The Brazilian Contender

Medina's performance in France was the necessary validation for all the hype that surrounds the phenomenal young Brazilian. Photo courtest of the ASP

Shea Lopez

The author of SURFER's Top 32 Review, Shea Lopez spent 11 years competing on the World Tour and now reigns as our resident expert on the pro surfosphere.

It is okay to be hesitant. I felt the same way at first. I had even battled similar stereotypes growing up on the Gulf of Mexico. But now that Brazilians have asserted themselves as true equals amongst the world's best surfers, they also have a legit World Title contender amongst their ranks.

Gabriel Medina has come out hotter and faster than any other surfer since Kelly Slater. Even Kelly was not as dominant out of the gates as Gabriel has been with his European performances. Medina is not only winning at will, but also posting more 10s in average beachbreak conditions than any other surfer by a mile.

At a time when the performance level is so high, the fact that Medina has been able to distance himself so far from everyone else is unbelievable. Kolohe and Evan from America, as well as Cathels and Freestone from Oz aren't even close to being compared to Medina. Medina is to be compared to Owen, Jordy, Taj, and Julian--guys he's going to be competing for the World Title with very shortly.

So embrace this new superpower of surfing. And enjoy the show from a multitude of talented Brazilian surfers that are making professional surfing more exciting to watch every day.