SEAT Pro Netanya

Peterson Crisanto is Back, and He Means Business

Nicolas Leroy

Peterson Crisanto hasn't made a lot of headlines lately, but the 24-year-old Brazilian is looking to change that. At the SEAT Pro Netanya pres. by Reef on Sunday he lit up Kontiki beach to secure the event's biggest single-wave scores and heat totals so far.

Highlights Day 3 in Israel
Semifinalists emerge at the SEAT Pro Netanya pres. by Reef with Peterson Crisanto leading the show.

After spending a couple of years away from the competition scene, Crisanto is back, and looking sharp so far.

Looking back to 2011, during the rise of the Brazilian storm that saw Gabriel Medina and Miguel Pupo qualify for the elite tour, Crisanto was a lone soldier left behind.

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) .Netanya 2017 Crisanto's every move was on point today - WSL / Laurent Masurel

The then 19-year-old surfer was right in the mix of the next generation of superstars emerging from Brazil, but his sponsors at the time wanted him chase an elusive World Junior title while his teammates were shooting for the bigger stage of the Championship Tour.

Aerial supremacy in round 1 win from Peterson Crisanto Crisanto's World Juniors efforts were fruitless, despite surfing like this. - WSL

"I first started the QS [Qualifying Series] back in 2011 in Zarautz and did a Final against Gabriel [Medina] and got a second place," he explained. "But it wasn't my priority cause I was young and my sponsors were pushing me to try to win the World Junior Championship. Looking back I feel like it was the wrong strategy cause I had the potential to surf with the best of them back then."

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) wins the Reef Pro El Salvador. Crisanto's last big moment in the limelight came in 2014, when he beat Josh Kerr to take a 6-Star Win in El Salvador. - WSL

The following three seasons saw the explosive regularfooter steadily rise through the Qualifying Series ranks, culminating with a 48th place in 2014. And that's the last we heard of him, as Crisanto completely disappeared from our radars in 2015 and 2016.

"I was without sponsors and stayed out of the QS for two years. I've been competing on the national tour in Brazil, trying to make some money to start traveling again," he said. "Last year, I won the three championships in Brazil and made enough to come back!"

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) .Netanya 2017 Crisanto surfed all three heats today at full speed, never showing a sign of fatigue - WSL / Laurent Masurel

But far from feeling sorry for himself, Crisanto took the time off tour to build his motivation levels back up, find a positive entourage and work hard on both physical and mental preparation before entering the QS circus again.

"I have three different coaches in Brazil to work with, wherever I am in the country. We started to work a few months ago and I already feel a lot better, stronger and more confident. I've done some filming too, I want to update my image on the social networks and show how I surf. The training we did was mostly physical, but I also had a little bit of heat-strategy talks with my uncle Peterson Rosa and some mental preparation."

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) and Francisco Carrasco (PRT) .Netanya 2017 Peterson Crisanto knows he's got plenty of good surfing left in the tank. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Fast-forward to January of 2017 and Crisanto is already back to business as usual, with an equal 7th in Huntington earlier this month, and is on his way to another good result in Israel. And though the first two events offer minimal points toward a CT qualifying effort, they're great to build momentum and launch an assault on the series.

"I have to start from scratch again basically but I like the pressure of trying to build something from the ground up, it makes me want it more and more. Being home for a couple of years was good to reflect on what I really want in life and set my priorities straight, but I missed all the traveling and the competitions so much."

Crisanto battles the King as a wildcard in the 2014 Billabong Rio Pro.
Kelly Slater eliminates Peterson Crisanto in Round 2 Heat 2 of the Billabong Rio Pro.

"Ideally I want to have a strong start in the first half of the year, and enter the big QS6,000 and QS10,000 after August to be in the Top 10 by the end of the year." he added.

While Crisanto was the main attraction in Netanya today, plenty of other exciting action went down with the likes of defending event champion Pedro Henrique and Jorgann Couzinet racking up big points as well.

Omer Bar (ISR). Netanya 2017 Local Omer Bar was one of the last remaining hopes for Israeli surfers. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

In the women's heats, Tessa Thyssen continued to lead the show as competition winds down towards the event's finals, but will have to battle with hungry newcomer Marissa Shaw in the Semis.

Looking at a complete flat spell for the next two or three days in Israel, event officials have set the next call for Wednesday at 8 a.m. and are keeping track of a potential new pulse toward the end of the week.

Check in on your favorite QS surfers' results and watch more content from the SEAT Pro Netanya pres. by Reef with the event's highlights and pictures.