With a pretty horrendous forecast on the horizon, look for the Hurley Pro to run straight through and finish on Wednesday in groveling conditions. Here are my picks. —Jimmicane
That injured shoulder bothers me. No matter how many acupuncture sessions or Chia Seeds you eat, old men just don’t heal quickly. Really wanted to leave him off but logic kicked me in the head multiple times over the past few days forcing me to leave Slater on. With the small forecast on tap, he’s at an advantage over Jordy Smith who has proven to come unglued in shitty conditions.
However, wouldn’t surprise me if his own promotion to help Dane Reynolds get the video wildcard slot will come back to bite him in the ass.
This guy is a well oiled machine. Word on the cobblestones is that he showed up straight off a plane, half asleep and immediately put on a clinic. It’s the most in form I’ve seen him since his win in ’09. I think Mick will lead the ratings into France.
Adriano de Souza
The Energizer Brazilian. Rides every wave as far as it can possibly take a person. Not sure if Adriano’s ever kicked out of a wave in his life. He’s guaranteed to drop multiple 8+ rides in every heat. Adriano is beatable, but only if his opposition goes completely ape shit and has a little luck too.
Probably one of the most selfish humans to ever enter ocean waters on a surfboard. Watching Medina boss his way through a crowded lineup makes me want to vomit. Every wave belongs to him apparently, but I will admit he puts on a freak show on the lefts. I hope Gabs loses, but what I’ve seen the past few days tells me he’s in for a big result to turns his heinous 2013 season around.
Growing up surfing this wave too much can actually hurt your surfing because it’s so damn easy and forgiving. That is not the case for Brother. He’s been traveling to the best breaks in the world since he learned to walk and surfs this wave to perfection. The only question mark here is: can he avoid a mental tailspin? I’ve seen Kolohe put too much pressure on himself because it means so much to do well at home. As long as no one pulls a hail mary against him (or a rodeo), expect a solid result.
The guy has been flying under the radar but after watching his freesurf sessions, I’m sold. Good price and primed to show out like the year he won the golden spike.
Small conditions favor Pat out here. He surfs it all the time and brings so much energy to even the slowest of freesurfs. The Gudang’s give it hell with positivity and don’t back down to anyone. My YOLO pick of the event, all based on passion. Go Patty G!
Apparently he’s slowed down on the beer consumption and even did a bit of training (Dane training? WTF?). Now if there’s something I know about, it’s drinking beer and being overweight. When you slim down even just a little, it makes a huge difference in surfing ability and confidence. Dane already won the biggest heat of his life in an online poll against the gaudy South Carolinian, Cam Richards. Now can he keep his roll going with that broken wing? I’m not too sure, but for that price tag, it’s a chance everyone must take.
Who not to pick:
Taj simply hasn’t been surfing good out there this week. I can’t put a finger on why. Mayhems not working? That sounds unlikely. Getting burned by Jay Adams on multiple waves? Maybe part of the problem. Looked like he found a little form today, but this ain’t the Taj of old. I’d stay away.
Hate to say it but this has never been a great event for Damo. His style is way more suited for waves with power and steeper sections. I will happily be wrong on this prediction.
Not looking as spicy as I expected. Would pick his backhand out there any day with bigger swell but in the small stuff I just don’t see it working out. Might be a bad batch of boards. Tail was looking pretty sticky. Again, hope I’m wrong but if he loses out the rest of the year, he’s still done pretty damn well.
Note: Since this was written, Nat reverted back to a board that worked and went ballistic in the evening freesurf. I can no longer doubt his success in this contest. He was stamping rights to oblivion out there. Another note and cause for concern, Slater looked borderline terrible.
Maybe he impressed his buddies on tour with that double grab in Bali, but not me. If you’re reading this, you probably know my opinion of DGs.
I’ll admit, it was a good air… for Kieren Perrow. But that’s kind of a backhanded compliment. Like saying “That was a good barrel… for a girl.” In waves that don’t barrel, I don’t pick Kieren.
Mitch Crews, Ian Crane, or any other wildcard not named Dane Reynolds
Good luck to these fellas, but in comparison to the top seeds who they’ll be matched against, slim to no chance at success. Be happy with uncrowded Lowers for two heats, your own locker, a free iPad and $8,000 in the bank. No shame in that.