Passion Picks: 2016 Quiksilver Pro France

France in the fall — nothing like it, right? Photo: Corey Wilson

France has to be one of my least favorite contests. Mostly because it starts so early in the morning. Heats On Demand is nice, but in 2016 who has the patience to click on every scoring ride for every surfer? How about an option where you go to HOD and it doesn’t have the scores or results listed so you can watch like you don’t know what’s already happened? Or even better, a condensed version of every heat with one angle of every wave and scores as they finish the ride? Yes please WSL!

The Elite:
Gabriel Medina
Over the past five years, results include: 1st, 1st, 2nd, 5th, 5th

Gabby’s never lost before the quarters in France. This is an unheard of level of eliteism. There are more varieties of conditions in the Quik Pro France than any other location on tour. Medina’s freakish ability to be great in all of those is a testament to why he’s already won a World Title.

John Florence
Over the past four years, results include: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 5th.

His lone result outside of the quarterfinals was that first year on tour where he and Medina qualified during the midway point. A John vs Gabby final would rival Andy vs Bruce. In the chance of a conflict, I would choose to watch that over Jaguars vs Bears. That’s a radical statement for me.

The Commoners:
Kolohe Andino
This year Brother is on point and France suits his surfing incredibly well, like most California surfers. I credit it to growing up surfing horrible beachbreaks at home and that’s like swinging with a weight on your bat in baseball. When you get to a beachbreak in France that’s significantly better, it’s easy.

Josh Kerr
Comfortability in big, open water waves + being able to stick a variety of airs = Josh Kerr on my mf’ing team.

Filipe Toledo
It’s been a down year for crazy aerials on tour and I think it’s in this man’s hands to change it. Yeah Filipe, we know you have your turn game down and it’s nasty, but that’s just not what made you Filipe Toledo. Entertain us!

Adriano de Souza
Damien Hobgood made a bet with me that ADS wouldn’t make Top 5 at the end of the year. I said for sure he would. As the year goes on, that looks like I will lose. He gave everything to get that World Title and Adriano is one of the hardest working athletes I’ve seen. 100% focus for a year straight can take it’s toll on anyone but come on man it’s been 9 full months, help me get this money.

The Strugglers:
Leo Fioravanti
He won our 2016 Peer Poll in SURFING and for good reason. Leo is a savage in all conditions and has already proven he can hang on the CT through a couple wildcard appearances. Yeah he’s Italian but France is his real home and that’s an advantage.

Jack Freestone
Freestone has an 8,000 pointer in the bag with basically nothing to back it up. It’s a logjam in the ratings. One more banger and he’s sitting pretty to be back for a fully healthy 2017. Get some Jack!