Samuel Pupo, one of the rookie sensations of Brazilian surf in recent years, has his contract with Rip Curl extended, and plans to reach the world’s elite 15-YEAR-OLD SURFER DREAMS TO COMPETE IN THE WCT ALONGSIDE HIS BROTHER, MIGUEL PUPO A few years ago, Gabriel Medina, a teenager who was emerging as an amateur, signed his contract with the giant Rip Curl, which started his road to success and achievements, culminating with the first professional world championship for a Brazilian surfer. Also coming from Maresias beach, in São Sebastião, Samuel Pupo treads a similar path and has just extended his sponsorship agreement with the brand for three more years, looking at his career ahead.
At age 15 (he turns 16 on October 27), Samuel, nicknamed Samuca, has other particularities with his teammate, as the Rip Curl Grom Search international championship (they were the only two to achieve it for Brazil) and focus and support from their family to achieve their goals. Despite his young age, he already competes as a professional since last year and even stood out in the 10,000 QS (Qualifying Series), in Maresias.
The plan is reach as high as a professional surfer can reach, joining the World Championship Tour, the WCT, where his big brother, Miguel Pupo, competes for six seasons already; and that’s not all, in order to assure his place in the select team of world champions, he knows he’s got a long way to go, but he shows confidence; and has his parents, Wagner Pupo, who made history as a surfer, and Jeane as his foundations, as well as Rip Curl.
“Rip Curl is so cool for having the essence of surf and having one of my favorite surfers, Mick Fanning. The renovation that’s going through will be like a new boost for success in the QS stages and I’m super-happy about it,” said the surfer in a meeting at Rip Curl headquarters, in Guarujá.
Rip Curl’s CEO in Brazil, Felipe Silveira, also responsible for signing Medina and about 10 other surfers who reached the world’s elite in his 20 years in the company, believes in a bright future for the youngest professional in the team. “We always had this work with many athletes which we prepared to join the WCT. So, we already know the steps that need to be taken and the nicest thing about is that both the athlete and his family agree that this is the work to be done”, he said, extolling the relationship with the athlete’s parents.
“It’s very good to know that we are all in the same pace, in the same project. That is when things really work”, said Felipe, with the confidence of whom has also been a professional competitor. “I see a bright future for him. He already has as a reference his own brother, who is at WCT for a long time now. He also has a teammate, Gabriel, who has already won a world championship. He knows where he can get”, he added.
Felipe is emphatic when talking about Samuel’s goals, attributing to the athlete the limit that he can achieve. “It will depend a lot on him, on his commitment, his effort, talent and dreams. What dreams he wants to conquer? Does he only want to join the elite or to be a champion? He is to decide where he wants to get and what to do to get there. We are here to support... and to cheer for him”, argued Rip Curl’s executive.
Despite the talent he has already shown, Felipe Silveira doesn’t want to “run over” the necessary and essential steps for the development of the athlete. “That is a process. Samuel has already won a few stages in his carrier. He has already been the champion of the Grom Search, as well as of an event in California recently. He is going through stages and the outcome of this is the WCT. That is what the professional surfers crave. Samuel has this goal and we have a plan for it. He is achieving his goals and we believe he is yet to achieve a few stages, and everything is going well,” he completed.
His father and manager doesn’t hide his satisfaction to see Samuca on track and with a good plan. “We are very happy for having such an incentive from Rip Curl. We feel that Samuel is almost ready for the stages of the World Championship, so we came to talk to Felipe. We are so thankful,” said Wagner, while glimpsing a potential duo in the WCT.
“We hope that Samuel gets there and that Miguel is still there when this happens. That is the sixth year for Miguel. If both are there, this will be very good, they will be able to travel together, help each other. We’ve already seen many siblings there, like CJ and Damien Hobgood, Andy and Bruce Irons, and we are waiting for it to happen”, commented the father. “My heart will beat faster, because they may compete against each other sometime,” he joked.
Samuel said he has already thought about such a possibility too. “This round against my own brother is like a dream. I think it’s my dream, it’s his dream, and the dream of many people who like our family,” confessed the surfer, who with his extreme surfing has three inspirations: his brother, since he was a child, his idol, Mick Fanning, the Australian who won the world championship three times, and Filipe Toledo. “Miguel, for his style and calmness when surfing. Mick, for his discipline, his training, and for being so focused. And Felipe, nicknamed Filipinho, for being so extreme and for his air moves”, he listed. “If you combine those three, everything is going to be alright (laughs),” Samuca strengthened, always with his calm voice.
His schedule of competitions now includes the Pro-Junior US Open, in California. One of his goals is compete in the World Championship of the category in early 2017, in Australia, fight for the Championship and then assure his presence in the main stages of the QS, facilitating his entry in the elite. “Pro-Junior is my main goal now, and this event in California is important for me to grow. It’s a classic. Doing well is important”, announced Samuca, who did well in the QS this year, assuring the third place in stage 1000, in Cabarita Beach, Australia, his first professional event abroad.
JOURNALIST CREDITS: FÁBIO MARADEI / FMA NOTICIAS