Passion Picks: The 2016 Hurley Pro At Trestles

_A0A3833 copyPick Him!

Looks like fun sized, ripple swell Thursday through Monday.. They can only run one weekend day due to the state park’s permit. Will the WSL turn to the overlapping heat format as seen during the Pipe Masters? If it’s consistent enough, expect that to happen.

The Elite:.
Jordy Smith
His contest statistics don’t quite support it but in my opinion Jordy is the best surfer not named Kelly Slater to ever surf Lowers. When on, he simply blows everyone out of the water with a mix of power and progression. The small glimpse I saw today would suggest that he’s on. Give the man a start!

John Florence
I witnessed a security guard attempt to kick John out of the competitors area today. The number one surfer in the world, at his major sponsor’s event, told to leave? Baffling. In other news, have you seen Twelve? Of course you have. John probably won’t leave my team all year.

The Commoners:.
Mick Fanning
The WSL isn’t giving him last place points for the events he’s skipped, but if they did, he would be in a dead-set tie for 8th in the world with Kelly Slater. Did Mick miss out on his 4th World Title by not surfing the full year? It’s a very realistic possibility, but after talking with him this afternoon, I know for certain he doesn’t regret it one bit. Mick is enjoying life to the fullest in 2016 and that decision to sit out most events may just set the tour on fire next year when he comes back fully recharged.

Joel Parkinson
It’s pretty easy for die hard surf fans to see that Joel is not the laser-focused animal we all watched win the 2012 World Title. In spurts he certainly gets hopped up, but at the end of the day, Parko’s one of the greatest of all time. What more does he have to prove? Well, a heat against his best bud Mick Fanning in Round 1 is something to prove. Expect a fired up Parko to come in and kick ass this Hurley Pro.

Filipe Toledo
If you don’t have Filipe Toledo on your team at Lowers, I don’t know what the f—k you are doing with your life, I really don’t.

Kolohe Andino
Every year I throw Brother on for Lowers and every year he fails me. Kolohe might very well own more houses in San Clemente than he has CT heat wins at Lowers. That’s not a good look. With arguably the easiest draw of anyone in Round 1, it’s time to step up. Are you a puppy or are you a dog? To quote my boy Jameis Winston, “Get right. Wake up man.”

The Strugglers:.
Tanner Gudauskas
It’s a damn shame, but Tanner was a victim when the ASP did that lame-ass, mid-year cut. He didn’t even get to surf the Hurley Pro that year because he was already disqualified from the WCT. After winning the trials at T-Street, he’s earned another shot and I feel like his surfing is up to the task. Will be very interesting to watch him battle Wilko in Round 1. Two somewhat similar surfers.

Jack Freestone
Sometimes I have to pull back for a second and remember this is Passion Picks. It’s meant for picking people I believe in, but mostly who I want to believe in. Goddamnit I want to believe in Jack Freestone at Lowers, and I do believe in Jack Freestone at Lowers.