Leilani Collection


FIRST LIGHT - João Mendonça

First Light
Johnny is the 14 year old Surfer that almost killed Nic.

After a knee injury and 3 long months out of the water recovering, João Mendonça (a.k.a. Johnny) got the call from Nic Von Rupp: 6 AM, First Light at Coxos. This is his Johnny’s very first session after the injury, Coxos is pumping as good as it gets and in the water there’s Frederico Morais, Kanoa Igarashi, Italo Ferreira, all the locals and of course, Nic… all probably a bit intimidating for any 14 year old grom? not for this one! Johnny stole the show, got the bombs of the day and absolutely killed it, well he literally almost killed Nic (01:55-02:05) with that morning light dazzling him when he was coming out of a barrel, not his fault!
Photo: Instagram

João Mendonça is currently one of the most promising Portuguese groms of his generation, local from Arrifana in the South of Portugal, he won the 2018 Parko Groms sub14 in Australia, was 3rd in the 2016 Volcom Global TCT in California and he has been in the limelight every time it’s pumping across our coast since he got back from recovery.

“First Light” is a short clip featuring some of the best sessions in the last few months all around Portugal, produced and edited by Hugo Almeida. Nic was not injured during this production and he still calls Johnny occasionally.

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