Under The Influence: Pedro “Scooby” Viana

Photo: Kenworthy/ A Frame

Pedro "Scooby" Viana has a neck tattoo, like me, and that alone makes him totally awesome. It makes him my current favorite surfer in the world. But guess what else he has? A movie-star/model wife, an amazing home in Rio de Janeiro, a Nike contract, a fine moustache -- when he chooses to shave just so -- the most amazing nickname and the world at his fingertips. Scooby is so totally awesome.

He was born in Rio to a surfer father. "My dad was a surfer," he says, "so I started surfing when I was 5 years old and competing when I was 13." But competition was not his avenue toward the so totally awesome. No, when Scooby was also 13 he became the first person to pull a kerrupt flip completely nude. He has since surfed macking Pasquales completely nude for two days. Just getting barreled and barreled and barreled in God's wetsuit. "Surfing makes me happy," says the now 24-year-old.

Being Brazilian also makes him happy and one star-aligned day, after surfing, he went to Rio's famous Carnival and attended a party. It was all samba and sangria and capoeira and amazing. And standing there across the room was the sexiest woman on earth. Literally the sexiest woman on earth, as chosen by VIP Magazine. Her name was Luana Piovani and she was a very, very famous Brazilian actress and model. They locked eyes and pow! Magic. "It was love at first sight," he says, "but her world is very different than mine. It is interesting but it is not all good because we have no privacy. But we get to go to amazing parties. It's fun!"

Scooby and Luana were married soon after they met and honeymooned in Tahiti, this past year, during the swell. The code-red swell. And Scooby had not packed any tow boards so he called Nike's team manager, Frankie D'Andrea, and informed him of his dilemma. Frankie sourced a too-small tow board and got it over to the island and Scooby caught a ride out to Teahupo'o. He had never towed before.

As the waves grew and grew he sat on the shoulder and became excited and then it was his turn. His partner whipped him in to one of the biggest waves of the day. A Teahupo'o beast. A bone-crushing giant. And he skittered down the face on his too-small board and got very deeply barreled and then got bone crushed. "I saw the footage," Frankie says, "and I thought, 'Oh man...I sent him a coffin, not a board.'" But when a man is so totally awesome he does not become undone by the ocean's wrath. Scooby popped to the surface laughing.

Big waves are now his passion. He is currently being filmed in a documentary also staring Carlos Burle and Maya Gabeira. He is chasing the beasts. Laughing. Before his Tahitian honeymoon he had a standout North Shore season. "He gets barreled as good as anyone," Frankie says. "He just looks great out there." And so he plans on putting in another two North Shore months this coming winter in between chasing more beasts. "I want to keep traveling to find the best and the biggest waves in the world," he says. "Big waves make me happy."

What could be better than Scooby? I cannot think of many things and I want him and Luana to move near my wife and I so we can all become best of friends. The waves in lovely Cardiff-by-the-Sea are not large, but San Diego International Airport is nearby and I can make a delicious caipirinha.--Chas Smith