Adriano de Souza
Adriano “Mineirinho” de Souza (born February 13, 1987) is a Brazilian professional surfer and also the 2015 WSL World Champion. He has been competing on the World Surf League Men’s World Tour since 2005.
Adriano de Souza is seem by many as the “hardest working man” on the WSL Tour. To many observers, like 1989 World Champion and WSL commentator Martin Potter, and former top-44 surfer and WSL commentator Ross Williams, Adriano is more eager to learn, more willing to fight, and spends more time learning the game and trying to evolve his surfing than any of his peers/competitors — with the likely exception of 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater.
Few other surfers have built the same reputation of working hard to learn and evolve on competitive surfing. Most of the other WSL surfers are somewhat perceived to be natural-talented people who don’t give a 100% effort on their professional careers — and thus rarely reach 100% of their competitive potential during surfing heats.
WSL commentators Potter and Williams usually highlighted during WSL surf broadcasts about how Adriano gets to the venues of the surf contests much earlier than his opponents, sometimes weeks in advance, to learn and adapt as much as possible. They also usually talk about how Adriano almost “never falls” on his waves, and how he loves to fight for the inside position and surf the first wave of every heat.
Surf journalist/historian Matt Warshaw wrote in the Encyclopedia of Surfing that Adriano is a “determined pro surfer, (…) built like a terrier (5’6″, 137 pounds) and fixed to his board with a wide, squat, function-first stance”. Warshaw noted that during Adriano World Title campaign he “rode with near-monomaniacal intensity and often willed his way to heat victories against more talented surfers”. Warshaw also stated that Adriano was for the most part heralded as a worthy and deserving World Champion “after years of being ignored or ridiculed by surfing’s English-speaking tastemakers”.
The tale of how Adriano asked — and then begged and then convinced — Banzai Pipeline top local surfer Jamie O’Brien (surfer) to stay at his house during the season finale in Hawaii (in order to be able to surf the break everyday and to learn its tricks straight from O’Brien) became famous in the surfing world. It showed the lengths Adriano was willing to go in order to improve his surfing abilities and win the WSL Surfing World Title.