On Sunday at the Australian Open of Surfing, an important qualifying event, Adriano de Souza, who just-turned 27-years-old, comprehensively beat Australia's Julian Wilson in the final.
We caught up with Adriano after his victory.
I want to talk about your fantastic victory. You looked so alive! So sharp! What's your secret?
Oh, thanks, man, I was kinda glad. My secret? Well, my board is one of the best things that has happened in 2014. The board pushed me to the next level. This year I'm riding Al Merrick's (Channel Islands surfboards) and it's definitely helped me get really light and compact in the pocket.
Al Merrick shapes exactly what I need. That's why I was flying down the line down there.
Can you describe the surfboard? Is it a particular model?
It's a Channel Islands Rookie. They just make the model and put my size into it. I'm riding 5ft 8in [1m 73cm] x 18 3/16in [46cm] x 2 1/16in [5cm].
A Rookie? The curve in those things is rad and not normally suited to super-fast, down-the-line surfing. How'd you break it out of its normal pattern?
I don't know! I think my background in Brazil is very similar. I ride those waves at home. It paid off all week. I've been dedicated in the off season and putting in so much energy.
The first event on the World Tour is two weeks away. What do you regard as your strength at Snapper?
This is my ninth year on tour and at Snapper. I've already made two finals. I dream so much to win that contest and to be so close to winning that contest twice is a little frustrating. But this year, the most pressure will be on the wildcards and Kelly and Mick.
What are your weaknesses?
I have a bunch! But I don't want to tell anyone about my weaknesses! But I can tell Hawaii was one of my biggest weaknesses. And so, last year to this year, I spent three months over there and I competed at the Volcom Pipe Pro just for more rhythm and to know about the wave, and I got a final over there. I was working so hard and it paid off. Super glad!
What do you think is necessary for you to win a world title? You've often been a contender early in the season.
I finished already three times, top five. A couple of years back, I struggled on a few events and that's why I wasn't a contender for the last event at Pipe. I'm hunting good results but I'm not going to put the pressure on myself of chasing a world title. I wish so much that everything is… fluid.