Jason Miller’s Logical Picks: Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
Fantasy surfing? I love it. I enjoy a game where competitive nature comes out. Put a little money on the line and it makes it that much more exciting. It’s like putting cash down on a football game — suddenly it’s worth watching.
My picks are from a purely logical standpoint. I prefer to look at the heat draws and analyze each competitor’s previous success at each venue. There is also a balance to putting together a good team. If you load up with four or five heavy hitters, it will leave you without the funds for a complete team. Also, having a connection to someone at the event is a huge advantage. Any sort of pre-event freesurf synopsis from a trusted source will definitely give you some good insight.
Keep in mind, you get scored on each guy’s heat total win. Therefore, you want guys on your team not only winning heats, but winning big.
Here’s my selections for the 2011 Quiksilver Pro:
This one is easy. Coming off a hugely successful year in 2010, Kelly returns to competition. He’s got quite the track record out at Snapper — he’s won the event
three two out of the last five years. With Rincon in his backyard, his refined CI’s are perfectly geared towards the down-the-line sandbar at Snapper. Determined by the result of this event, I foresee this contest yielding a fork in the road. To continue on with the rest of the 2011 season or chase swells and get the best waves of his life? [Editor's Note: Boardistan has a good read on this quandary here.]
Local boy. He has an affinity towards right points and won the event in 2007. He’s put more hours out there than just about anybody. His full-body torquing carve was perfected out there and will be one of his weapons for success. He’s a guaranteed semifinal shoo-in.
The big guy. Like J-Bay, Snapper suits his surfing perfectly. He’ll surf against Patrick Gudauskas and a wildcard in Round 1. If he relaxes and doesn’t try to force scores, he should easily march right into Round 3.
Joel’s back. When his buddy Mick was sidelined by a hamstring injury, he returned hungry, fit and rejuvenated, and now has world titles to show for it. Rewind to Haleiwa last year. First wave back in competition for Joel following his heel injury: 10 points. Eventual contest result: 1st place. 2011 season prediction: world title. As long as he doesn’t become the meat in a Brazilian sandwich (against De Souza and Muniz), Parko’s got a Round 1 win in the bag.
There’s a lot less murmur surrounding Josh Kerr’s qualification than when he had his first go-around in 2009. He spoke very highly of himself and that the World Tour was going to be a cake walk. This proclamation was pretty effectively dashed and Josh left the tour saying it wasn’t for him. However, he has returned in a mature fashion, which just might mean mature results.
He’s been a sponge in 2010, absorbing knowledge and experience as he quickly adapted to the big leagues. He’s a genuinely nice guy which makes rooting for him easy.
He qualified in 2010 without putting in an entire year on the ‘QS. He’s been one of the most talked about juniors and now it’s time to see how he fits in with the big boys. Quiksilver gave him some opportunities to compete in the World Tour events as a wildcard, where he sent Kelly packing with a 17th in 2009. Rookie of the year in 2011?
The second coming of Mick Fanning. He draws very similar lines, but looks a bit more nervous. He’s got a great chance to beat Perrow and Davidson in their Round 1 clash. —Jason Miller
So what — you agree? Disagree? Let us know below and we can get some good old fashioned
vicious mud slinging polite debate going.
Jimmicane is SURFING’s Associate Photo Editor and a bona fide surf expert. Jason Miller is a former WQS and junior competitor turned SURFING’s Online Editor. When it comes to the ASP tour, both know what they’re talking about. (The rest of us mostly like to watch the ripping.)