Jimmicane’s Passion Picks: 2014 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

posted by / ASP / February 27, 2014

Passion PicksJimmicane’s Picks.

After a 2+ month long break, everybody is ready to see some man-on-man warfare in the form of tubes, hacks and airs again. Lucky for us, (most of) our favorite surfers get to tee off on the Disneyland of surf breaks, the Superbank (praying that it’s not D-bah).

We made the switch to the ASP’s new Fantasy Surfing platform this year, and I will say they’ve made changes for the better. Your team consists of two surfers from the top eight, four from the middle sixteen and two of the bottom twelve. It simplifies things and makes it more fun now that you don’t have to think about a “budget.” You can sign up for your own team and start a group with your friends here. —Jimmicane

The Elite

These are from the top 8 from last year’s final rankings. It will change each event based on the ratings throughout the season.

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Kelly Slater

Remember what happened after Parko won the World Title by beating Kelly at Pipe? He had a GoPro style view of Slater’s ass in the Quiksilver Pro final, while Kelly dropped into victory.

Losing is Kelly Slater’s fuel and right now his tank is full. The only time he’s gone three straight years without a World Title was 2002-2004 when Andy Irons reigned supreme. He’s my bet to win number 12 if the tour is blessed with above average surf this year.

—–

Jordy Smith

I think we’ve seen enough growth with Jordy Smith over the past couple years to know that he is going to be a force to win at any rippable right hand venue. He’s married, he’s focused, he’s happy, and he’s just simply better than anyone at performance surfing on his frontside.

Unfortunately that still doesn’t mean much for his World Title chances because until Jordy becomes dominant in barreling waves, he just won’t be able to hang onto Number 1 come Pipeline. Then again, bringing back J-Bay helps.

I’m weary of picking…

—–

Kai Otton

The guy had a great year in 2013, but picking him out of this category would be sketchy at best. You’d need a miracle.

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Mick Fanning

Recent history at this event favors Parko and Taj, who regularly see themselves in the finals or winning. Last year was the first time Mick made it to the semi-finals of this event since 2009.

The Grinders

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You pick 4 out of this batch of 16 surfers and at a place like Snapper, that’s plenty of talent to choose from.

Josh Kerr

Kerrzy’s been launching frontside airs over this sandbar since he was a pre-teen. I get the feeling this new ASP wants to reward stylish aerial surfing more than ever, and no one is better suited than Josh Kerr.

—–

Adriano De Souza

Just in case the new ASP wants to keep it old-school and reward groveling, I’m handcuffing my Josh Kerr selection by picking Adriano who cares solely about winning heats. If he has to grind a knee high whitewater all the way to Rainbow Bay, this man will do it. It’s worked well for him in the past.

—–

Michel Bourez

If I had to describe his surfing in one word, it would be “sharp.” Last year it was razor-blade sharp. I expect that blade to keep cutting at Snapper. Eventually Michel will win an event on the WCT and it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s right here.

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John Florence

There’s a heap of great options left but I have to start out 2014 with John because it’s time for him to step his WCT game up. When you get paid more money than any surfer ever, you need to be contending for World Titles. Video parts are great and all, but winning a World Title is what really matters to the best surfers on the planet and the public. John needs to go out and at least make the semis here to let everyone know, this year he’s serious.

I’m weary of picking…

—–

Matt Wilkinson

Talent can only get you so far. At a certain point, age catches up to you and things like diet and fitness actually start to matter. Wilko can belt the shit out of waves on his backhand but the probability of that gut hanging out and whacking him off balance is too much for me to ignore.

The Strugglers and Wilds

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Everyone has to scrape two off the bottom of the barrel for their team but this might end up being fun. So far the wildcard options have not been added but they should show up after the trials are finished. Dane Reynolds will be an option.

Mitch Crews

This is Crouton’s home event and I know how fired up he is for his debut on the WCT. Talent wise, Mitch might not be the second coming of Mick Fanning or Joel Parkinson but he is (along with Jack Freestone) the best thing Coolangatta’s produced since. Guaranteed to scratch and claw every heat and won’t make a mental mistake that gives one away.

—–

Travis Logie

As a photographer shooting this event, I might go grab a water and some food during Logie’s heat because let’s face it, he ain’t very photogenic. Next thing I know it’ll be the quarter-finals and I’m gearing up for Slater’s heat when all of a sudden I see Travis jumping off the rock. Point being, this guy is silent but deadly. Especially on long rights.

I’m weary of picking…

—–

…on anyone in this bracket

The odds are stacked against all of the lowest ranked surfers, but you’ll see at least one of them get on a heater every event. Use this opportunity and root for underdogs to take down the top guys you didn’t pick out of The Elite category.

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  • SurfingKook

    Is it just me or do other people also feel like last years horrible judging has tainted this years coming tour? Last year was a real eye opener. I see this articles picks of likely winners, but the only thing going through my mind is — yeah, if the judges allow them to win. Unless all of last years judges were fired, I expect we’ll see more manipulation this year to push certain surfers to the top. At this point it’s more about entertainment rather than being a competitive sport.

  • dontneednochokebrain

    Agree, SurfingKook. I wish the ASP were more transparent in how judges were trained and selected, and the interaction these judges have with surfers and sponsors. I’d also like to see ASP surfers allowed to vote off 1 judge a year if they can get a majority vote. One other change would be to invite a local top-talent surfer at each event to be a guest judge on the panel. This surfer would know the break and the skills needed to surf the waves in all possible conditions, and their scores for rides would be weighted 1/2 as the other judges–enough to make a difference, but not enough to totally skew a heat.

