Oi Rio Pro
World Surf League Men's Championship Tour event
World Surf League Women's Championship Tour event
Rio's Surf Central, Barra da Tijuca, Brazil
10 - 21 May, 2016
Waves, Travel Tips, After surf and finest place to eat, find out what Rio has to offer
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 May, 2016 - This time of year all eyes turn toward Rio and the Oi Rio Pro as the world tour elite descend on the famous stretch of South American beach at Barra da Tijuca. What can we expect?
The Wave: At Postinho's slab there are two rocks that break the tide into three sections to the right on southwest swells. The first section of the slab starts to break with waves ranging from 4 to 5 feet. Below this size, the spot acts like a regular beachbreak, offering fast and hollow waves with good walls for every type of maneuver.
Rides that start on the second section begin with a critical drop and connect to the final section, which offers a barrel or a large bowl.
Travel Tips: Pack a talisman if you're planning on renting a car, because the highways here are terrifying. If the thoughts of driving through one of the world's most hectic cities sounds daunting it's easy to taxi to your destination. If you're opting to travel by taxi, try to get an estimate of the fare before departing to avoid being charged an inflated rate.
Perils: To say it's tough to get a wave here is an understatement. The Brazilians are fiery and determined, in and out of the water, and it's not a strange sight so see hoards of people paddle-battling for even the smallest of scraps.
After surf: Going to Rio de Janeiro and not visiting some of the main tourist attractions -- the neighborhoods of Lapa, Urca or Zona Sul, Sugar Loaf and Christ the Redeemer -- would be a sin. In addition to those, one of the most astounding attractions is the hike to Pedra da Gávea, the largest seaside monolith in the world.
The name "Gávea" -- given by the Portuguese upon arrival in Rio -- means main mast, as those who spotted the stone at a distance mistook it for a boat.
Trails lead to waterfalls and up the mountain located between Barra and São Conrado, offering one of the most magnificent views the country has to offer.
Eats: Former Brazilian professional surfer Fabio Gouveia has long enjoyed traveling to Rio and frequents the Pe'Ahi restaurant. Owned by big wave riders Carlos Burle and Eraldo Gueiros, the restaurant is known for quality Japanese cuisine and Pe'ahi beer.
There are also traditional pubs such as The 399, which brings together young and beautiful people for cold beer and enjoyable snacks such as cod dumplings and shrimp pies.
Championship Tour History: One of the most iconic moments in contest history came from Slater's 1997 barrel at Barra da Tijuca. Slater disappeared behind the curtain and finished with an incredibly long floater to earn an unanimous 10. Thanks to his performance, the wave has earned the nickname "Barradoor."
The women's contest has been held sporadically from 1992 onward, but it is entering its sixth consecutive season of running concurrently with the men's elite Tour. Pauline Menczer dominated the event in the nineties with three consecutive victories. Sally Fitzgibbons has a chance to tie her with a win at this year's event.
Notable: Falling towards the end of the Tour in past years, several World Champions have been crowned in Brazil: Andy Irons (HAW) in 2004, Slater in 2005 and 2006, and mighty Mick Fanning (AUS) claimed his first World Title in Brazil in 2007. But due to a more favorable season for swell, Brazil's waiting period shifted to early May.
Last year, event organizers brought in extra stadium seating for the thousands of fans that packed the beach to watch the Brazilian storm compete in the barrels and ramps on offer. When a Brazilian -- Filipe Toledo -- won the event, his jet ski had to circle the shoreline twice before finding a slice of beach without fans to dock.
Past Rio Pro winners 2015:
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 2014: Michel Bourez (PYF) 2013: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 2012: John John Florence (HAW) 2011: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 2001: Trent Munro (AUS) 2000: Kalani Robb (HAW) 1999: Taj Burrow (AUS) 1998: Peterson Rosa (BRA) 1997: Kelly Slater (USA) 1996: Taylor Knox (USA) 1995: Barton Lynch (AUS) 1994: Shane Powell (AUS) 1993: Dave MacAulay (AUS) 1992: Damien Hardman (AUS)
Past Rio Women's Pro winners 2015:
Courtney Conlogue (USA) 2014: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 2013: Tyler Wright (AUS) 2012: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 2011: Carissa Moore (HAW) 2008: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 1999: Andrea Lopes (BRA) 1998: Pauline Menczer (AUS) 1997: Pauline Menczer (AUS) 1994: Pauline Menczer (AUS) 1993: Neridah Falconer (AUS) 1992: Wendy Botha (ZAF)