Under the Radar: 2018 Rip Curl Pro Portugal

Christopher Martinez, Staff Writer

Surfing at an international level is thriving, but it is the surfing in the beaches across the United States that is struggling to find a place with other big name sports.

Here in California, surfing is the state sport, though many believe it to be basketball, as modern surfing was pioneered in Southern California.

The surfing world has all eyes on Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina as he defends his Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal when he goes up against some of the biggest names in surfing.

One of Major contenders from around the world that are going after Medina is Australian surfer Julian Wilson who is an artist when it comes to surfing supertubos, a surf break and the venue of the Rip Curl Pro competition in Portugal.

Wilson is coming off his win in the France Pro and almost scoring a perfect two 10’s. he is someone to watch throughout the competition.

Frederico Morais, a Portuguese native, will have a home advantage as he is surfing in his backyard, another surfer who knows supertubos. He knows the waves because he surfs there year round and would be likely to come out strong.

Brazilian surfer Ian Gouveia who is one of the worlds best barrel riders is going to have his skills on display as he looks to capitalize on the surf at supertubos.

The venue for this year’s Rip Curl Pro in Portugal is known for the Atlantic hurricane season that can sometimes get very windy with lots of rain, which is bad for supertubos.

The competition, which starts Oct. 16 through Oct. 27, has some other factors along with the hurricane season in full effect.

Portugal is anticipating a massive storm which may pass by and miss the venue.

Hurricanes off the coast tend to bring massive swells which can reach 10-meter waves, unfortunately a hurricane may cause north winds making it a bit harder to surf. Although the bigger the wave the easier it is to ride even through the wind.

Sandbars are in perfect position for the swells to come out of the deep water and help change the direction of the wave, which allows for the shape of the wave to conform to the surfers needs.

Portugal offers some of the best beach breaks in the world offering some great surf and competition from all the competitors.