J-Bay Open: Ross Williams Fantasy Filter

J-Bay Open: Ross Williams Fantasy Filter 2016

Ross Williams' picks

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his fantasy filter pundit pick list for the 2016 J-Bay Open in South Africa, the 6th stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Tier A: Wilko, JJF
Tier B: Mick, Parko, Julian
Tier C: Slater, Callinan

J-Bay is a long wave — a fast wave — so any issues get completely magnified: a funky style, a bad board, any problem linking your turns. The guys who flow — Mick, Parko, Jordy — completely stand out above the rest here, more than any other wave on Tour. And another thing that really sets it apart is the wave dictates everything: where you can turn, get barreled, race, relax. Surfers have to read the wave properly at J-Bay or they’re toast. You don’t really get a choice in the matter. You do what the wave calls for, and you better do it quick, or your opportunity is lost.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Billabong Pipe Masters: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Billabong Pipe Masters: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Billabong Pipe Masters: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em fantasy pundit pick list for the 2015 Billabong Pipe Masters, the 11th and final stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Medina, JJF, CJ
Sit ‘Em: Toledo, Wilko, Hall
Darkhorse: Bruce Irons

With a great forecast on offer we should see a traditional looking lineup at Pipe and heavy Pipe favors brave surfers. I’m looking to load up my team with guys who love to put themselves right under the hood at Pipe, maximizing the surf with nothing but evil little smirks on their faces.

The men who can comfortably put themselves in the right spot when those thick slabs come marching in from second reef will be marching through heats. Plus, true Pipe Masters are able match guts with technique. The big winners will comfortably slide down the face and tuck into the barrel with the lip chasing them down. These are the players you want on your team when the waves are pumping at Pipeline.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, the 10th stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Medina, Kolohe, Mason
Sit ‘Em: Slater, Parko, Ricardo
Darkhorse: Ibelli

Supertubos is the ultimate platform for barrel riders and punt specialists. A steep shorebreak that resembles Stradbroke Island (Australia) or Pascuales (Mexico). Past winners include Mick Fanning, Julian Wilson, Kai Otton, Adriano de Souza and Kelly Slater. What do all these surfers have in common? They are all fast, light and resilient. They surf like gazelles. They approach the vert ramps with aggression and quickness. They adjust to Portugal’s simultaneously exciting yet constricting pockets for waves.

Now, before you go locking in your players based on this, keep in mind that the current forecast looks a bit small so the backup site of Belgas could come into play. Located on the other side of the peninsula, this beachbreak behaves quite different from Supertubos. Popular with the local surfers, this fun stretch of waves still lends itself well to the nimble, but it definitely provides a bit more breathing room for the big fellas to move. Like France, there are tides and ever-shifting sandbars to consider as well.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Quiksilver Pro France: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Quiksilver Pro France: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Quiksilver Pro France: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 Quiksilver Pro France, the 9th stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Owen, Italo, Jordy
Sit ‘Em: Slater, Bourez, Dusty
Darkhorse: SeaBass

Patience and timing are the keys to success on the European leg of the Championship Tour. Big tides, multiple delays and long afternoons are the norm at the Quiksilver Pro France, making for a challenging platform to get keeper scores. This is typically where some of the veterans and definitely the positive-vibe warriors will have an advantage.

Surfers who stay on top of the conditions and handle themselves through the grueling waiting period can take advantage of those who might be complacent. La Graviere and Estagnots can vary from heavy pits to high-performance rip current banks that produce shreddy waves. It’s no wonder John John Florence won this event last year–he basically ticked all the boxes mentioned above. Maybe the most important attribute to look for in your picks is someone who keeps the groove and can adapt to challenging conditions. In other words, the headstrong are the warriors of choice.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Hurley Pro Trestles: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Hurley Pro Trestles: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Hurley Pro Trestles: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 Hurley Pro Trestles in SoCal, the eighth stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Toledo, Medina, Pupo
Sit ‘Em: Kerr, Ace, Hall
Darkhorse: Melling

More than any other time of the year, you will need to overhaul your Fantasy surfing team from the last event. Teahupo’o and Lowers are polar opposites. One requires you to put your life on the line the other requires you to get squirrelly. Lowers is the hot rod track of the season so you’ll need to get your roster stacked with men who are hip to the task. Power moves are welcome, but really it’s about airs and fin-free maneuvers.

