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Rookie Profile: Peterson Crisanto

For the last few years, Brazil has been adding at least one new face to the Championship Tour with each new season, and 2018 was no different. With the qualification of Deivid Silva and Peterson Crisanto (and the re-qualification of Jadson Andre), the country now makes up one third of the men's Tour (with 11 surfers).

2018 was 26-year-old Crisanto's 10th tour around the Qualifying Series sun - a tough feat. Many others have tried and quit long before a decade has passed on the QS slog.

Not Crisanto.

Last summer, after Willian Cardoso upset the CT field to win in Uluwatu, Crisanto decided enough was enough, and went out and won the QS 10,000 in Ballito, effectively giving him the points and confidence to carry his dream across the finish line.

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) advances to the Semifinals of the 2018 Ballito Pro pres by Billabong after winning Quarterfinal Heat 4 at Ballito, South Africa. Peterson Crisanto advancing out of the Quarterfinals at the Ballito Pro. WSL / Kelly Cestari

The World Surf League: Congrats on qualifying! It must be a huge relief after 10 years on the qualifying series.
Peterson Crisanto: It's been a long time coming. I've been working hard to qualify all those years. And finally, it happened. I'm really happy to make it. To make my dream come true. I'm so excited to start the year.

What do you think changed this past year?
I think it's just more experience and more focus. That was the difference. All of those years with Billabong, all those years traveling a lot, they paid off for me. I was 17 when I started. I was just a grom, and so I just wanted to have fun, you know? And now, 10 years later, I know I'm prepared.

You won the QS 10,000 at Ballito, and then finished 9th at the US Open back-to-back. At that point, did you sort of know you were going to do it?
Yeah, of course. When I won the Ballito Pro, all my confidence came back. In my mind, when I won the contest, I knew I could qualify. It was the first 10,000 of the year and I had five months to continue to work to back it up. And then I went to the US Open and got another good result. At that point I knew I was close, so I just kept my training up and my focus.

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) is the WINNER the 2018 Ballito Pro pres by Billabong after winning the final at Ballito, South Africa. Crisanto after his win in Ballito. WSL / Kelly Cestari

Who will you travel with on Tour?
Willian [Cardoso] for the first leg. Willian and his family. And for the second part, I think I'll stay with Jadson [Andre] and my manager.

It must've been cool for you to watch Willian win the Uluwatu Pro last year, and then to win the Ballito event yourself a couple weeks later.
Yeah of course. He also tried to qualify for 10 or 11 years, so when he won the Uluwatu event, I know what he's been through and how hard he has worked in his career, and mine is kind of similar. So yeah, that gave me a lot of confidence. I sent him a message to congratulate him and also just to tell him he was giving me the motivation I needed to join him. Right after that I won in Ballito. So it's going to be really good to travel with him during the year.

You also got engaged last month, right around the same time you officially qualified. December must've been a pretty special month.
Yeah [laughs]. She arrived in Hawaii, and then one day before Sunset was over we got engaged over there. It's been an amazing time - my best winter in Hawaii for sure. I qualified and I got engaged. It really was a dream come true. Both for professional goals and personal goals.

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) is the WINNER the 2018 Ballito Pro pres by Billabong after winning the final at Ballito, South Africa. Peterson Crisanto WSL / Kelly Cestari

What event are you most looking forward to?
I think the first one, Snapper Rocks. Just because it's a pointbreak and it's kinda similar to my homebreak here in Brazil. I've been to Snapper a couple years ago and I feel so comfortable surfing there. Also the other wave is Bells. But all the waves really, because I've been watching the guys surf perfect Teahupo'o and to get to surf all of them is just something I've been wanting to do for such a long time.

Is there a wave on Tour that you've never surfed?
The Surf Ranch. I think that's the only one.

At least you know you'll get an invite now!
Yeah, stoked.

What is your goal this year?
Rookie of the Year, and also to finish in the Top 10.

Peterson Crisanto of Brazil advances to round three by placing first in heat 3 round two of the 2017 WSL Hawaiian Pro, Haleiwa, Hawaii Peterson Crisanto WSL / Tony Heff

Who do you think will be the most dangerous surfer in 2019?
All of the Top 10. But I know Filipe [Toledo] is very hungry. Julian [Wilson] as well. Italo [Ferreira] is going to be tough to beat. Those three were close and I know they really want that World Title, so they will be interesting to surf against, but I just want to give my best and surf heat by heat against them.

Have you thought about how cool it is that you'll get to surf at least one full year on Tour alongside Slater?
Yeah, of course. I've been watching him since I was 10 years old. He's been an inspiration for all the surfers on Tour and yeah, it's one of my dreams to compete against him. I have actually surfed against him a couple times. When I got the wildcard from Billabong in the Rio Pro. But that was just for the wildcard. Now that I'm on Tour I know it will be different. I can't wait for our first heat.

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