Italo Ferreira: the Brazilian claimed his first win since the Surf Ranch Pro in 2023 | Photo: WSL

Italo Ferreira claimed the 2024 Tahiti Pro in firing eight-to-twelve-foot surf at Teahupoo.

It was an incredible day of competition in Tahiti with some of the biggest performances of the year coming from the world's best, posting 27 excellent rides in only 15 heats.

Teahupoo displayed its true power and beauty during this memorable event with the world's best surfers.

These competitors have put the world on notice ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games when competitive surfing will return to this location in late July.

Coming into the Tahiti Pro, Italo Ferreira had only made finals day once in 2024 and was 16th in the rankings.

The 2019 world champion was in desperate need of a big result if he was to have any chance of booking a spot in this year's WSL Finals.

He started the day with huge wins in his Round of 16 and quarterfinal heats and built unstoppable momentum on his way to his first final in Tahiti.

The win today propelled Ferreira 11 spots up the rankings into the 5th spot with three events remaining on the schedule before the one-day, winner-take-all Championship event.

"I have really been waiting for this moment," Ferreira said.

"I have won in different types of waves, not barrels, and that is what I've been looking for."

"I missed this event last year and I have finally got my win here. Now it's time to prepare for El Salvador, which is next."

In the final, Ferreira came up against the momentum surfer of the men's finals day, John John Florence, in a classic goofy versus natural-footer matchup in perfect pits at Teahupoo.

Ferreira got started early, posting back-to-back excellent scores to earn a heat total of 17.70 (out of a possible 20)  in the first 12 minutes.

Florence struggled to counter early, taking a solid wipeout on his first wave and needing time to recover and get himself out of a combination situation.

Eventually, Florence found a supercritical late drop and tube make to post a 9.33, but as time wound down, he was unable to find a backup, leaving the 2019 world champion Ferreira to claim his first win since the Surf Ranch Pro in 2023.

"That was a really special heat against John [Florence]. I'm so inspired by him," continued Ferreira.

"That was a great heat. We started early today, and it was a long day."

"I'm so happy to make the final and win this comp. I always knew it was a possibility for me, and it was not my moment, and I'm really happy about that."

John John Florence Moves to No. 1 on World Rankings

Florence may have fallen short in the final, but he was one of the standout performers of the event and finals day in particular, posting the third-highest heat total of the event in his quarterfinal and fourth-highest in his semifinal.

Always a standout in heavy barrelling waves, it was Florences' seventh finals day from ten events at Teahupoo and his second runner-up finish.

Although he fell short of claiming his maiden win in Tahiti, Florence will leave Tahiti in the yellow Leader's jersey as the world number 1 ahead of the Surf City El Salvador Pro.

"Surfing today and getting to surf four heats today was great, and the waves were so fun," Florence said.

"It was pumping out there and so beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world so be out there and surf it with no one out and get big barrels and get worked and do the whole thing is amazing."

"Thank you to the Teahupoo community, you are awesome. All the support we get in the channel and for having us every year, this is one of my favorite places in the world, thank you."

Medina Puts on Teahupoo Clinic

On his way to the final, Florence overcame event standout and two-time Tahiti winner Gabriel Medina, who looks to have found his competitive spark after a slower-than-usual start to the season for the three-time world champion.

Medina started his day with a near-perfect heat total to oust Jake Marshall in the Round of 16.

Medina posted a Perfect 10-point ride, then backed it up immediately with a 9.83 for two super deep, thick barrel rides.

It was Medina's 17th Perfect 10 of his CT career and his first since 2017 (also at Teahupoo).

His 19.83 two-wave heat total was the highest of the entire event and the equal highest of his career.

His Perfect 10 was only the third of the men's 2024 CT season.

Medina then advanced to the quarterfinals, where he beat an in-form Ryan Callinan with a two-wave total of 18.96, the second-highest of the event.

However, he eventually lost to event runner-up Florence in the semifinals. Medina ended the event with seven excellent scores, all earned today.

Kelly Slater: the 11-time world champion locked in a quarterfinal at the 2024 Tahiti Pro | Photo: WSL

Kelly Slater Earns Best Result Since 2022

11-time world champion Kelly Slater came into the Tahiti Pro as an event wildcard and took total advantage, earning his best result since 2022 (3rd place at the Tahiti Pro).

The five-time Tahiti Pro event winner showed his form as Teahupoo turned on and reminded us of the Slater magic, particularly in his Round of 16 matchup with Ethan Ewing.

Ewing had an impressive start, earning a two-wave total of 14.17, leaving Slater needing two solid scores.

Eventually, a bomb set rolled in, and the 52-year-old dropped in late, pulled up high, flew over the foam ball, and into the channel to earn a near-perfect 9.73 and get himself back in the heat.

Then, needing a low mid-range score with seconds left, Slater found a small set and rode the tube for as long as possible to come out and take the win.

It was a solid event for Ewing, who is returning to Teahupoo to compete for the first time since breaking his back at this wave less than 12 months ago.

Ewing will take confidence out of his performance ahead of his return to this location in July for the Olympics.

Slater then went on to dominate the majority of his quarterfinal matchup with Ramzi Boukhiam, holding an excellent heat total of 16.66 and looking destined for the final until Boukhiam found a critical, deep tube ride on a bomb to earn a near-perfect 9.80 and knock the GOAT out of the event.

2024 Tahiti Pro | Men's Final

  1. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 17.70
  2. John John Florence (HAW) 17.16

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