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.
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 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!
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.
While there are several wave fields still undiscovered, Maine can still offer some of the best conditions for visiting tourists to catch that perfect wave. In this article, we’ll take a look at why you might want to visit Maine, the best times to surf, and the best places to check out on your next […]
Surf camps have a certain appeal. They’re ideal places to learn surfing, especially for solo travelers who want to meet people and socialize in a friendly environment. However, surf camps are springing up in every nook and cranny. You’ll find plenty with an ocean at almost every corner of the planet. The increased numbers make […]
If you’re a fan of the outdoors in general and dislike crowds, Alaska might be your go-to place to surf. But with the various hazards and difficulties getting there, it can be a somewhat tedious trip. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn all about the wonders and potential dangers of surfing in Alaska. With its […]
Surfing is a popular sport, especially with many health fanatics who consider it a great way to keep in shape. If you’re a beginner and want to hone this skill, you might consider joining a surf camp. But, is it worth it? This article will take a deep dive into the essentials of surfing camps […]
If you’re living along the East Coast, it could be a bit difficult to travel across the country to Hawaii or California for that perfect surfing spot. Georgia might not be your first choice when it comes to surfing, but with the warmer waters, beautiful surrounding islands, and stunning wildlife, there are quite a few […]
Waves, especially ocean waves, are often so common that we never usually think about where they come from or how they’re formed. In this article, you’ll be diving into the specifics of the formation of waves, including the various types of waves and where you may find them. Depending on the type of wave, there […]
Watching surfers riding huge waves certainly inspires us to learn the sport as quickly as possible to impress others, just as we were fascinated. It’s a sport like no other, and the best part is that it gives us a chance to master the ocean, which scares even the best of us. However, remember that […]
One of the best things about ocean surfing is that you’ll never know what you’re going to get. It's unpredictable and sometimes too fast or too big for you. Nevertheless, other waves are so wacky and weird that they will level up your excitement in a different way. From massive wipeouts underwater to being thrown […]
With all the sports out there, sandboarding can easily be considered one of the most unique and exciting ones there is to offer. It might be thought that this sport is relatively new, but in reality, it has been around for centuries and is thought to have been started by the Egyptians. Today, it has […]