With the judges looking for inspired surfing and clean rails, the fans will be waiting for their fix of surfing fireworks. Trestles provides the perfect platform to receive this smorgasbord of froth. It’s time to feed the beast. With only four events left, it’s really important to earn big.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Billabong Pro Tahiti: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Billabong Pro Tahiti: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Billabong Pro Tahiti: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti at Teahupo’o, the seventh stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Owen, JJF, CJ
Sit ‘Em: Toledo, Keanu, Hall
Darkhorse: Christie

Teahupo’o offers the most intense and exciting six seconds in our sport. When firing on all cylinders this wave requires more guts than any venue on the Championship Tour. Hecklers and caddies warn contestants as the approaching black blob ambushes the comp zone with whistles and cheers. Thick, scary and extremely intimidating. But if you can manage to tame the beast, there’s nothing more satisfying. Usually I’d provide you with a sneaky pick that will deliver those big points over other Fantasy players, but this time I’m not messing around.

– Ross Williams -more-

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J-Bay Open: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

J-Bay Open: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

J-Bay Open: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 J-Bay Open in South Africa, the sixth stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Julian, Wilko, Keanu
Sit ‘Em: Kerr, Jadson, Hall
Darkhorse: Melling

Cloudbreak and Supertubes both require a high surfing IQ: Surfers who match their tempo with the speed of the wave have the most success. You need to take in the information the wall ahead is giving well before the time comes to launch your choice of maneuvers. That’s what makes guys like Tom Curren, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Jordy Smith so great at Jeffreys Bay. Just like Fiji, J-Bay can be inconsistent, so a surfer’s ability to shrug off the pressure while he waits for that one perfect wave is key.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Fiji Pro: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Fiji Pro: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Fiji Pro: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 Fiji Pro, the fifth stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Owen, Wiggolly, Ace
Sit ‘Em: Toledo, Bede, Hall
Darkhorse: Flores

Cloudbreak and Restaurants are the two spots where the action will go down. Although they’re not without challenges, they provide a reliable platform when the waves show up. Sure, it can be windy and sets can be a little on the inconsistent side at times, but when a set does come you can almost guarantee that the wave will provide an eight-point ride or higher provided that you utilize its strengths.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Oi Rio Pro: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Oi Rio Pro: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Oi Rio Pro: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 Oi Rio Pro, the fourth stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Toledo, Medina, Kolohe
Sit ‘Em: Taj, Freddy-P, CJ
Darkhorse: Dusty

Stack Your Rio Roster with Young Guns
It’s time to clean up your roster and make way for the whipper snappers on this year’s Championship Tour. I know what you’re thinking: Last year Michel “the Spartan” Bourez, a far cry from a whippersnapper, won the event. But we’re looking at playing the odds, people, Bourez is out with an injury and the odds this year favor the surfers who will punch, float and fly in the tricky beachbreak of Barra da Tijuca. The tight, fast waves at Barra makes it difficult for the guys who prefer to draw out their lines and rely on large open faces to move.

– Ross Williams -more-

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Margaret River Pro: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Margaret River Pro: Ross Williams Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em 2015

Margaret River Pro: Ross Williams Start 'Em, Sit 'Em 2015

Ross Williams’ picks

Ross Williams gives his start ’em, sit ’em pundit pick list for the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Start ‘Em: Kerr, Slater, CJ
Sit ‘Em: Jordy, Banting, Ricardo
Darkhorse: Flores

By now you’ve heard about the purple blob that is on a direct course for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. You’d probably pick Shane Dorian and Mark Healey if you could, because the comp zone may resemble Waimea more than Main Break!

The Filipe Toledo Show might get iced out for now as the conditions are going to be the farthest thing from the reverse-air playground we’ve seen in the first two events. What’s so awesome is that guys like Filipe can show us that they will charge in the heavy stuff! You never know who might just come out of the cowboy closet and flex their charging muscles. With that said, this circus just got super interesting, making picking your lineup pretty challenging.

– Ross Williams -more-

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