Italo Ferreira had a quiet–perhaps underrated–but solid 2018 on the World Tour. Solid because he won three events on the year: Bells, Bali, and Portugal, finishing 4th overall on the Jeep Leaderboard. Quiet because the surf world didn’t spend the entire year in a frenzy over Ferreira being within striking distance of a title.
Nonetheless, Italo won’t really be an “underdog” when the tour kicks off for 2019 come April. He’s the reason the 2018 title chase extended to Pipe, even it did only delay the inevitable of Gabriel Medina winning his second championship. Is Ferreira’s recent pre-season trip to Cape Verde, Africa, a preview of what’s to come?