People talk about Yago Dora as the next giant killer and as an authentic challenger for the John John Florence throne. There is no doubt that the kid is the biggest news since, well, Jordy Smith and JJF himself. In Brazil he holds that most treasured mantel of being the next great hope. He is the one to to whom Adriano and Gabriel will hand the keys. He is the one with a mixed bag of tricks and big wave credence to compete when things get critical.
Yago Dora was one of the first surfers on the planet to complete a backflip. Yet he wears a smile of a goofy kid, who is stoked just to be out in the water. He is wiry and nimble. At the age of 21 (in 2018) he’s still got plenty of time to fill out and gain a power edge. He is going to give JJF a run for his money. He’s going to give everyone a hard time.
Watch Yago compete by following his WSL profile.
The kid from Florianopolis
The Dora name might sound familiar. We’re not talking about the Malibu legend from the fifties and sixties, Miki Dora. Yago Dora’s father is Leandro Dora. He was a competent professional surfer who evolved to coach some of Brazil’s future superstars. Guys like Lucas Silveira, Marco Giorgi, Ricardo dos Santos and Adriano de Souza.
Imagine life for a seemingly uninterested kid, growing up in Brazil’s surf city, Florianopolis. Dad spent his days filming world champ Adriano and Yago is watching from the beach. It didn’t take long for Yago to get in on the action and when he did there was no messing around. As a late starter in the world of pro surfing, Yago needed to excel. Through deliberate and consistent practice combined with feedback from Dad he developed a skill set that clicked. Before long he secured competitive victory in conditions big and small.
“I was 11 when I started surfing,” said Dora, “I was never that interested, but when I started doing it I knew that was what I wanted for life.”
Yago Dora Hawaii 2015
It is hard to compare Yago to Brazil’s elite class of WSL surfers. He has something different. While competitors like Toledo have been labelled one trick ponies (albeit superhuman trick ponies), Yago has more of a high tech exuberance. There’s an understated pedigree that has him looking classy in the barrel. Yet he has that radical John John Florence-esque ability to launch airs that others wouldn’t try, backhand and forehand. Gabriel is going to be looking over his shoulder at the kid, because he is no idle threat. While it’ll take a couple of years for him to develop a championship tour strategic mind, he’ll always be a lurking threat in the minds of the top contenders, especially in those early rounds.
We’re blessed to have a goofy footer of this calibre join the tour. As we watch Adrian Buchan and Matt Wilkinson become old men, we welcome a fresh new charger who brings with him the winds of change.
Watch Yago Dora in action
Yago Dora Mentawais 2017
Yago Dora Indo 2015