Last weekend while watching the Hurley Pro on the webcast and cringing for the umpteenth time at Ross Williams talking about “froth,” I asked myself something. I asked, “Self…do the Portuguese commentators sound like…this? Like, what the fuck are they about? Are they funny, or serious, or smooth? Do they use the word “froth” in ways that make me feel uncomfortable?
Is there a Strider amongst them, and if so, how do they handle that matter?
So I did something I thought I’d never do. No, not SUP, but rather…I flipped the language on the webcast to Portuguese. It was oddly enlightening.
My Portuguese is pretty good. I lived with a family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for eight months, plus I’ve profiled Brazilians from Medina to Toledo, plus I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last week, so I consider myself qualified. I tuned into the Round 3 Mick vs. Kolohe heat and listened good. Then I did a little research.
Marcos Bocayuva (@marcosbocayuva) is the powerhouse of the boys. Marcos is a Brazilian ex-TV host at SporTV Brasil and an avid surfer. He’s also had a long career as a surf journalist on many TV programs and plain and simple: He dominates the booth. He’s assertive and fluid, a combo of Joe Rogan, Shane Dorian and Joe Turpel if Turpel didn’t sound so asexual. Marcos has a deep, easily excitable voice like his stoke is lifting him off his chair, but his sack is weighing him down. You can pretty much hear his hawg over the webcast. Sooo much confidence.
Andre Gioranelli (@giora77surf) is diet-Marco. A Brazilian pro surfer from Rio de Janeiro, now living in Santa Cruz, California, he’s done a few ‘QS events and definitely knows his shit. He’s the Ross Williams of the trio but with a lil more testosterone than Rossy. He points out the technicalities, whether an air was full-rotation or what grab is what. He’ll say something and then Marco will concur but you’ll probably believe Marco more, even though it wasn’t his idea.
Pedro Muller (@pedrobmuller) is the level-headed yin to the yang of the trio. A former Brazilian pro surfer from Rio, Brazil, he’s even competed in a few past-‘CT events as a wildcard. One of the most memorable being the G-land Pro. Now running a surf school in Rio, he picks up the convo where Marco and/or Andre leave off with a quiet, samurai-like tone to his voice like he knows more than he reveals. He knows his heat-strategy and WSL history and says stuff like “Man’s Turns” when describing power-surfing.
But anyway, the main thing I noticed — which impressed the shit out of me — was how fluid and constant they were. Like, those guys talk and they don’t stop and when you hear it, you fucking buy it. They’re confident and compelling and they lack that sound of worry that Pottz has in his voice when an Australian or Kelly isn’t doing so hot.
The Portuguese booth is also quite cut-and-dry. They have their slang, but they’re not forcing any surf-talk-isms on us that aren’t and shouldn’t be a thing. They’re in great spirits, but there aren’t a lotta chuckles and bro-ing out over the mic.
Between sets, like the English booth, (since it’s Lowers) they, too, go into San Clemente’s rich history of pro surfing, or point out how Southern California is the surf industry’s home-base, and go on about California’s strategic geographic positioning for strike missions to Baja and Hawaii.
They don’t seem to express any overt Brazilian-bias at all, and when they address Mick Fanning, it’s always as “3X World Champion Mick Fanning.” Which I thought was a cool courtesy.
However, when the camera pans to Slater in the competitor’s tent, you can hear them blushing and smiling over the mic. Like their English-speaking comrades, the Portuguese commentators are gay for Kelly, too.
Would I keep watching in Portuguese? Nah. Was it any better, or at least any cooler? Not really. Just different. Like hearing The Beatle’s White Album remixed to Jay-Z’s Black Album. Novel, for an hour or so.
But if you want to get up the courage to ask the girl out that you’ve been obsessing over for a while, listen to Marcos Bocayuva spit fire on the mic. That should do the trick. —Beau Flemister
*A special thanks to Guilherme Braga for bios and other information.