Well, the Billabong Rio Pro is over and I am going to write a few notes on what I observed in the contest. I am not going to cry about the waves or post lame conspiracy theories about the event or the Association of Surfing Professionals. We will leave that kind of junk to the arm-chair quarterbacks that inhabit the forum on Fantasy Surfer. I will say that I did enjoy watching some of the barrel rides that the guys were getting.
On my Fantasy Surfer team, I did not pick Gabriel Medina. Why? Well, if you play Fantasy Pro Surfing and if you have watched countless heats with the Brazilians, you would know why. It has to do with Medina, Pupo, and a cycle that Medina seems to get stuck in. With that, Medina should begin to peak in a few months. This should line him up with Trestles and a few other spots that favor his surfing.
Awhile ago, Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds came on the scene and they both were touted as the two boy wonders who were going to beat down the established status quo. Jordy really seemed to feed off Dane and his level kept rising. Then his power source began to sputter and shockingly burnt out. Jordy just does not seem to have that “crush the world” drive that he did a few years ago.
Well Jordy, your Dane is back! Well, maybe not Dane himself but his incarnate. Even better for Jordy, he is an incarnate with a drive that Dane never had. Seize this Jordy and return to your old self. A guy that used to be a thorn in Parko’s side…not a person who gets worked by Parko.
I have to say bravo to Joel! I was impressed by his alley-oop that he did in the semi finals. I was even more impressed with the overall speed and projection he was getting. Not the desperate to make my board go into the next section that Adriano had. Joel flew down the line and did huge gaffs in the pocket and rode the barrel like a master. Joel just needs one thing and the finals let him down. Joel can crush small waves with a good solid wall but in shorter waves where he can’t get himself set up, he is out of gas.
John Florence showed why he is going to be a fixture in the upper end of the ratings for years to come. He pulled into barrel after barrel at will and in the shorter sections he unleashed his deadly no-handed rotations. This is the area that Parkinson and Fanning are screwed.
Fiji is going to change things up and provide a much different playing field compared to Rio. A few guys that could capitalize in these conditions are the Hobgoods and Kai Otten. If Fred Patacchia can get in, he would be my top pick out of these guys. He has surfed with a renewed hunger and he has been getting knocked out of heats by a small margin. Sadly, I can imagine that Jadson Andre will not pull out even though he has a nagging injury. It will be disappointing to see him half-heartedly ride some Fiji bombs instead of being able to give it 100%.