Jimmicane’s Passion Picks: 2015 J-Bay Open

passion picks-FG-Jbay2015-3Jimmicane’s Passion Picks for the 2015 J-Bay Open.

A couple weeks ago I sat in a boat, merely yards away, as Owen Wright made history scoring two perfect 10 point rides, twice, in one event.

I screamed at the top of my lungs. I high-fived everyone within reach. I celebrated in the Cloudbreak channel with Owen during an all-time moment in his life. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed…

…and he wasn’t on my fantasy team.

While I couldn’t care less about fantasy during a time like that, it would admittedly be a different story had I been at home on a computer.

That’s why some friends of mine created fantasygrudge.com. It’s fantasy surfing for cash, with no season-long commitments, and it will enhance every fan’s WSL webcast viewing experience.

You can create or enter a contest for each round, or you can pick your team for the whole event. There’s plenty of options, all with the potential to put money in your pocket.

Think my picks suck? Well now you can put your cash where your comments are and try to take mine. Here’s who I’m riding with…

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Mick Fanning
He’s a modern-day Zorro. The guy is going to slice his opponents and the walls of J-Bay with ridiculous precision. I will guarantee he won’t lose until at least, the quarter-finals.

——
Kelly Slater
Dear Kelly,
What are you doing riding those weird-ass, winged, POS boards? Thank you for switching back to your trusty CI when things got serious in Fiji, but if you want to play with toys, please do it on a surf trip. I currently have quite a bit of money on you. Also, a USA flag packed in my luggage. Would love to break it out someday soon.
Sincerely,
Jim

——
Bede Durbidge
When someone of Bede’s stature learns to bust out a proper air-reverse, I take notice. I’m proud of ol’ Bede. His air reverse won’t help much out here, but his picking of good waves, throwing spray, and an excessive amount of experience on right points will.

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Joel Parkinson
As you should already know, this guy won the contest before he was even on the WCT. It was 1999 and he was a Wildcard. It’s been 16 years and ain’t much changed. Last year he finished runner-up after doing the dreaded “peak too early” thing, nailing a 10 and an 8.83 in his semi-final against Wilko.

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Jordy Smith
Every event has a no-brainer and this would be it. If you’re wondering about his “injury”, don’t stress it. I saw photos of him ripping in Durban before the Fiji Pro was even over.

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Sebastian Zietz
As he waited in the Couldbreak channel for his Round 1 heat against Owen and Dusty, I offered Seabass a beer for good luck. He paddled over and took a sip, then went out and won his heat. Maybe that works again here, or maybe it doesn’t? Either way, I’m a fan of this man.

UPDATE: Bass hurt his knee during a freesurf. An MRI determined that it was just a bruise, but was in enough pain to believe it was a tear. That’s not a good sign.

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Adam Melling
Normally I look at Melling and think, “Well, he rips… but he’s going to have to take down someone way better than him. He needs a miracle.” For once though, Melling has a legit seed. He’s 21st in the world.

——
Dane Reynolds
On Fantasy Grudge he’s almost a sure-fire pick because of his low cost as a Wildcard. Still a risk, but goddamn is it fun watching this guy surf J-Bay.

Maybe you should consider…
(expensive)
Owen Wright
The guy freesurfed twice in 6 days before the Fiji Pro and I was tripping on how over it he was. Granted he just got back from two stints at perfect Teahupo’o, but even through his first couple heats it was sketchy. Then, as you know, he went apeshit. Owen’s my pick for the World Title right now but I chose Mick for this event.

(medium)
Gabriel Medina
No matter how hard of a shocker he’s on, Medina is still a threat everywhere and now at a great value.

(cheap)
Alejo Muniz

Made the quarters last year. His open face wrap is pretty legit. You could do worse (cough, cough! Slade Prestwich).

Injury News:

John Florence– I’m hearing there’s no chance he goes to J-Bay, but for some reason hasn’t announced it yet. The ankle injury was a bad one, but we should see him at Teahupo’o. Please God!
Michel Bourez– Back and ready. Has been surfing for a couple weeks and getting some practice at Temae.
Brett Simpson– As of June 25th he had not surfed yet with the back injury, but he is already at J-Bay ready to roll.
Jeremy Flores– Out with a face injury from smashing it on the reef at Lakey Peak. Will surely be back for Chopes unless he gets some kind of really bad infection.