The Professional

posted by / News, Video / March 28, 2011


Despite defeating the greatest surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, to win the final of a World Tour event — on home soil, no less — Jadson Andre’s debut year wasn’t all ups. Moments after the win, Kelly stripped some of the gloss from the victory when he correctly questioned the young Brazilian’s ability in heavy waves by challenging him to replicate his Santa Catarina Pro heroics at Teahupo’o or Pipeline.

By Trestles, Jadson’s signature air reverse — the move on which his ascension to the World Tour and his victory there had been largely based — had been pulled apart by the ASP judging panel. He was eliminated from the event in dramatic circumstances when he launched two flat versions of the move on a last-minute wave against Damien Hobgood for a 4.83. Following the heat, he was visibly furious and refused to answer my questions about the decision. Here he tells us what worked for him last year and outlines the extreme lengths to which he’s gone to ensure he adheres to the Tour’s demands. —Jed Smith


SURFING: What worked for you last year?
Jadson: The goal was to try and be Rookie of the Year but Owen [Wright] really deserved that. He was so consistent all year. He didn’t win a contest but he got third and a quarterfinal and third and a quarterfinal all year. I couldn’t keep really consistent like that. Last year was great for me. I had a few things to think about with how I have to surf, when I have to do my main maneuver — my air. Sometimes you have to do just one carve then do a big air. Mix it up. That’s what I’ve been trying to do this year. When you surf a certain way and you don’t get a good score then you have to change something. Last year I changed some things to suit the criteria. I know which maneuver I have to do at which point on the wave. Always you try to improve and you want to do what [the judges] want to see. That’s the goal, that’s the deal.

Did you exceed your expectations in your rookie year?
I knew last year in Brazil [for the Santa Catarina Pro] that it was going to be the contest for me. That’s where I grew up and learned to surf. The conditions I won the contest in were really different to where I come from [Rio Grande do Norte via Sao Paulo] but I knew it was the contest because I was at home and I knew the cut was coming at the middle of the year. I was really strong and confident going into that contest. I was aiming for Rookie of the Year but Owen deserved it more than me. The Rookie of the Year is in good hands.



Have you noticed a trend in this year’s judging?
Always I would like to say you have to be able to surf and try your best, and if you surf good and do what they want to see, you’re gonna make your heat. If you watch every single heat, you’re gonna see how they score the waves. Always I watch every single heat. If you come to the beach when they make a call at 7 a.m., if my heat is the last one, I’ll be here at 7 a.m.. I watch every single heat because you need to work it out.

And what are your observations?
No, I haven’t seen much difference. The waves here are not very good. The guys who threw the tail and mixed it up won. Taj mixed it up well, he threw the tail, snapped, had everything and he got one of the best scores.

What have you worked on improving in your surfing?
In the last three years I’ve tried to improve my backhand and tried to work on my surfing in big waves at places like Pipeline and Teahupo’o. In three years that’s what I’ve been doing — spending a lot of time at those places. I went to J-Bay three years ago and stayed there for one month. Not for a contest. I just stayed there and trained. I went to Caroline Islands [to surf P-Pass] and stayed there for a long time training my backhand. I spent three months in Hawaii last year. I’ve spent a long time training on the points I need to improve.

What surprised you in your rookie year?
I was scared whether I’d be able to surf really well. But I always try to enjoy what I’m doing. That worked for me last year. I don’t know if I will surf good because it is my first year and I never have had to surf against some of these top guys. Only CJ and Damien Hobgood. So I was scared not to be able to do my best against the big names. But I did. I was really stoked for that.

Out of your fellow rookies, not many survived. Who do you think underachieved?
I think everybody really tried to do their best. It’s a hard question to answer. Everyone wants to make every single heat. They all tried.

How much of the battle is in your head in your rookie year?
That’s the main thing. You need to be strong in your head. Sometimes the best surfer doesn’t make the heat. You have to be smart and able to be strong. I think that’s the main thing to make heats.

How did you overcome the fear?
I tried to enjoy the time and don’t think what’s going on or who you’re competing against.

Do you think it helps if you’re a naturally competitive person?
For sure. The thing I like the most in surfing is contests. I’ve surfed contests for 11 years, so that’s what I love and I feel really good when I’m competing.



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  • Brazzo 4 Life

    Video from Medina one day and now article on Jadson, B4L is liking new attention on Brazilians from US surf industry.

    When will you be running article Heitor Alves? He is dark horse and definitely poised to take the WCT by force in next few events.