  • Ben

    Huge problems with the judging, making it almost impossible to pick based on skill, etc. Mick wasn’t even the fifth best surfer in the world last year and he won a title. Case in point, his heats against the real best surfers in the world (JJF and Slater) in quality surf (Kirra, Fiji, and Pipe), where he was either handily beaten or utterly smoked.

  • Tom

    Watch out for Felipe, he hungry. And show me a sharper surfer on the planet than this animal

  • Kaipo Gomes

    Hello Ben you do realize that last year each surfer could drop their two worst results. The way the Tour deems the World Champ is based upon consistency. Kelly gave to Title away with his lack of results in Europe. Fanning was the most consistent surfer on Tour whether you like that or not. Whether he got the score or not at Pipe it is OVER. It’s done. Move on. Have you seen Fanning or Parko surf in person? If not I encourage you to do that soon. Video does not do them justice. There is a valid reason Fanning is World Champ. He kills it plain and simple. See him in person and you will get it.

  • Sergio Perrella Filho

    Is this all you have to say about de Souza? The guy is ripping, he improved his style and is always competitive as all pro surfer should be!
    He never gets the respect he deserve!

  • anyone

    remember author, “Andy Iron’s Dominance” began with Slaters absence. Kelly returned for Andy’s third and nearly nabbed it fresh off retirement.

    does anyone remember Andy fresh off retirement? Snapper was embarrassing, he pulled out tehaupoo by catching the only 4 head high waves during the semi finals on.

    the same as Occy’s title and Sunny’s, gifts while the champ free surfed.

    Mick does kill it Kaipo G, he’s so technically fast and fluid through turns, people can’t register the radicalness because there aren’t many dramatic recoveries, the guy is clean.

    But he lost his heat to Yadin. Thats not wallowing in the past, it just is. Consistent mid range results winning titles should be something buried under an ASP “Hardman Rule”.

    The undue corporate domination of the ASP creates a paradigm of cynicism and the judges bear that pressure. The first priority of the ASP should be the product, not the advertisers who have stolen the game and one could make the assumption that everything marketed is scripted to some degree.

    Witout ASP soveirignity, the entire tour looks like Professional wrestling.

  • Matt

    It’s obvious. Four Austrailian judges.

  • Ben

    To Kaipo,

    Yes I have seen all of them surf in several location, and yes, they f-ing rip. No person in their right mind would say they don’t – they would have blown minds in 1997! But they are not in the same league as Slater and JJF, both of whom have skills, e.g. completing ultra extreme drops in heavy waves, that Fanning and Parko simply do not possess. Guys like Jordy, Medina, and possibly Julian are also demonstrating more complete repertoires, which I’m hoping the judges will favor more in the future. BTW, “anyone” Slater was on tour for all three of AI’s titles, put up a very good fight for AI’s second (best title race ever), and was handily beaten for his third. IMO Slater actually lost his seventh title to AI as well; he was ridiculously overscored in the 2005 Trestles final, which, if you look at the year end tally, made all of the difference.

  • anyone

    Hey Ben

    Where do you access the past ASP results?

    If I’m wrong, cool, but I like to see the facts and I remember things differently, though I pay more attention now that contests are shown live…. never read the ad copy that the magazines parrotted in the past.

    I checked the ASP site and no archives for results.

  • Jimmicane

    @anyone They don’t have a legit page with all the statistics but if you click on Kelly’s athlete page on aspworldtour.com you can see his final rankings each year at the bottom.

    This is how it went down:
    Kelly left after ’98 and it went Occy, Sunny, CJ. Then he came back and 2002-2004 was all Andy. Kelly went 9th, 2nd, 3rd and then finally got back on top in 2005.

  • felipe

    Gold !! kerrzy, slater, jordy and de souza in my team too

  • anyone

    @Jimmicane

    I respect that you remember, but shouldn’t there be a certifiable registry of results that we could all access?

    Occy and Sunny received their lifetime acheivemant awards, that we know.

    Funny thing is, as a kid my pop used to take me to baseball games and I used to keep score…????

    Like homework watching a game. pfftttt…

    Now the ASP doesn’t even bother to archive results if the sponsor doesn’t advertise them.

    99% of surfing exists beyond/outside of the pro/industrial culture. Pander to that demographic.

    You won’t need to grow the market because you’ll engage the market that already exists. Imagine that?

  • The_Joker

    Nothing is going to change. I just sent mails to ASP and so many others tonight. If the SURF isn’t good enough for the ASP WTC Men to surf then it isn’t good enough for the WOMEN.

    I’m so pissed that they moved up the roxy and made the women surf today I am fuming, about to break shit.

    I will try to hold it together.

    BUT IF THE SURF ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE MEN TO START THE WTC THEN IT ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE WOMEN TO SURF EITHER ASP…

    HEAR MY CAPS!!!!

  • Jimmicane

    @anyone I vaguely remember those kind of things but I have to check my facts and it’s always a pain in the ass because there’s no place to find all the stats. This is something I’ll talk to the ASP about in the next few days. I bet you they are already working on it though. This regime is legit from what I’ve seen. Going to take some time to get everything square still.

    @the_joker It’s all gonna be ok. Don’t blow a gasket. The forecast sucks unfortunately. They are going to have to run the guys in bad waves too. They are not trying to screw the girls over but you know the guys are going to get priority on conditions. They bring in the $. No one is wishing for shitty waves for any part of the contest.

  • Ben

    Sure the ASP is legit… unless you write a dead-on power rankings:)

  • RH

    Ben, dead-on arrival power rankings is more like it; just ask Dion Atkinson. Actually, former-dork Jimi’s assessments here happen to be more dead-on than Samuels’ tossed off “power rankings” were. Now, if Jimmi would just kill Chas Smith before Chas ever writes anything about surfing again, this here’d be a magazine.