"I wasn’t expecting to go from 38th to third place on the 'QS rankings, but I’ve always said if there were a place in which I’d prefer to fight for a spot, it’d be Hawaii. I went there knowing I had a chance, but when I got second at Sunset and secured my spot on Tour, I couldn’t believe it - even my coach Dog [Richard Marash] couldn’t believe it! I achieved my goal of qualifying, but now my training starts from the bottom again. I feel like I need to build on and improve on everything from my power surfing to my barrel-riding skills, the way I surf heats, my progressive surfing, everything. I’ve worked so hard to qualify, and now that I’ve qualified, I need to start all over again. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m excited to represent Portugal next year. I think everyone at home is really excited. Portuguese people are really passionate, it’s almost like they wanted this more than I did sometimes [laughs]. Many of the guys on Tour now have influenced my surfing and the way I look at surfing. Kelly, Mick, John, Gabriel–everyone on the CT has inspired me to get to where I am today. It’s going to be hard to face guys like Kelly and Mick and Joel, guys I’ve looked up to since I was a kid."
Above Photo: Moran, Below Photo: Moran