Corey Stories: Mai Tais In Hawaii With Gabriel Medina

All photos by Corey Wilson

This time last year, Gabriel Medina was a different person.

He was 20 years old — too young to legally enjoy a sip of a Mai Tai in Hawaii — and the weight of a green, yellow and sport-drunk nation weighed heavy on his shoulders. They wanted to see their boy become a man. And they wanted to see him do it by fending off Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and a few others at Pipeline to clinch Brazil’s first ever World Title.

And he did. Of course.

Now, a year later, Gabriel is back on the North Shore with a slightly different set of circumstances. The World Title is still within Gabe’s reach and he’ll be gunning for it once Pipe Masters starts, but he’d need a lot of people to lose in order for him to win. The pressure is all on those other people, so Gabe can do now is sit back, (legally) sip that Mai Tai and finish it too. Turns out Hawaii can be pretty mellow when an entire nation isn’t screaming your name and/or writing it on poster boards to bring to the beach.

All-around dreamboat Corey Wilson has been staying with Gabe at the Rip Curl house, and here’s what he had to say about his stay so far.

“Gabriel has been really relaxed this year in Hawaii. He was still pretty relaxed last year, given the nature of his situation, but this year is totally different. He’s been surfing pretty randomly. Sometimes he’ll surf when it’s firing, sometimes he’ll surf when it’s basically flat — but he’s always surfing well.

We don’t really see much of him when he’s not surfing. It seems like he’s always off doing something with his girlfriend. She’s awesome, too — a total sweetheart. Plus, she kind of smells like cinnamon.”

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