Stab's 6 Margies Picks For You To Ignore!
Pointless (but fabulous!) winner predictions for West Oz.
If someone told me Wilko would win the first two events and be a title contender this year I would have laughed at them. In 2016, the roster of surfers on the WSL is the best it’s ever been. There isn’t a year in the history of surfing where there’s been as many skilled surfers and yet Wilko is dominating… I wish I could say there’s a reason or an excuse for the rest of the surfers but there’s not, he’s just ripping, plain and simple. He looks like he can’t make a mistake and those high speed foam climbs at big Bells were amazing. There’s also not an event where he’s bad at so if he can keep the wheels on he could have a real chance at winning the title. Wasn’t it a treat to see Jordy back in form, too? The carves, the claims, the energy. As we’ve seen with Wilko, it’s amazing what a little confidence will do for someone’s surfing. Margs is going to be interesting and with a bit of swell on the forecast we could be in for another tricky event with multiple upsets. Here’s who I’m backing for Margs…
Remember those frontside swoops John lay down at Margs? Pray for swell.
John John Florence
To lose to Caio Ibelli in a shocker at decent size Bells is a stain on his surfing. John would be pretty bummed with his last two results. I think West Oz suits him more than anyone else on tour. The variety and unstable conditions is usually where he thrives. He also spent some serious time over there while making his movie. John’s surfing looks better in shorter, sharper waves, or waves that don’t allow for down-time. He has quick reflexes and the shorter style waves usually allow for a single, bigger manoeuvre, another area that suits his surfing more. When he has too much room for error or down-time between moves, things usually go a bit stray. If John doesn’t win then I expect a big result.
The Box? Oh boy. Jules here is due for a result, and when he needs to, he'll go.
Much like I keep mistakenly saying for Kelly, the odds are in Julian’s favour. Two bad results in a row is very out of character for Jules. In my last picks I spoke about how he’s just pretty good at everything and I think this is a great skill to have in WA. Whether it’s big, fat Margs, heaving Box, or carves and barrels at North Point, it suits Julians surfing. He will match the tempo of the wave really well and if it’s big, fat lefts out at Margs he will kill it too.
A lesser-seen (but no less thrilling) angle of The Box, this time featuring Parko. He knows the place well.
Joel looks like he’s having fun competing this year. His focus doesn’t look off, but something hasn’t clicked. That dominance is there but I think he’s been getting out-surfed a bit, something that won’t sit well for Joel. His past results here haven’t been great but I believe Joel sees this year as an opportunity for a title with Mick stepping down and Kelly riding crap boards. Joel is a wave magnet and this diverse line of coast suits those with mother nature on their side.
Say what you will... the man is a fierce competitor.
Adriano De Souza
Adriano is still surfing well and I think he would’ve been disappointed with his result at Bells. He was gracious in defeat and is a great World Champ. I think Adriano really carries confidence when he surfs and after his unexpected win last year he’ll have the advantage out there over the rest of the field. Adriano has a unique ability to just have to do what he needs to win. Kelly did this too in his glory days. They surf against their competitor, not against themselves and I think you have to do this in WA to win.
Can Jordy keep the music playing after a good result at Bells? Wethinks yes. his game is very dependant on confidence, and he's brimming with it RN.
Confidence is a funny thing. You can be the best surfer in the world but if you don’t believe it, you’re doomed. Jordy found his groove at Bells and I think more than anything, was relieved to finally be where he belongs. The way the year has started plays into his favour and he is lucky to be in the top 3 after a first round knock out at Snapper. There’s few surfers the big fat walls of Margs suit better than Jordy, but I believe he’s got what it takes to win in WA. After all, he did do the biggest combo of all time there before he got injured last year.
Wouldn't a Taj win be fabulous? Just on so many levels.
The rumour mill says that TB has retirement in his sights and I think if he pulled out a win here he would nip it in the bud. Wouldn’t that be a great way to end an incredible career? At your hometown with all your family and friends around. Fact is that TB knows these spots better than anyone else and his surfing is still good enough to win. Taj will go down as one of the best surfers to never win a World Title but I don’t think this phases him as much as we all think. He’s one of the few surfers that has managed to be a title contender as well as put out amazing video sections consistently. Hopefully the stars align for everyone’s fav surfer.