The best 18-year-old surfer on earth? You'd be hard-pressed to find an argument against it. Photo: Aleko Stergiou
If you happened to watch a webcast or two from the tour last year, or his latest Europe edit, then there is no denying that Filipe Toledo is the best 18 year old surfer on the planet. Seriously — name a better one. But what’s the youngest buck on tour do in his spare time during the gap? Why, diversifying his portfolio, for one. ‘Cause if you missed him on the Web, you might still catch a glimpse of Fileeps on Brazilian national TV. —Beau Flemister
SURFING: What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you over the break?
FILIPE: Well, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews and filming for a TV show in Brazil on Globo [Brazil’s largest network]. It’s basically a reality show and they sent us to Costa Rica with some other Brazilian pro surfers and celebrities.
Like, a Survivor-type deal, or Real World situation?
No, they split us all into two teams, yellow and red, and we would challenge each other. Well, surf against each other, I mean. Alejo Muniz and Miguel Pupo were there, and then they teamed us up with more non-surfer celebrities like Flavio Canto, who is a famous jiu jitsu fighter. It was really cool and should be airing in March.
Whoa, so you’ll be a TV star soon?
[Laughs] Maybe. We didn’t get paid or anything like most stars, we more just did it for the publicity. But the island they sent us to was so beautiful and Globo paid for our stay. We got to dive around and the food was good, too.
Tell me about New Years — isn’t it usually pretty nuts in Brazil?
Yeah, every New Years is a big deal and this year, because of World Cup coming in June, it was especially busy. You could just tell that June is going to be crazy, especially in Rio de Janeiro. The airports were all packed, traffic jams, but in most towns in Brazil on New Years, there are these huge free music shows on the beaches that you can go to. I did that with some friends and just stayed out till dawn at the beach parties.
Nope, just single. Much better. [laughs, maniacally]
Read or watch anything cool in your spare time?
Yeah, I read a book called Unstoppable. It’s about this Aussie guy, Nic Vujicic, that was born with no arms or legs and he surfs! It’s unbelievable. He travels around the world and gives motivational speeches about how he can do things without limbs. Really, really cool.
Do you surf with any of the other Brazilians on tour that live near you?
Not really, actually. Gabriel Medina lives, like two hours away from me, Alejo is kinda close. But I surf with a lot of Brazilian pros that maybe you haven’t heard of [laughs]. Like, they compete on a Brazilian South American tour and make money that way. But man, the waves have been bad at home lately. I had hurt my ankle playing soccer in Hawaii and it’s given me time to heal, so that’s good. It feels a lot better now and I can land stuff good again. Plus, I’ll be ready for the two 6-stars in Australia that I’ll do before the first ‘CT event. Before that I’m gonna go to California and pick up some new boards for the tour, and maybe surf Lowers if there’s any waves.
Off Season is a series on surfingmagazine.com detailing how five of your favorite surfers are bridging the gap between the 2013 and 2014 WCT.