    Brazzo 4 Life

  • jay


  • mike

    1) Slightly narrow your stance.
    2) Get off your front foot in middle of your turns, which will allow you to…
    3) Use both rails through the beginning, and the transition of your turns, soooo your top turns stop looking flat, and spray-less.
    4) Save your “big” move for your big heats (or when you might lose a heat without it)!

    All this so it won’t look like that win was an anomaly. Fact is you do some pretty critical turns in knarly sections. Just looks like every other 15 year old in town compared to the guys you surf against. This former judge would give you higher scores then…or get Gally for a coach, he still knows how to do that stuff! He could show you.

  • Andre Gioranelli

    Brazo neles!!!!!

  • Anti

    Dude needs to work on his style. He looks like a gorilla taking a dump when he surfs…

  • Daniel

    Thanks for this rare and serious interview with a Brazilian pro surfer. Jadson is a truly professional guy and punts some unreal airs in critical sections where other pros simply do the ordinary stuff. Now, I have to agree with Mike’s points. I guess Jadson does need a coach or some more accurate and ongoing analysis of his surfing. Anyway, parabéns Jadson…estou torcendo esse ano por você e pelos outros brasileiros no tour.Paz.

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  • toastee

    kid needs to strap some ankle weights to his wrists to mellow his arms the fuck out

  • twon

    i guarantee everyone who has commented and talked shit on this cant do a frontside reverse like that or even a just an air for that matter…. so stop talking shit and post your clips of massive 360’s then. some of those airs were fucking unbelievable. keep ripping jadson

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  • Christian Simmons

    I have a soft spot for this new crop of Brazilians with their electric flair-filled surfing yet without the big contracts of the over-hyped aussies and americans, but like #Daniel I agree with Mike. I’ve watched many of Jadson’s heats through gritted teeth where his basic forehand carves and top turns aren’t very on-rail and the power doesn’t flow throughout the turn; so they just look like set-up turns which aint nice. His backhand top turns are sick, but again the cutbacks are very flat. I always feel his board looks wrong, like his ankles are struggling to get the thing on rail, too long and wide perhaps?! Anyone else get that?
    Now Heitor to me has it all, maybe not quite the consistency of Jadson’s airs but he can do em, and his all round game is sick, he could do big things like his qualification last year suggested… he smoked EVERYONE!

  • joe

    This interview is a joke and Jed Smith is a clown. Still ripping jadson!!

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    Tanks a lot, Yanques!!!Good Job.

  • Mike

    Real enlightening Twon…you are so right, I can’t do an air reverse like Jadson. But, I would make a bet that if his one big air-reverse were out of the picture, homeboy would have a little trouble with his draw with about 30 backsiders in there late 30’s and early 40’s from my town, including myself. If you read my point again, what I said was that he does some killer turns in crazy spots. The problem will be for him, as it is now, he will still get paddled around because of the lack of commitment to the rail. He is too talented to look over that discipline. Like a ball player who hits .050, who cares if it’s a home run if you can’t move the batters…if you view that as talking shit, then whatever?! Wasn’t meant as that, just a point that he needs some coaching, or he is going to enjoy his bus ride back to the QS, and we will enjoy a year of videos here and there this year, then it will be “Jadson who?”


    1. one trick pony needs to up his game
    2. Slater’s predictions were correct
    3. needs to learn from Heitor

  • igottripledtitsinmyhands

    This guy made the air reverse the new “floater”
    Reminds me of a FLAPPER that rides down at River Jetties…
    flap, flap, flap… up, up, and away….

  • Dickson Cider

    I have to say I gave him a ton of crap and I applaud his reserve. The problem was the rights were ALL the same and he blew by 40 yards of open glassy face in that Slater Final just to do the same exact nose-pick air reverse to sft landing, with training wheels the whole time (hand on the rail through the landing. Repertoire is the key. I was fortunate to have Joey Buran coach a bunch of us one summer and he had three things that will stand in my mind forever. Your very first and last moves make the score. Commit that first move in the pocket hard or do that big air, then settle down and go to work mixing up the railwork and vertical hits, finally leaving an exclamation point at the end, but not the same one. He also said break down the time (worked easier in the amatuers, i.e. a scoring wave every five minutes being selective), but it was a huge point in time management. Finally, it’s never over until it’s over. How many guys like Slater, or look at Jordy this last event, win a heat in the final seconds from way behind. That’s keeping your head together until the horn. Jadson needs to work on full rotation airs (no hands), smooth out the style, and follow Joey’s three points to success.

  • q cabrones!!!!!

    jadson andre is the best!!!!!!!!!surfa muito