Filipe Toledo just became the first Brazilian surfer to grab the title of back-to-back world champion. That’s a big leap when looking back on the last decade-plus of the Brazilian Storm’s grip on the sport. In fact, it was just a decade ago that we were even celebrating a first-ever Brazilian world champion when Gabriel Medina won the 2014 ASP title. And for some reason it only felt like a matter of time before Toledo would get his turn at this top.
This title was anything but a lock, though. In fact, it was only about two months ago that his 2023 campaign looked like it might get completely derailed when he hurt his knee in a Round of 16 heat against Jadson Andre.
“There are no ligaments that were…you know, they’re all intact,” he said when it was revealed that the injury wasn’t going to sideline him. “The only injury I have right now is cartilage. It’s going to take me a few days to get back in the water.”
He was right back in the water with J-Bay coming just weeks after Rio. But as he points out in Peace & Power, a new documentary series following Toledo’s 2023 season on tour, that Rio speed bump was still a scary one.
“After I did my first surf here (J-Bay), I felt a little calmer,” Toledo says. “But until that day, until the first surf, there were many doubts, fear, and anxiety.”
Sure enough, the guy was back in a jersey within weeks and he won the Corona Open J-Bay. It was his third win of the year. Counting wins in the WSL Finals this year and last, Toledo has seven event wins spanning his two world title campaigns. It’s fair to say we’re all watching a very special run of dominance on the men’s tour right now.