Woman is punched in the head by another surfer in Bali

Disgusting moment a female surfer is punched in the head by a male pro after his mate clashed with her over the same wave in Bali – as world champ Kelly Slater condemns the attack

  • Brazilian surfer JP Azevedo filmed punching Sara Taylor
  • His friend Adriano Portela clashed with Ms Taylor over a wave
  • Viral video has outraged surfing greats including Kelly Slater 
  • Azevedo has since been dumped by his sponsor 

A Brazilian pro surfer has been filmed brutally punching an American woman several times in the head after she clashed with his friend over a wave in Indonesia. 

US national Sara Taylor and Brazilian Adriano Portela were both surfing in Uluwatu, in Bali’s south-west, on Wednesday when they caught the same wave at the same time. 

Both believing they had the right of way, a brief skirmish broke out as the pair bumped into one another as they mounted their boards before Portela bailed and left the wave to Ms Taylor. 

But outraged on behalf of his mate Portela, professional surfer João Paulo ‘JP’ Azevedo was not prepared to let bygones be bygones and instead launched a violent attack on the female surfer.

Footage posted online shows Azevedo paddling over to Ms Taylor and punching her in the back of the head as she swam back towards the surf line up. 

Azevedo, Portela and their entourage then pursued Sara and her British friend Charlie McCharg once they were all back on shore to continue their assault.

American Sara Taylor (pictured) was attacked by Brazilian surfer João Paulo ‘JP’ Azevedo in Bali on Wednesday

‘Don’t film me!’ Azevedo screams, before appearing to throw his fist into Sara’s face and then yank her towel from her shoulder.

The group of eight men can then be seen surrounding the women, with one appearing to kick Ms McCharg’s motorbike and push Ms Taylor.

Ms Taylor can be heard screaming ‘go away’ at the men before the clip cuts out.

The video of the savage attack has gone viral and outraged the surfing community – with big names including 11-time World Surf League champion Kelly Slater and Australian pro surfer Felicity Palmateer condemning the men’s ‘disgusting’ behaviour.

‘This is so disgusting and actually terrifying,’ Palmateer wrote.

‘I hope you’re alright. Get these guys deported ASAP!’

Tagging friends who live in Bali in his post, Kelly Slater wrote: ‘Do you guys know these guys? What’s the deal?’

‘Get this guy [Azevedo] sent home where he belongs.’

Footage shows João Paulo ‘JP’ Azevedo paddling over to Ms Taylor and punching her in the back of the head

His attack continued on shore as he yelled at the American women and demanded they stop filming him

Brazilian professional surfer Filipe Toledo offered his apologies and sent his well wishes to Sara and Charlie. 

‘I’m sorry that happened to you guys!’ Toledo said. 

‘Hope you guys are ok! Don’t stress with people with this kind of energy! They don’t last long, life will come back to them!’

Azevedo and Portela’s identities were unknown when the video was first published – but the pair were quickly outed as the men in the vision by internet sleuths. 

While he has not competed on the World Surf League, Azevedo is a star surfer in Brazil, having won titles in the national Espírito Santo competition in the beginner, child, junior, and professional divisions.

He was invited to Indonesia to make a surfing documentary in 2019 and, despite filming being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he fell in love with the area and relocated permanently. 

On Thursday, Azevedo’s sponsor Quebra Onda announced they were dumping him as a result of the incident.

‘After becoming aware of the unfortunate events that have occurred, reiterates that we repudiate all kinds of violence being mainly against women,’ the brand said in a statement.

Azevedo, who lives in Bali with his wife and child, has since been dumped by his sponsor 

A group of angry men were filmed surrounding and intimidating the women as they tried to leave the beach

‘Having this type of behavior inadmissible, we inform you that we have made the immediate decision to end our partnership with the athlete JP Azevedo.’

Azevedo – who boasts more than 2,000 fans online – has shutdown his Instagram account in the wake of his viral infamy.

However, speaking to a Brazillian media outlet on Thursday, Azevedo claimed he hit Ms Taylor because she looked like a man.

‘I didn’t know she was a woman. She surfed like a man, dressed like a man,’ he told Globo.

‘She was riding everyone’s wave, she wasn’t respecting anyone. She went with my friend’s wave and pushed my friend out of the loop.

‘I went to ask why she had done that to my friend. She went by and threw water in my face, cursed me. And then I lost my mind due to momentary stress and ended up attacking her. I lost my reason. After I attacked her I saw that it was a woman. She was wearing a T-shirt and I couldn’t see her bra. Soon after I apologized, a friend of mine came paddling up and I said, ‘Calm down, it’s a woman’”.


In a video later posted on YouTube, Azevedo said he was ‘deeply sorry and ashamed’ about what happened but claimed he was the true victim.

He said the video posted online did not show the whole story and that its publication ‘put me in a dangerous position’. 

‘I saw a surfer push my friend and went to ask [them] why [they did it] and got punched on my face and then I retaliated,’ he claimed.

‘Then I realised it was a woman. Then I got out of the sea to apologise.

‘They took my board inside the car.. I went to get my board back defending myself from attacks.. And in between attacks I also attacked.’

Meanwhile, Portela fired up his social media on Thursday to issue a lengthy statement apologising about the ordeal.

‘I would like to make it clear for everyone what happened,’ he began.

‘I have not hit or touched anyone. I spoke and acted with anger and disrespect.

‘I’m deeply ashamed and sorry for how I acted.’

While Sara said in a post online that Portela ‘dropped in’ on her wave, Portela claimed he was the one ‘pushed out’ – but said he only yelled and did not physically abuse the women.

Surfing legend Kelly Slater was among those who called on Azevedo to be deported after he punched Ms Taylor

Fellow surfers – including Mick Fanning, comedian Ivy miller and Othmane Chouf – weighed in on the incident

Former ormer British surfing champion Laura Crane slammed the men for attacking Ms Taylor

‘Unfortunately after that a punch was thrown in the water, however not by me and I was not involved in it happening,’ he said.

‘I continued surfing and noticed a fight between the girl who pushed me out of the wave, her girlfriend and my friend who threw the punch in the water.

‘I swam out of the water to see what was happening and not fully understanding what had happened I lost my temper and spoke with disrespect towards the girls and acted in a disgusting way that I’m very ashamed of.’

Portela said he has never assaulted anyone and the video ‘does not show everything that happened. 

However, he said that he accepted that his behaviour was wrong and there was ‘no excuse’ for the way he spoke to the women.  

‘I have reached out to the girls to apologise and try to make amends,’ he said.

‘Thank you and I’m sincerely sorry for what happened.’

A Bali Police spokesperson confirmed to local media outlet Coconuts Ms Taylor and Ms McCharg had reported the matter to South Kuta Police.

‘[Taylor] suffered bruises on the back of her head and felt nauseous,’ spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto said.

‘[McCharg] suffered bruises on her legs.’

Bayu said both Portela and Azevedo live in Uluwatu and the matter would be investigated by Bali Water Police.  

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