Tag Archives: wsl

Margies Fantasy Picks

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Well, here we are again; fantasy surfer crunch time. Margaret River has to be my least favorite spot on tour. [Rio’s a close second] Its a funky wave. Its got air sections, rail sections, the occasionally barrel section, but mostly bumpy sections. This makes it extremely difficult for me to assemble a team that I confidently feel has the ability to conquer everything thrown at them. As the trade deadline dwindles from days into mere hours and minutes, I’ll give you an inside look at my elite eight fantasy team.

Winning it all: Taj Burrow

Taj isn't afraid of anything West Oz throws his way.

Taj isn’t afraid of anything West Oz throws his way.

It’s his backyard and it’s going to be PUMPING. Not only does he have home field advantage, but Taj consistently performs well. Out of 18 years on tour, only twice has he finished outside the top 10. To get results like that you have to win a few events, and there’s no better place for Taj to snag a win then at home.

2-JJF

JohnJohnFlorenceMargaretRiversr12_6087-1000x653

Charges big waves? Check. Proper rail game? Check. Airs? Double check. John John meets all the requirements for the 2015 Margaret River Pro. Since he was basically conceived in the barrel at pipeline, I imagine John John will find himself quite comfortable in 12′-20′ wave faces at Margies.

3-Josh Kerr

Photo: ASP

Photo: ASP

Yep, another old aussie gets the nod. Last year Kerrzy made the finals but surfed like shit. This year maybe someone will remind the old bloke to wax his board and he’ll prove to be a good pick. He’s got the ability to put it hard on rail and his air game puts some of the young guns to shame.

4-Owen Wright

OwenWrightMargaretRiver122

Whatever you’re doing this year, keep doing it. 2013 and 2014 weren’t really your years. This year though, you’re going to win an event. I’m not asking you to necessarily win this event, but please, don’t blow it before round 4. When he’s on, he’s tough to beat. The conditions suit you Owen, don’t be a kook.

5-Matt Banting

Matt Banting

This was one of the toughest decisions in selecting my team. The rookie costs a hefty 5 mil and only has 2 events under his belt. I’m hoping his nuts drop this event and he can show the veterans he knows how to use his lanky body to displace some serious aqua. Bantings forehand rail work is stylish and he can take to the air with the best of them. The only doubt I have is if he’ll be able to prove himself in heavy surf.

6-Seabass

TomCarey_WA0047 Zietz

Come on Seabass, think back to that quarterfinal against Slater in 2013. Kelly flogged you with a perfect 20 while you put up a measly 4.10. Get fired up ya mad dog. Its about time you get some results, don’t let me down.

7-C.J. Hobgood

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He sits near the bottom of the rankings, but has the potential to pull off an upset. His backhand is decent but where he will excel is relying on his experience. In a dream world, Seabass and Hobgood would knock Adriano into the redemption round, but we’ll have to wait and see.

8- Dusty Payne

Dusty-Payne-Surf

I picked Dusty because he’s built like an ox and loves big cruddy surf. Hopefully he can find that mojo he had in Hawaii to lay down some solid scores. Bells was an unlucky draw so this event I’m expecting Mr. Payne to give everyone a run for their money. 

Kelly’s Mid-life Crisis

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Like any college student, I was simply procrastinating studying for my art history exam, lame right? I decided to scroll through instagram and I came across Slater’s picture announcing his retirement. Like most of you probably are, I was shocked. Kelly seems to have this knack for dropping really important news at really shitty times, like his split from Quik on April fools last year. I sat and stared at Kelly’s picture, and much like how my exam will go tomorrow, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. How could he leave us one event into a new world tour? Who will replace Kelly’s year round starting position on my fantasy team? Does the WSL really suck that bad? Below are my thoughts on the questions above.

What do people that are retired do? Golf lessons and apparently design furniture. (Photo: Gross/Getty images)

 

How could Kelly leave us one event into the new world tour?

Theres only one viable explanation. I’m not a doctor, but Mr. Slater currently has all the symptoms of a mid-life crisis. I don’t know how you can get a mid-life crisis when your job description is to travel the world and surf the best waves, but hey, what do I know? Google “average age for midlife crisis”, research shows the average age for a mid-life crisis for males is 43, what a coincidence. Like any other middle aged wealthy male experiencing a mid-life crisis, Slater has been dropping serious cash on a variety of things. For example: buying half of Firewire (good investment Kelly), starting Outerknown, getting involved with Purps, and lastly, partnering with PBTeen to create an eco-friendly furniture line. Sure, Kelly has always been environmentally conscious, but why the sudden desires to change the world? Webster defines a mid-life crisis as “ a period of emotional turmoil in middle age characterized especially by a strong desire for change.” As they say, if the shoe fits, wear it.

SlaterTahiti11BBSR9_0041-625x416

Who will replace Kelly’s year round starting position on my fantasy team?

No one will. I can’t count on any of the other surfers on tour to consistently get the results that deserve a year round spot on my elite eight. Slater has been on tour before some of those guys were even born. You can’t fake experience.

Does the WSL really suck that bad? [explicit language]

Fortunately, if the “#happyapril1sttoeveryonebackhome” is true, this was all just a joke on all 1 million of his followers.

