When bossa nova exploded in America and everywhere else in the early 1960s, Jobim was its star. His catchy songs were played everywhere. The “Girl from Ipanema” made Rio’s famous beach famous. But another song was inspired by a beach in California.
Jobim was in LA at the time recording The Wonderful World of Antonio Carlos Jobim with Nelson Riddle. Somebody took him to Malibu Surfrider Beach, the famous point break ten miles north of LA made famous by super surfers Miki Dora, Johnny Fain, Dewey Weber, and others. Jobim was so entranced by the perfect waves and the surfers riding them that he bought a surfboard and took it back to Brazil as a present for his son Paulo.
Today surfing in Brazil is widespread and Brazilian surfers are among the best in the world, winning big wave contests on Oahu’s Sunset Beach north shore competitions. With over 7,000 miles of coastline and far more surf spots than California or Hawaii, surfing has attracted thousands if not millions of young Brazilians and surfing is now up there with soccer as one of its greatest sports.