In the decade since, Andre has been a CT staple; one of the most likable and hardworking surfers out there. So it was a bummer - both to Tour surfers and surf fans alike - when Andre failed to requalify at Pipeline at the end of 2017.
After only one year back on the Qualifying Series, Andre made the jump back into the big leagues with a Semifinal finish at the most unlikely of places: Sunset.
The World Surf League: Having qualified before, did it make the prospect of grinding through the QS again any less daunting?
Jadson Andre: The thing is I didn't really know if I was ever going to requalify when I fell off, but I promised myself that I was going to do my best, and give it more than I ever had. I also told my best friends in Hawaii right after I lost my heat at the Pipe Masters, I said to them, "No worries, don't be bummed for me, I will be back on Tour in 2019." Thank God that I did. I'm really proud that I was able to make that promise for myself and then come through on it.
How did it feel to qualify at maxing Sunset this year?
Oh, man - that meant everything to me! There is a world of difference for me being on Tour versus being off. I'm not one of those guys that has a really awesome sponsor where, being on or off Tour wouldn't really make a lot of difference. Pretty much all my sponsors are from a small city in Brazil, besides Buell, who's based in California. So, when I requalified at Sunset, I had this moment in my head, where I thought about all the hard times from 2018, knowing that I was going to be back on Tour again in 2019, and that a lot of things were going to be better in my life. I was so stoked.
I loved seeing your reaction on the webcast. Just pure, unbridled happiness.
[laughs]. That meant as much to me as any other moment in my career. And to do it at Sunset, in the last event of the year, with all the pressure on. I was just so happy when I made it.
If you had to choose one thing, what will you do different this time around?
I've thought about that, and there's not much, really. Sometimes the results come and sometimes they don't, it's best not to let the results control you too much. I will train more than ever though. Everyone has a lot of talent on Tour, so for me, if I train more than them, I will win more heats. That's what I've learned, I can't guarantee results, but I can guarantee that I will train more than ever to reach my goals, because I have a lot I still want to accomplish.
Who will you travel with this year?
I'll actually be traveling by myself most of the time this year. My girlfriend will go with me for J-Bay, and hopefully I can bring a close friend with me to at least a couple of the events. And Italo Ferreira, Gabriel Medina, Miguel Pupo and I, we always stay together in Tahiti at a family's house that we also consider family. So I'm really looking forward to getting the chance to do that again.
What are you most looking forward to about being back on Tour?
I really realized how much I missed it being off last year, and so I want to enjoy every moment more than ever. But at the same time it's time for me to give it 200 percent to reach my goals. Obviously 110 percent wasn't enough, so it's time to dedicate myself more than ever and give it 200 percent.
What wave on Tour are you most excited to surf again with one other guy out?
Definitely Teahupo'o. Honestly, I love Tahiti more than any place in this world, and not being there was hard. I hope we score this year.
Who will be the most dangerous surfer on Tour this year?
I hope it will be me. That's the way I have to think though - everyone on Tour is just too good.
What is your goal this year?
To win as many heats as I can. After being on Tour for so long and then getting knocked off, it was good for me to reset and see the Tour from a different perspective. But I'm thinking about making the Top 10 for sure. I've won an event and made Finals but I've never put together the year I know I can. I'm more happy than ever to be here. Hopefully that means I can have the best year of my career.
Watch the first event of the 2019 Championship Tour season at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast live April 3-13 on Worldsurfleague.com and Facebook.