From Snapchat autographs to social shout-outs, in 2014 the world's best surfers came closer to their fans than ever before. Among the goings-on were Facebook sessions: Just moments after each event title ceremony, the winners took over the World Surf League's Facebook page to field fan questions.
The 2014 World Champions took the Facebook reigns for the final takeovers of the season. From surfing to extracurriculars, Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) rattled off answers on just about anything just moments after being crowned. Here are, in no particular order, five favorites from the Champs:
Caio Matos: VocÃª é um orgulho pra nós, como tá se sentindo em ser o primeiro brasileiro campeÃ£o do mundial de surf? How does it feel to be the first Brazilian World Champion?
Gabriel Medina: Ã‰ uma honra ser escolhido por Deus de ser o primeiro campeao mundial brasileiro de surf, Hoje foi um dia especial. It is an honor to be chosen by God to be the first Brazilian World Champion of surfing Today was a special day.
Elle Mercedes: What's next for you?
GM: Esse foi o primeiro, Espero ter muitos ainda, mas vou aproveitar esse primeiro, seja o que Deus quiser. This was the first, I hope to have many yet. But I will take this first.
Nathan Kynes: How did you manage the pressure [at the Billabong Pipe Masters] knowing so much was at stake?
GM: I was focused on what I needed to do. My goal was to get to the Finals.
Pedro Hawk: How did you feel after that Perfect 10 in the [Pipe Masters] Final?
GM: That was maybe my best wave at Pipe. And it felt really good, especially since it was in the Final.
Gabriel Zambrone: Como vocÃª acha que o surf profissional Brisileiro epode mehlorar com a sua conquista? How do you think professional surfing in Brazil will improve with your win?
GM: Cara, esses ultimos anos ja melhorou bastante com essa vitoria achoque esse esporte vai ganhar mais atenÃ§Ã£o daqui pra frente devido minha vitoria. Man, these past few years already improved a lot. With this win, I think the sport will gain more attention from now on. (Read up on the history of surfing in Brazil.)
Callum Rowland: Is your hair natural? It's so beautiful!
SG: Sure is! Sunshine and saltwater can do amazing things.
Nathan Paul Manders: Do you listen to music to amp you up? If so, what is on high rotation?
SG: Sabbath or Led Zeppelin are always good for a psyche-up!
Nathan Paul Manders: Agreed!
Georgia Sargent: What's your favourite thing to do in your down time (other than surf of course!)?
SG: Hang out with my friends, have cook-ups at home and listen to good music!
Timmy Brown: Do you have any strange hidden talents??
SG: I play a lot of guitar and I'm definitely improving... I can do the moonwalk too haha.