EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira 2022 Recap

The EDP VISSLA PRO (1st to 9th of October) is a wrap and as the only WSL Challenger Series surfing event of the year in Europe that was an contest you didn’t want to miss this year.

The long rights of Ribeira D’ilhas didn’t disappoint and the 9 days of the contest were full of action with some of the best surfers in the world in the water and a solid crew of 15 craftsmen from Europe and beyond shaping surfboards in the Vissla mobile shaping bay.

The first two days of the contest were dominated by some ex and others soon to be CT surfers, with Michel Bourez, Rio Waida, Zeke Lau and Liam O’Brien making the best of the 3 foot waves on offer.

On day 3, by going through his round of 48, Rio Waida clinched enough points to secure a spot on the 2023 World tour and for the 1st time ever in surfing history an Indonesian surfer qualified for the World Championship Tour.

With the waves and swell dropping the contest went on hold for a day, with the knowledge a new swell was coming and right on time the next morning as forecast a new pumping swell hit the Portuguese coast providing plenty of opportunities for the surfers to get excellent scores in head to head matchups. By the end of day 5, big moves were already happening in the rankings as underdogs prevailed with Sawyer Lindblad, Ian Gentil, Jacob Willcox, and ex CT finalist Morgan Ciblic charged their heats while some big names like Kanoa Igarashi, Rio Waida and local hope Teresa Bonvalot went down.

The Finals day was held in the best conditions of the waiting period. Solid lines all day with 6 foot waves and more on the sets, perfect weather and the huge coverage of the event on Portuguese national medias (TV ads, spots on radio, newspapers articles) attracted hundreds of surf nuts on the beach. Leonardo Fioravanti by advancing through the quarter finals won his ticket for the 2023 WCT. The Italian looked unstoppable on the Portuguese rights all event and made his way to the final where he faced Ryan Callinan, who also grabbed his spot on the CT by joining Leo in the final. Living part of the year in Ericeira, and Ribeira D’ilhas being the closest break to his house, Leo showed on point surfing all day in the bigger conditions and kept this rhythm through the final scoring a 8.17 and a 8.10. By finishing all of his waves strongly he was never tested all throughout the final by the Australian goofy footer. On the girls side, the ever impressive Caitlin Simmers kept showing a surf level beyond her years all event but couldn’t reach the top spot against Macy Callaghan, who, after already 2 finals in Challenger series this year is finally crowned the EDP VISSLA PRO champion.

Next to the contest a full shaping activation was going down in the Vissla Shaping Caravan customized with the art of Vissla Creator and Innovator Jason Woodside and brought all the way from Hossegor to Ericeira (16 hours drive) by Paul Duvignau. It’s really rare to bring shapers together, as a brand representing the modern do it yourself attitude through Creators and Innovators, and especially looking to highlight shapers and their craftsmanship, that event was the perfect opportunity to give local and international shapers more visibility.

The shapers, including the likes of Christiaan Bradley (Bradley Surfboards), Nuno Matta (Matta Surfboards), Nico (Wavegliders), Alberto (RT Surfboards), Evandro Bonservizi (Pro Ilha Surfboards), Ben (Chienville Surfboards), Paul Duvignau (Duvignau Surfboards), Francois Jaubert (French Da Kid), Yeray Garcia (JFB Surfboards), Inigo Indigoras (Illussions Surfboards), Manu (Fat Surfboards), Nick (Semente Surfboards), Sergio (Flama Surfboards), Pedro (Razman Surfboards), Rodriguo (Kauai Surfboards) spent each a 3 hours slot in the caravan.

One of the highlights was when Christiaan Bradley had 10 kids in the caravan, showing them how to shape a board, and giving away the 4 boards shaped all together. All of a sudden it was mayhem in and around the caravan as every kid on the contest site wanted to leave with a free surfboard!

Another highlight was the variety of surfboards being shaped. Some of the shapers came with pre shaped machine blanks that were team rider orders, really focusing on thrusters and high performance surfboards, while others hand shaped boards from scratch to the finish and aimed on building more classic twin fins. Flama Surfboards upcycled an old broken foamie into a finless carver by removing the top layer skin, re shaping the foam and putting the skin back on.

The crowd was full of questions for the shapers, and it allowed many people to discover the beauty of building surfboards. Also as a career highlight many of the shapers got the opportunity to conduct a live interview on the WSL webcast of the event, which brought them worldwide exposure.

Seeing all the shapers stoked, looking at boards and sharing experiences together was super cool and we can’t wait to do it again next year.

Stay tuned as we’ll be back to beautiful Ericeira in 2023.