- WSL / Tony Heff

It's hard to dispute that Brazil is the World Tour's most dominant surfing nation. The results speak for themselves. The top three surfers in the men's Final 5 all hail from the South American continent, as does women's World No.2 Tatiana Weston-Webb.

But not only are Brazilians dominating the World Tour, but the shapers are in on the act too.

Johnny Cabianca has been shaping Gabriel Medina's surfboards for over a decade. Cabianca grew up with Medina's stepdad Charlie in their hometown of Maresias, Brazil. He shaped Medina's first surfboard when the 2X World Champ was just four and developed his craft under industry titans Matt Biolos and Darren Handley.

BARRA DE LA CRUZ, OAXACA, MEXICO - AUGUST 11: Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil prior to surfing in Heat 1 of the Round of 32 of the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver on August 11, 2021 Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Ton Gabriel Medina has Johnny Cabianca are a force to be reckoned with - WSL / Tony Heff

Cabianca's global recognition as one of the best high-performance shapers in the world can be charted back to Medina's World Tour success. He sees himself as a normal shaper whose fate happened to put him in the path of a child prodigy, and the rest is history.

"I'm really proud of this and have nothing to say just thank you a lot to Gabriel for being with me and believing in my work all this time. For sure the people around the world are recognising my work and asking for my boards. This is all Gabriel's effect."

Marcio Zouvi formed Sharp Eye Surfboards in 1992 and in the last 25 years has turned it into a global business, overseeing production teams on four continents from the HQ in San Diego. His most notable surfer/shaper relationship has been with Filipe Toledo, but his surfboards are ridden on the CT by Morgan Cibilic, Johanne Defay, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Kanoa Igarashi.

LEMOORE, CA, UNITED STATES - JUNE 18: Filipe Toledo of Brazil surfing in Heat 4 of the Qualifying Round of the Surf Ranch Pro presented by Adobe on JUNE 18, 2021 in Lemoore, CA, United States. (Photo by Pat Nolan/World Surf League) Filipe Toledo is Sharp Eye's highest profile team rider and finished the year in third place - WSL / Pat Nolan

Zouvi has lived in the US longer than he has in Brazil. He's not shy of the Brazilian stereotype but admits that he has absorbed a lot of the values of the American society, and on a business aspect, identifies more as an American than Brazilian.

"I question myself if I would have the same success if my company was in Brazil for many reasons. America is a country that is really open for business. It's a lot easier for you to form a company, export, gather employees, to really grow and develop versus Brazil which is not. There's also an abundance of materials, of tools, technology, so many things that help us to be creative and really strive in what we wanted to do."

"So yes, I am Brazilian, but I don't really think that was a factor as far as pushing me for the creativity or the developing of the designs. I think a lot of influence was more here than there. But still, I am still proud of both as much as I would be proud if an American team rider of mine was on top of the podium -- I would be the same."

There's been a growing number of surfers jumping on Sharp Eye surfboards this season and it's translated into immediate results. Australian CT Rookie Morgan Cibilic swapped out his long-time shaper Will Webber for Sharp Eye blades and has had a breakout year. There's also a stack of young talent coming through the ranks. Names like Mateus Herdy, Rio Waida, Barron Mamiya, and Jett Schilling all ride for Sharp Eye.

BARRA DE LA CRUZ, OAXACA, MEXICO - AUGUST 11: Morgan Cibilic of Australia surfing in Heat 5 of the Round of 32 of the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver on August 11, 2021 Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League) Morgan Cibilic began riding Sharp Eyes shortly before his break-out Rookie year on Tour - WSL / Tony Heff

"I'm so focused on the League -- winning a title would be the crowning of my career no doubt about it," Zouvi tells the WSL.

He charts the rise of his brand a result of being able to straddle the demands of both servicing the top guys and girls on tour along with Joe Public and having a global licensing structure that helps deliver the same quality as out of his San Diego HQ.

"These guys are like Formula One, says Zouvi. "You almost have to have a crew in which everyone individually is dialled for every stop of the Tour. On the Tour the top brands -- of which I select like five brands they're all able to really do magic boards. But it's not easy to manage high production levels where you're making thousands of boards for the general public and also your time for these guys."

BARRA DE LA CRUZ, OAXACA, MEXICO - AUGUST 12: Johanne Defay of France surfing in Heat 1 of the Round of 16 of the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver on August 12, 2021 Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League) Johanne Defay is another CT athlete having one of her best years on Sharp Eye boards - WSL / Tony Heff

The ascendency of both Cabianca and Zouvi has been swift and seamless. They now occupy the racks of many surf shops around the world and have put a dent in the market once dominated by Channel Islands, DHD, Lost, and JS.

Perhaps the passion to compete -- hard wired in all the Brazilian talent that occupies the CT has just been slowly bubbling away in the shaping bay. It's helped drive this generation of Brazilian world-beaters and shapers to the pinnacle of the sport.

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.