Do you remember, way back in 2015, when Filipe Toledo scored a 0.0 at giant Teahupoo and the whole world decided right then and there that he absolutely-positively-could-not-would-not-never-ever surf big waves? You can bet he certainly does, mostly because it was probably a little embarrassing to fail so spectacularly in public. Oh, and if there ever was a dead horse to beat, his was beaten into the ground. But you know what makes a world champion (and mark my words, Toledo will most certainly be)? The ability to take that shit on the chin, put in the hard yards, and come back to prove everyone wrong. Which is exactly what Toledo has spent the last few years doing.
Waimea, Pipe, etc, Toledo is quietly putting in the miles. While he still might not be the guy everyone’s scared of drawing when the waves turn terrifying, he’s getting there. And when the waves start resembling skate ramps, you’d better believe he’s the guy no one wants to draw. With John John out, and World Number Two Julian Wilson bowing out in a shocker to wildcard Tikanui Smith in round two, it’s looking like there’s no one surfing as well as the young Brazilian. In his first heat at the 2018 Tahiti Pro, he comboed Yago Dora and Smith with ease. “It feels good to finally get the rhythm over here,” said Toledo after the heat.
While the event is far from over, Toledo is looking like the man to beat, whatever the forecast may bring.