The Story Behind Gabe Medina's Cosmic Quiver Art

The Story Behind Gabe Medina's Cosmic Quiver Art

How does a three-time world champion from Brazil come to collaborate with an artist on the otherside of the world in Warsaw, Poland?

It’s not quite as complicated as one may think.

This season on the Championship Tour, Gabriel Medina’s been rocking some very cosmic sprays on his boards thanks to the creativity of Polish artist and designer Aleksander Lange, who along with his brother run the design firm Lange & Lange, which combines their respective passions for extreme sports and graphic design and art direction. 

The relationship with Medina kicked off prior to surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo with a quiver of boards emblazed with Brazilian flags. Skipping ahead a couple years, then came the planet quiver, which each board bearing the likeness of a planet in our solar system. There was an Earth board, a Mars board, a Venus board, so on and so forth. After that came the moon phase quiver in which each board showcased a different lunar phase (see image below).

Up next, Lange has been working on a basketball themed quiver for the 2023 Surf Ranch Pro. A big hoops fan, and one of the most dominant surfers to ever compete at the Surf Ranch, the timing couldn’t be better for Medina, who’s purportedly been enjoying the NBA playoffs.

We caught up with Lange to ask him a few questions about the boards, his relationship with Medina and how it all came together for him:

How did you get into doing the art for Gabe’s boards?
It was an impulse. In January 2019 I came up with the idea to design a surfboard for Gabriel Medina for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. I wanted to refer to the circle that Gabby always has on his boards and combine it with the Brazilian flag. I mocked up a version of what I was thinking and sent my idea to the crew at Cabianca via Instagram. I think the next day I got a reply from Kelli Cabianca [Johnny’s wife]. They liked the graphics and wrote back, “Why wait until the 2020 Olympic Games when we could make a whole quiver for Gabriel for the 2019 Oi Rio Pro. This is how those Brazilian flag graphics were created. That feeling! To see your art under the feet of Gabriel Medina, it was a dream come true. I will never forget it and will always be grateful to Johnny and Kelli Cabianca. Thanks again for your trust.
How many different quivers have you done now?
I’ve designed four Cabianca quivers for Gabriel now. The Brazilian flag, the solar system quiver, the moon phases, and up next, the fireball, which is currently in production for the Surf Ranch event.

Where did the concept for the moon, sun and planets come from?

My motto is, “The sky is the limit.” I’ve always loved the cosmos, the planets and their secrets, what the moon hides. I always try to give my works a hidden meaning, a story. The Solar System has eight plants and the sun. Each plant has its astrological symbol in the corner of each graphic. Each planet has its own history and meaning. For the moon phases, we have ten moon phases from full moon to full eclipse. The moon always carries some mystery and magic. Each of the phases also has its own symbol in the corner of the graphic. All of the above graphics are also inscribed in a circle and are placed in an endless universe full of undiscovered places. I believe Gabriel is also interested in the cosmos and astrology, so it all came together perfectly. 

Can you explain how you create the images on the boards?
In projects for Gabriel’s surfboards, I combined vector graphics, photos and freehand drawing. I work in Adobe Software, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. The graphics are printed on the fabric and glassed on when the board’s laminated. 
What’s the collaborative process like with Medina and Cabianca?
When I come up with an idea, I create a project with a description. I send visualizations of the surfboard with graphics to Gabriel. If he likes it, I send the project to Cabianca and the implementation and production is discussed. After choosing graphics, I prepare files for printing and choose extra optional spray colors. The rest of the magic is done by Johnny and his team.

Can you recall Medina’s reaction when he saw the designs?

“That’s sickkk, bro! Love it!” Such a reaction speaks for itself. It is enough for me. Gabrie; is still surfing on boards with my designs. For me, it is a dream come true and every next project is like walking into a dream. I design board graphics for the three-time world champion. Isn't it crazy? 

What else are you guys working on?
Last March, we created a limited collection of Solar System t-shirts with RipCurl Brasil. The graphics refer to the Cabianca boards with the planets. I also designed a symbol/monogram for Gabriel: GM10. The Search never ends…

The road to the 2023 Rip Curl WSL Finals heats up in Lemoore, California, as Gabriel Medina, Tyler Wright, Molly Picklum and Alyssa Spencer set their sights on freshwater glory at the Surf Ranch Pro from May 27-28, 2023. Tune in live at