In July 2017, the surfing world witnessed some of the most outrageous surfing that had yet to be seen in professional surfing. In the early morning ‘devil-wind; land breeze Toledo performed two of the most outrageous alley-oops yet seen on a solid six-foot set wave at Supertubes.
The Best 10-Point Ride Ever
As the 1977 world champion and commentator mentioned, ‘it was a 10-point ride after the first alley-oop.’ Toledo still went on to perform a few carves and re-entries to make it the most solid 10-point ride ever. It was then that we all knew he had a world title in him.
A surfer with that much inherent talent and an excellent understanding of competition strategy and technique had to go to the top at some stage of his career. Toledo did not fail.
After that wave, he went on to win the tournament, firmly cementing his reputation as one of the best in the world.
Toledo won numerous events after that but always fell a little short regarding big waves. It was never his forte, and he never stood out at waves like Pipeline and Teahupo’o. In fact, a few disastrous heats in Tahiti saw him fail in the public eye for not taking off on big waves and made people question his ability for a world title.
The World title is a marathon, though, and not a sprint. There are many venues for Championship Tour events, and many are smaller, beach-break locations, the type that Toledo loves and excels in.
2022: The Year Of Results for Filipe Toledo
In 2022 he won the Rip Curls Pro Bells Beach and the Oi Rio Pro. In addition, he scored a semi-final in G-Land and at the Meo Pro Portugal, as well as the Surf City El Salvador events, making him almost untouchable before the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Trestles.
- Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League
2022 Rip Curl WSL Finals
When the year’s final event rolled into town, most punters had good money on the Brazilian natural footer. The mostly small but perfect waves that Trestles could produce were his favourite waves in the world, and if he wasn’t going to win, he would go down fighting.
As it was, he won every heat in the contest and went on to win that coveted world title that he had been gunning for over the previous five years. He sat back and watched while Italo Ferreira and Kanoa Igarashi fought it out. At the same time, Jack Robinson came up against Ferreira, and Ethan Ewing came out swinging against Ferreira. By the time it was his turn to compete, Italo had already surfed three gruelling heats. It was the best of three, and Toledo shut the door in Italo in two.
To The Victor Go The Spoils
Whether or not he had performed well in big waves, Toledo won the silverware in 2022, and no one can ever take that away from him for the rest of time.
Toledo forms part of the Brazilian triumvirate comprising Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and himself. Between the three, they will dominate world titles for the foreseeable future.
- Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League