At the end of the 2019 season, Italo Ferreira celebrated the best day of his career. He became a Pipe Master and earned his maiden World Title in an emotional, hard-fought final against fellow countryman Gabriel Medina.
To anyone who spent time on the North Shore during the weeks leading up to Pipe, they knew how much Italo wanted and deserved it. But he didn't want it for himself. He dedicated it all to his family.
Growing up in Baia Formosa, a small town nestled in the northeast corner of Brasil, Ferreira's family came from humble means. His father, Luiz, was a fisherman, and one day while at the beach with is dad, Italo grabbed the lid of a styrofoam cooler and taught himself to surf. Eventually, his father bought him a board and Ferreira won his first contest two months later.
From the very beginning hardwork and selflessness became pillars of his meteoric rise. Italo dedicated himself to the long right-hand wall at the port of Baia Formosa, perfecting his backhand attack and that famous full-rotation. Translating those countless hours of surfing to successes, some of his brightest Championship Tour moments have come in world-class rights: Think wins at the Gold Coast, Bells and Keramas.
As a grom, CT surfer Jadson Andre took immediate notice of the prodigious young talent and took Italo under his wing. By the time he was 12 years old, Italo left home determined to make a name for himself.
"I always knew Italo had a special talent, I think only a few people in the world have it," said Andre.
Ferreira's career has come full circle (not just in his air game) but his commitment to his hometown. Taking time from his 2020 Tour preparations, Ferreira just visited a local school with a truck full of school supplies for the kids.
Like his mentor Andre, Ferreira's desire to uplift and inspire the next generation is a testament to his roots and passion for passing along the positivity. We could all take a page out of their book.