Joao was born in New Haven, Connecticut - sick waves there…. NOT! - then brought up in Praia Grande, Sintra in Portugal. He learned to surf at powerful beachbreak Praia Grande, refining his skills there every summer at his Grandmother's house - and creating some of his best childhood memories. At the age of 7, his family eventually moved back to Portugal, which was when those childhood ocean memories become more vivid - transitioning from bodyboarding to surfing at age 12. He moved to San Francisco in 2004, initially part-time, as he worked at my surf school in Praia Grande and on publishing my surf book. The book covers advanced and beginner surf coaching techniques, something I am very passionate about. His surf school, Surf Academia, is still very active in Portugal teaching the method developed in the book and just stoking grommets and adults alike. He recently revamped surf coaching here in San Francisco - to complement his sponsors that brought him to qualify for the Big Wave World tour for 3 years straight. He finished 4th in the rankings in the ‘12-’13 season - coming a far way from New Haven, CT! Surfing big waves is a passion of his which keeps him connected to the ocean in a deeper way, requiring higher fitness level, close connection to equipment and igniting the spirit by facing fears through direct interaction with Nature. He surfs anything the beach has on tap, loves yoga and trains with Simon Fathers - as well as spending tons of time with his little boy Ze Keoni, watching him skateboard and maybe pick up one of Dad's boards and start shredding! He has worked as Environmental Manager for the Mavericks Surf Contest and as Program Manager / Co-Founder for the World Surfing Reserves. He is stoked to be part of the OB/Mavs community, and we are proud to have him on the Aqua Surf Team.