Cover shot: Ricardo at Pipe by WSL
Almost a year ago Ricardo dos Santos, Brazil's barrel riding aficionado, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer outside his home in Brazil. Now, a punchy rivermouth wave, a stone's throw from his family home, is set to be named as the next World Surfing Reserve - the ninth spot on the planet to be awarded the accolade.
In January 2015, the surfing world was rocked when Ricardo, 24, was shot at Guarda do Embaú, about 50kms south of Florianopolis. The man responsible for his death still awaits trial – and this documentary below, filmed by Stab, about the incident, is well worth your time.
Save the Waves, the group responsible for processing and allocating the title of World Surfing Reserve, has just named Guarda do Embaú as the next WSR. The left-hand rivermouth wave is widely acclaimed as one of the best in Brazil, with a punchy beachbreak if the river isn't delivering the goods. The title helps to preserve outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments, from development or any process that could impact the wave quality.
Nik Strong-Cvetich, STW's coalition executive director said: ''This year we received an extraordinarily high quality application from Guarda do Embaú, Brazil.
“It was clear that this was a community with a deep commitment to their surfing legacy, a strong connection to their environment, and the capacity to utilize the WSR designation for the long term protection of their coastal resources.”
The statement continues: ''Home to the late Brazilian surfing legend, Ricardo Dos Santos, Guarda do Embaú’s approval has national significance. Brazil’s booming surf industry and growing dominance on the professional surf tour (WSL), has made it the second most popular sport after soccer. The World Surfing Reserve approval holds the promise to harness Brazil’s love of the sport for a deeper commitment to coastal activism and protection amongst the Brazilian surf world and policy-makers.
''Guarda do Embaú is home to a world- class wave that breaks consistently year-round and is known as one of the best surf spots in Brazil. It is situated directly adjacent to the Serra do Tabuleiro State Park, the largest conservation area in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, which boasts a stunning natural environment including the Do Madre River, an intact estuary system, and a mature sand dune system. The reserve will help address water quality issues and potential coastal developments.''
The other eight World Surfing Reserve are Malibu, Ericeira, Manly Beach, Santa Cruz, Huanchaco, Todos Santos, Punta de Lobos and Australia's Gold Coast.