Jimmicane’s Passion Picks: 2014 J-Bay Open

- Shares

ASP passion picks-jbay2014

The ASP has great diversion tactics. J-Bay was added back onto the WCT schedule in late February to much fanfare. Deservedly so, because it’s one of the best waves in the world and is historically epic. What the ASP didn’t emphasize during the media blast was the fact that this event has replaced Keramas. For that reason, this event will be bittersweet for many — but if Jeffery’s does its thing, ain’t no one gonna be complaining. —Jimmicane

The Elite


Michel Bourez

Play with fire, you’re gonna get burned. Michel is a walking fireball right now. I’ve been caught on fire before. It was a hell on earth. I won’t play without him on my bench. Michel for World Champ! It’s official, I’m on the bandwagon.


Kelly Slater

Not sure what to think of this guy right now. On one hand, he seems like he doesn’t care and is only still in this thing because his management company bought the tour. On the other hand, he’s Kelly goddamn Slater and can do whatever he wants while still wiping his ass with the rest of the field. I can’t deny the guy at J-Bay… ever. Look for searing carves and probably a few “oh no he didn’t” moments from the guy who should bring back the white wetsuit for this event.

I’m not skeptical of picking but still didn’t grab…

Nat Young

I see that only 1% of teams have Nat Young starting. That’s bullshit. The kid is gonna go apeshit out there. I know it’s hard to pick him over Kelly, Mick, and the regulars, but come on. The kid is dangerous and eternally motivated.

The Grinders


Jordy Smith

He has two of his three career victories here, and they haven’t even ran this event in the past couple of years. Tactical errors are the only thing in the way of Jordy’s rightful spot on the podium in almost any event, but even that can’t stop him at J-Bay. Jordy could literally ride this wave better than most great surfers with a blindfold on. You don’t see guys on tour feeling hopeless in heats very often, but in this event, I honestly think that changes for whoever draws Jordy Smith. They’ll be shitting bricks and probably give up after he catches his first wave.


Julian Wilson

Poor Julian (first time anyone’s ever said that). He just hasn’t had the 2014 that most people expected. I thought he’d be solid in the top 10 and maybe even sneaking into the top 5. Instead he sits in 14th, which is only fun if you’re Glen Hall or Aritz Aranburu. But hope is not lost. The boy knows how to carve up a long right and coming off a successful trip with SURFING Magazine during the break. And after seeing the photos, I know for a fact that he’s tuned up and ready to roll.


Kolohe Andino

Am I really doing this? You’re damn right I am. Confidence is a big deal and Brother has finally surfing with some. The transformation I’ve seen in this guy from Bells to Fiji is something special. Plus he’s been here four times as a grom, studied people with names like Occy, AI, Kelly, has been posted up practicing for over a week and has a solid seed… I expect greatness, or at least a quarterfinal.


Adam Melling

He’s been dealing with a knee injury but showed up at Balito and did work. If there’s one wave on tour I could see Melling smashing, it’s this one.

I’m not skeptical of picking but still didn’t grab…

Owen Wright

Is he back? I don’t really know, but he’s flashed signs of it and I was on the verge of going with Owen but instead opted for Melling. Could it bite my team in the ass? I wouldn’t be surprised.

The Strugglers and Wilds


Kai Otton

Back in the struggler’s bracket and back on my roster. You know I don’t pick Kai when he’s rated high, but it was around this time last year that he started to make the run of a lifetime. I think he can do that again (on a lesser scale) but this is the struggler’s bracket so you’re always living on a prayer.


Dion Atkinson

I don’t know anything about this guy but he grinds the shit out of right handers and just feels due for one good event.

I’m skeptical of picking…

Jeremy Flores

I watched him ride a boat to Cloudbreak for a freesurf, paddle out to the lineup, then paddle in and head straight back to Tavarua. Didn’t catch a wave. Then in his 1st round heat I watched him paddle to the boat with 5 minutes remaining. Where’s the passion man? I don’t see it. But he will be on my team for Tahiti, believe that.