Hurley Pro Trestles: Fantasy Surfer Gut Picks 2014
The field has arrived. The time is near. Here are our Fantasy Surfer Gut Picks for the 2014 Hurley Pro at Trestles.
$10m+: Welcome Gabriel Medina to the $10m+ crew–we’ve been waiting for you! As always, any of these guys would be great picks. Our gut heavily swings towards Taj on a wave like Trestles, but for this contest, we’re going with Medina and Kelly.
Gabriel Medina: He has the heat strategy, rail game, and aerial assault to destroy all in his path at this high performance venue. His grip on the 2014 title is getting tighter and tighter. A few in the pack are trying to hunt him down, but our gut says he’ll widen the gap.
Kelly Slater: Kelly recently posted a nod to Medina: “Even though I’m gonna do everything in my power to stop this guy this year, I’m a big fan of his surfing“. Let’s focus a bit on the “I’m gonna do everything in my power to stop this guy this year“. Slater likely has 4 events left on tour. After Teahupo’o, his head is back in the game and he is seeing the finish line. …and you know he’s going to sprint to the finish.
$8m/$9m: Wow! There are only four guys in this range–Bourez, Nat, ADS and Jordy. ADS and Nat are competitive machines and both could go deep, but our guts point towards The Spartan and Jordzilla.
Michel Bourez: Everyone talks about the importance of the air game at Trestles, but the rail game is at least as important, if not more. Bourez does his best on waves where he can use his strength to create power on the wave where others can’t–we saw that at Margaret River. He made the semis here in 2013. Our guts says he’ll go deep again.
Jordy Smith: It’s no secret that Jordy has had a rough season. We think this will be the turnaround event for him (like Rio was for Kolohe). He has the air game to compete with the best of the aerialists, but also has the strength to create power on the waves (like he did at Bells with his should-have-been-a-10).
$6m/$7m: This is an interesting group that contains a few surfers who many think are performing below expectations: JJF, Julian and Otton. It also contains Kolohe Andino who has moved further up the seed list than any other this year. We’re picking Julian and Kolohe.
Julian Wilson: Like Jordy, Julian has had a disappointing season. This wave really suits Julian. We think he’ll arrive focused for redemption.
Kolohe Andino: There is so much hype on Kolohe for this event, including being featured in Red Bull’s 21Days. Will he choke like Taj at Margs, or will he rise to the occasion? We think he’ll rise.
$4m/$5m: This a is fairly large category with a number of surfers who could surge into the deep rounds. Our guts point to Owen and Filipe.
Owen Wright: Owen has been slowly building momentum on his comeback year and after Tahiti has cracked the Top 10 again. We think the momentum will continue.
Filipe Toledo: If his ankle has healed, we are going to see an air show that will be unmatched (unless JJF pulls off one of his crazy stunts). If Filipe can add in some rail work and variations, he’ll go deep.
$1.5m/$3m: This range represents the largest group. And we can’t believe Jeremy Flores is in here. We hope he can turn it around, but before we see some sort of spark, we’re staying away. We’re going with Crews and Jadson.
Mitch Crews: Mitch was the first to admit that he felt out of his element at Teahupo’o. He’ll be feeling right at home at Trestles. He’s only a couple of spots out of re-qualification and he’ll be looking to make a jump up with a good result here. We think he could pull it off.
Jadson Andre: Remember when Jadson first jumped on tour and was pulling off air reverses so often that a backlash formed? He has the air skill and has been developing his rail game. If he introduces some variation here, we think he’ll be a threat.