Gabriel Medina – Grow up

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So this is not the type of news I like to share… nonetheless, it is news that needs to be shared.

Gabriel Medina can surf. There's no one out there questioning that. But his out-of-water performances have made some fans skeptical about his character.

Gabriel Medina can surf. There’s no one out there questioning that. But his out-of-water performances have made some fans skeptical about his character. Photo by Tasha Rivard (Tash.0) @ 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters.

I would like to introduce young reigning world champ Gabriel Medina to the term “professionalism.” It is defined by the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary as: “the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” In professional surfing, that type of conduct extends far beyond one’s ability in the water. A rider’s out-of-water conduct reflects not only on himself, it also reflects onto his sponsors and on the sport as a whole. Medina simply doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a post heat interview (a professional context) vs. chatting with his buddies (not a professional context).

After claiming the 2014 World Title, Gabriel Medina exited the water mid-heat to celebrate. What's your opinion of this action?

After claiming the 2014 World Title, Gabriel Medina exited the water mid-heat to celebrate. What’s your opinion of this action?

Gabe, YOU CANNOT DROP F-BOMBS IN A PROFESSIONAL CONTEXT. It doesn’t matter who said what first. What you were doing in your post-heat interview at the Quicksilver Pro was whining like a sore loser. Your display yesterday cast a shadow of disrespect on more people than simply Mr. Hall. It also made you look like a stupid, selfish, arrogant jerk. Is that the impression you think a reigning world champ should give off? You are lucky that Peter Mel was PROFESSIONAL enough to take the mic away from you when he did and quick to kick some dirt over your juvenile remarks.

There’s another word you need to learn too. “Dignity.” I’ll let you look that one up for yourself.

http://youtu.be/qOmQNBws2mg

Why you should pay very close attention to Silvana Lima

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Who? If you’re a young reader, chances are she hasn’t been on the tour since you’ve been paying attention to it. If you’re like the rest of us, chance are you don’t care about women’s surfing anyway. It’s cool, I agree… the guys are generally more exciting to watch. But Silvana Lima is the exception to that rule. Here’s why:

http://youtu.be/7c1ErQMX1B4

2.) Every wave is over head.

She’s a whopping 4’9” tall, maybe 100 pounds soaking wet. You know how those 12-year-old groms can rip apart knee high slop on a potato-chip shortboard without sinking? So can she. AND SHE’S 30! Days one and two of the Roxy Pro at Snapper this past week only confirmed that.

http://youtu.be/sM2HtZv9fMg

3.) She’s the reigning world champ’s polar opposite.

Take everything you know about Stephanie Gilmore and flip it upside-down, then put the two side-by-side in the same heat. It’s actually somewhat comical. Everything about the two from hair color to height to surfing style to native language clashes dramatically. After her world title last year, Steph admitted to me in an interview that her air game needs work. Silvana’s is already solidified. So far in the Roxy Pro, Silvana and Steph have had two heats together and have gone blow-for-blow. We’ll get see them duke it out once more in the quarter final too, and many more times this year I’m sure. Where Steph (5’10”/146) has to awkwardly pump out momentum in dwindling conditions, Silvana can throw her fins out the back and power through snaps on soft faces. The only thing the two have in common is an infectious smile.

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4.) She’s tactfully anti-establishment.

She’s not sponsored… Anymore. She used to be, back in the day. Billabong picked her up young as a rising star, but they dropped her cold turkey after she blew out her knees without thinking twice. (They’re going to be kicking themselves when she wins the world title this year – yes, I’m calling it.) She hasn’t had any interest in modeling from the get-go; she just wants to be the best surfer in the world. After being dropped she crowdfunded her way through her knee rehab and back into competition relying on people who supported her as a person rather than corporations who use their female riders for their bodies. I am so happy that she hasn’t signed back on with a major corporate sponsor; her blank board is essentially a big FU to Billabong every time she launches it. Anyway, instead of walking away from the sport, she’s been scrapping her way back into it one unfunded step at a time only adding fuel to a fire that Billabong didn’t believe in. She’s also just plain DIFFERENT. Instead of bouncing into the water in a bikini posting Instagram clips showing more booty than barrels, Silvana usually runs into the water in shorts and a T-shirt, has a tattoos (really awesome ones actually) all over, and warms up with capoeira (martial art). Her Instagram (silvanalimasurf) consists only of some really rad surf shots/clips, her french bulldogs, training moments, and some funny selfies with her friends. It’s so clear that she’s doing what makes her happy, and kicking serious a** at it.

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5.) She started from nothing.

Silvana is actually one of those stories. She grew up in Paracuru, Brazil She learned to surf on a piece of wood. When she did have money to spare with her early success on the tour, she gave it back to where she came from – She took care of her family first, obviously, but after her runner-up year she donated her winnings back to her city’s surf team.

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I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a superfan… but you should be one too. She’s a complete game-changer. Even though she’s been cast out of the spot light for the past few years, she’s now back in full force and better than ever. Watch for this tiny Brazilian spitfire to be the much needed spark that women’s professional surfing needs to push the limits today and for years to come.

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