Words and photos by SURFING Associate Photo Editor Jimmicane Wilson
This is Caio Ibelli before sunrise on the first morning of our trip. The waves were as good as I’ve ever seen and the guys got a few at this spot before we relocated to Nokanduis, where Conner [Coffin] perforated his eardrum. It was on his first wave while none of the other kids caught a wave.
Ian Gentil is a skinny little kid but he’s been growing like a beanstalk and he has the fundamentals to be a very powerful surfer. His timing and body positioning is solid. Just has to grow into his body more, work on charging bigger waves, and hopefully add a bit of motivation. He’s a smart kid though. Reads a lot of books and is fluent in Portuguese.
Conner Coffin was easily the standout surfer on the trip. I just wish he didn’t burst that ear on the first morning because he missed the two best sessions. Luckily he toughed it out with some silicone gel and still got great photos and video. He was also the most amped to surf which was interesting considering he was the oldest and the veteran traveler.
Can’t say enough good things about Jack Robinson. I know it’s premature to make claims about a 12-year-old eventually becoming the best in the world, but watch this preteen surf one time and you’d be hard pressed not to jump on the bandwagon. It’s surreal seeing such a little person riding through spitting barrels and busting out full rotation airs. He’s a great kid too.
We had a lay day in Padang before hopping on the boat so we went into town and got the kids some funny outfits to surf in. Ian was the only one who wasn’t feeling it and he trashed his outfit. Then tried to claim to us he lost it. Fortunately, we had a backup that looked even more ridiculous. It was hilarious to watch this session.