2019 World Champion Italo Ferreira is an explosive surfer with a perpetual smile. Here are a few things you may not know about "The People's Champion", who blitzed his way onto the scene after a breakout Rookie Year in 2015, and is now on top of the world.
He learned to surf on a cooler lid
As a boy, Ferreira wasn't a pampered professional-surfer-in-waiting. He famously learned to surf on the Styrofoam lid of a box his father used to store the fish he would sell. This is the perfect illustration of Italo's humble upbringing, and explanation of his passion and commitment.
He's Cool Under Pressure
Italo showed up to the ISA World Surfing Games late, won his heat wearing a pear of jean shorts, and then went on to win the entire event. This is pure Italo - a surfer seemingly immune to nerves and the weight of expectations. He's cool under pressure, and always having fun, even when the cards are stacked against him.
He's from Baía Formosa
Italo is from the small coastal city of Baía Formosa. As you can see, it can get some pretty tasty waves. In fact, it's one of the few quality point breaks in Brazil, and helps explain how Italo got that razor sharp backhand.
He won a Red Bull Airborne
Often surfers fall into two camps, progressive free-surf star or competition machine. But Italo is one of the best when it comes to both, so much so that he actually won a Red Bull Airborne on the Gold Coast before the Championship Tour event at Snapper. And he celebrated with a backflip!
He was once held up at gunpoint
Italo has told The Inertia about an alarming incident, in which he was held up at gunpoint. The thieves took his truck and boards, which were never seen again.
He Won His Title With A Final At Pipeline
It's the Holy Grail of competitive surfing -- a showdown at Pipeline to decide the World Champion. Italo secured his maiden World Title in a nail-biting final against countryman (and the first ever Brazilian World Champion) Gabriel Medina.
His First CT win was the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
Italo has a deadly backhand, but it's still surprising his first-ever Championship Tour wins was at Bells, in a final against Mick Fanning -- one of the best-ever surfers at Bells (and right-hand point-breaks in general). This was Mick's CT farewell, and Ferreira played spoiler to a fairytale finish.
He's shreds on a skateboard
They're both boardsports, and skating and surfing have shared history. But being good at one does not qualify you for the other. Italo has shown he's one of the CT surfers who also shred on a skateboard.