On a Wednesday, Jimmicane was at his desk in the SURFING office, pretending to work but really reading Jacksonville Jaguars blogs or something. Then he got an email: Mentawais? By Thursday he was gone. He came back with the December Issue cover shot, of Brazilian grom Caio Ibelli (final photo at bottom of the sequence below).
This was a collaboration trip with SURFING and Stab based on getting a few of the world’s best juniors together. The crew kind of changed around a few times, but it ended up with Conner Coffin, Ian Gentil, Jack Robinson and Caio Ibelli. So we had a Californian, Hawaiian, Australian, and Brazilian.
Kind of hard to explain Caio’s personality because only Ian could communicate with him. None of the rest of us know Portuguese. We didn’t even know how to pronounce his name at first, so he got slapped with the nickname “Chow” for life from this trip.
I gotta say I am proud of Chow for sacking up and taking this wave. The session was at Bankvaults and it was very serious out there. Pissing rain and bombing sets swinging all over the place, ending on dry reef which would be easy to get pushed onto. Definitely scary, especially for groms.
It sucks because Conner perforated his eardrum earlier that day and couldn’t surf. He would’ve been doing laps out there. Jack is 12 years old and didn’t want to give it much of a go and Ian is 14 years old and sat basically in the channel.
Chow was on a 5’10″ shortboard and he just rushed this thing, tail-dropping out of the sky. I can’t believe he stuck it. Would’ve been a crazy photo even if he didn’t, but he would’ve never got the cover if he ate shit, so he for sure earned this one. Good to see a grom stepping up. Should be an example to all the other kids who want to be pro surfers.
—Words and photos by Jimmicane