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Early round fireworks in Brazil

Mikey, showing why he's taken more scalps than any other wildcard on the CT so far this year. Photo Trevor Moran

With a mix of wedgey tubes, big turn sections, and ramps for anyone on the hunt, this year's backup site at the Oi Rio Pro is already providing a better canvas than just about anything we've seen in Brazil over the last few years. Here's Mikey, racing through to round three. Photo Trevor Moran

Keyboard warriors aside, you can bet our wildcard's a fan favourite on the beach. Having dropped a few kgs before the event, Mikey's boards changed slightly to match, and his go-to shortboard is now a Monsta 8 very similar to Parko's dims (6'0" x 18 7/8" x 2 3/8" x 28.2L), along with several even a touch thinner again (6'0" x 18 7/8" x 2 5/16" x 27.5L). While his previous boards suited Mikey at close to 80kg, these new dims are ideal for his new 75kg frame. Photo Trevor Moran

Put Jeremy on a punchy righthander and you'll always see a few rail turns that stop you in your tracks. Photo Trevor Moran

Jezza's weapons of choice - 5'9 1/2" x 18 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 24.6L Monsta 8s (he's 5'9" / 72kg). Photo Ryan Miller

Ace, detonating the turn he's perfected surfing dozens of other similar set-ups at home in NSW. Photo Trevor Moran

With the beachbreaks in Brazil so far offering up small, fat lefts up to super rippable and powerful rivermouth rights, Ace has gone between his Monsta 8s in both PU (here, on bigger/hollower days) and HYFI (below, smaller days). Clip by Jacob Wooden and Pedro Carvalho 

Since starting off his season with a run to the final at the Quik Pro against Jules on the Gold Coast, Ace's most ridden board in heats has been his HYFI Monsta 8. And whether he's at home on the NSW Central Coast, or warming up on Saquarema's crumbly lefts, it's his favourite to free surf on too. Both sets of dimensions, below (he's 5'9" / 73kg):

HYFI Monsta 8 - 5'10" x 18 5/8" x 2 5/16" x 25.5L
Monsta 8 - 5'10" x 18 5/8" x 2 5/16" x 26L

Photo Mitch Ross

Fred, making his mark on Barrinha. Photo Trevor Moran

Owen, tail high down the beach from the main site. Photo Ryan Miller 

Even after a close loss in round 2, O's still been one of the most consistent performers on the CT so far this year. And, with back to back events in Indo just around the corner (Keramas then Uluwatu's Margaret River replacement), you know this will only make him even more ready to sink his teeth into quality reefbreak surf again. At 6'3" / 78kg, Owen's been riding his Monsta 8's a touch narrower than the start of the year - 6'3" x 18 7/8" x 2 3/8" x 29L. Photo Ryan Miller

Sal found some of the only critical sections on the girls' opening day to roll straight through to round three. Photo Ryan Miller

Like most of the team, Sal's got several of her favourite all-rounders from Snapper in her quiver for Brazil, showing just how much versatility the Monsta 8 has, anywhere in the world. At 5'7" / 62kg, she rides 5'7" x 18 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 23.6L. Photo Ryan Miller

Julian, all class on his way to round 3. Photo Trevor Moran

Whether he's in the tube, throwing airs or laying it on rail, Jules has one of the most well rounded forehands in the world, and it showed on opening day. Photo Trevor Moran

In his Brazil quiver, JW has shortboards used throughout the Australian leg, but it's his Snapper winning Air 17's from the start of the year that got a run once the Oi Rio Pro kicked off in chunky, unpredictable rights. At 6'0" / 80kg, he rides 6'0" x 18 3/4" x 2 3/8" x 28.2L. Photo Trevor Moran

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