Then in 2014, the two met once again at the Pipe Masters for a historic showdown. Gabriel Medina clinched his second World Title, but Julian Wilson ended his streak with a Pipe Masters victory and a Triple Crown Title.
And in the spirit of every great rivalry, the showdown at Pipe came down to the wire. Gabriel put a 10-point ride on the board and backed it up with a 9.20. Julian countered with a near-perfect 9.93 and 9.70. In the end, less than half a point separated the two.
Over the years the rivalry between Julian and Gabriel has served surf fans well. In 2016, Julian got Gabriel in the Quarters at J-Bay. Gabriel returned the favor in the Quarterfinals of the on the shores of Hossegor.
2017 was a highwater mark in their rivarly. Julian stole a last-minute victory from Gabriel in Tahiti. Then at the end of the season, getting him back for the Teahupo'o Final and making him cry in Portugal, Gabriel settled the score with a win in the Final at Supertubos.
The duel has been largely dominated by Gabriel since. In 2018, he edged out Julian at the Surf Ranch, and then got him in an epic Final at the Pipe Masters that saw Gabriel capture his second World Title.
Pro surfing reached an epic level in the early 2000s when Andy Irons and Kelly Slater were embroiled in a World Title slugfest. It was a generational thing. It was a regional thing. It was a surfing thing. It was a personal thing.
Over the years, in a slightly more subtle way, Julian and Gabriel have provided much the same entertainment. And, hopefully, when they pull the jerseys back on the good times keep rolling.