was also a finalist for multiple seasons in the XXL Big Wave Awards, a feat that should not be underestimated by new blood.

10. Filipe Toledo

As we come up to the end of the list, it would be a travesty, not to mention three of the surfing world’s most acclaimed and lauded competitors. First off would be Filipe Toledo, a high-speed surfer known for his jaw-dropping aerial maneuvers.

Even as he’s going fast as lightning, he can still pull off some of the most difficult routines in the sport, all while also landing the top spots in major surfing competitions.

Considering his surfing heritage, as his father Ricardo Toledo is himself a two-time national champion, it’s not difficult to see how his raw talent has been honed under the tutelage of a master surfer. Toledo has been consistently placing in the top 5 of at least every competition he enters, and every time he rides a wave, spectators just can’t get enough of the “Toledo Show.”

11. Italo Ferreira

Unique, bold, and radical are just a few of the words you can use to describe Italo Ferreira as one of the best of the best in the world of surfing. His presence on the water is like an explosion due to his fierce passion and love of the sport.

Growing up in a coastal town, he learned to surf with the lid of a cooler and has since risen to the top of most competitions. He became the World Champion in 2019 against Gabriel Medina and even nabbed a gold medal win for Brazil in the Olympic games in 2020.

With all these achievements in his boardshorts, it’s not hard to see how he captured the media and mainstream narrative.

12. Gabriel Medina

Finally, we have an absolute surfing beast, Gabriel Medina. A man who commands your attention the moment he hits the waves, he has occupied headlines by using his incredible acrobatic moves to skyrocket to the top.

He is the first person to have performed the ‘Backflip,’ an incredibly difficult maneuver, in a competition in Rio de Janeiro.

He also stands consistently with the other top competitors on this list due to having won more times in world championships than any other of his colleagues. Now, that’s what you call a competitor!

Oliver Jones

Written by Oliver Jones

I'm a dedicated surfer and writer, and my heart truly belongs to the ocean. Surfing is not just a sport but a way of life for me. I ride the waves in the water and on paper, pouring my passion into every word I write.

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