Frederico Morais is the latest Portuguese surf star to make a solid impact on the international stage. Morais burst onto the 2017 Championship Tour thanks to an incredible late-season surge up the Qualifying Series rankings in 2016. He entered the final leg in Hawaii ranked No. 46, too low to even be considered a long-shot qualifier. But Morais was somehow brimming with belief, and he had decent reason to feel confident. He performs well in the big and powerful stuff. In fact, he won the Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year award back in 2013. And sure enough, he proved that was no fluke, earning back-to-back runner-up finishes at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach. Those results shot him all the way up to No. 3 on the QS, and won him a slot on the 2017 Championship Tour. He made quite an impact during his rookie season with a 5th at Bells Beach and a runner-up finish at Jeffreys Bay, which landed him at 14th on the Jeep Leaderboard. Yet because of his low profile he maintains all the trappings of a hidden threat, just as he was growing up in Portugal.
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