Silvana Lima is a warrior. There’s no other word to describe a woman with her skill, determination and resilience. She started well behind the line, growing up in a snack-shack on the sand in Paracuaru, Brazil, owned by her parents. She learned to surf on a piece of wood that she adorned with a makeshift fin herself. Her first “real” board was a hand-me-down she got at 14. Yet from those humble beginnings she went on to become an eight-time national champion, a two-time runner up to the World Title, and an inspirational unsung hero. She was a diehard soccer player in her youth, and nearly chose that path until a career in surfing became a reality. Her lively performances earned her a spot on the Championship Tour in 2006, and she set the world on fire during her first six years on Tour with five Top 5 finishes on the leaderboard, including her No 2 rank in 2008 and 2009. Her winnings allowed her to buy her family their dream home, and life was good. Silvana’s bread and butter was her penchant for progressive moves. Lightweight and agile with breakneck speed, she was one of the first women to routinely go to the air in competition. But her acrobatics cost her in 2012, when torn ligaments in her knee forced her to sit out the season. With a new generation of stars grabbing command of the Tour the 27-year-old veteran was quickly forgotten by a ruthless surf industry. She got the injury wildcard in 2013, but she got shellacked with her still-tender knee, and fell off Tour. While most surfers would have called it a career, 29-year-old Lima attacked surfing’s minor leagues without blinking, and won the 2014 Qualifying Series. Back on the CT in 2015 it appeared she hadn’t lost a step when she returned to the Roxy Pro and eliminated Sally Fitzgibbons with a huge aerial reverse. But that quarterfinal finish was her lone bright spot that season, and by year’s end she was off the Tour again, and at 30 it felt like rock bottom. But Lima’s friends and family still believed her. Former Tour star Leonardo Neves began working with her, adding even more moves to her arsenal. Encouraged by her own progress, she sold her apartment, her car, and her bulldog’s prized puppies to fund her next QS campaign…and it worked. She won it again in 2016, and this time she returned to the CT healthy. In 2017 blitzed her way to victory at the Swatch Lowers Pro proving that at 32 years old, she was still on the forward edge of progress. Today, at 33, Silvana Lima is pinching herself again, and whenever she's feeling down she just reads the ink on her right arm, which says, “Tudo Passa.” Everything passes.
Silvana Lima made history in 2019 being one of the first 18 athletes to provisionally qualify through the WSL Championship Tour for selection for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.