World Surfing Champion Gabriel Medina this week signed a new contract with long time sponsor Rip Curl

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Gabriel Medina has extended his relationship with the surfing company until 2021

The 21-year-old surfer first joined the RC team at 14 years of age, and the company has just announced that Gabriel Medina has extended his contract through 2021. Rip Curl makes it a priority to support young surfers throughout their careers, and Medina is no exception.

"Thanks to Rip Curl for the continual belief in me," said a happy Medina from the Rip Curl Team House at Pipeline. "I have been in the Rip Curl family for a long time. Now I am in even deeper."

Medina first came to prominence as a junior winning the Rip Curl International GromSearch Final, the WSL World Junior Title and rapidly qualifying for the men's world tour in his first year, bursting onto the scene in 2011 and winning two of the first four WSL World Tour events he contested.

He steadily improved his ranking until winning last year's 2014 World Surf League season when he became the first-ever Brazilian men's world surfing champion and the youngest surfer to win the world surfing title since Kelly Slater.

"The most important thing in a relationship like this is that the surfer feels at home. Gabriel is happy here with us. He's one of our crew. That makes performing at the top level easier for him," said Neil Ridgway, Rip Curl's Marketing Chairman. "Rip Curl really strives to support kids from junior to world champion and Gabriel is a great example of that program. We don't just go out and throw a lot cash at whoever is hot at the moment, we like to support surfers for the whole ride."

Felipe Silveira, Rip Curl Brazil CEO and the guy who spotted Gabriel's talent at an early age said "Rip Curl has had a close relationship with Gabriel since we first signed with him in 2009. I'm happy to see our collaboration going stronger and longer. Gabriel is already a spectacular surfer and will get better in years to come and we are stoked to see that.”

Gabriel Medina goes into the 2015 WSL world title race ranked 4th alongside his Rip Curl teammates 3 X world champ Mick Fanning (currently ranked 1st) and Fiji Pro winner Owen Wright (currently ranked 5th) with a solid chance at retaining his world title back-to-back.

"I'm looking forward to Pipeline. It's going to be great. Let's hope we get some real waves," said Medina on the challenge to come.

The World Surf League Samsung Galaxy Championship world title showdown will be decided in the heavy surf of the Pipeline Masters on Oahu's North Shore and can be watched LIVE at worldsurfleague.com.