Here’s who could win the 2015 Quiksilver Pro, France
Words by Damien Fahrenfort Autumn is here, France is in the air, and it is pungent! The Quik Pro starts in a minute. With head-high to overhead-plus swell on the forecast, the action is shaping up to be quite pleasant. Chatter from our friends in Hossegor confirm that the sandbars are groomed and ready for this […]
Words by Damien Fahrenfort
Autumn is here, France is in the air, and it is pungent! The Quik Pro starts in a minute. With head-high to overhead-plus swell on the forecast, the action is shaping up to be quite pleasant. Chatter from our friends in Hossegor confirm that the sandbars are groomed and ready for this WNW swell to push through. Mr Jordy Smith’s still out with injury, along with Matt Banting. Dane Reynolds is in as the wildcard and he’s feeling charitable. As they say, when it’s on, it’s on!
Mr Slater examines the froth of Hossegor. Photo: WSL
If the roulette table hits red 20 times in a row, you’re going to bet on black. This is what’s been happening to me with Slater. He’s been struggling in the rippable waves so far this year. But the peaky French beachbreaks are his chance to finally get that win and put this losing streak behind him. He can also ride whatever skanky-looking board he wants in this type of surf because it’s going to be barreling. I don’t think he has many more losses in him, to be honest. Let the king have a win!
Gab’s pulls in as silky smooth as a fine Bordeaux blend. Photo: WSL/Kelly Cestari
A second and a third in the last two events. He’s almost back and just needs a win to recover from his early season shocker. Gabs is good in France and more than anything he can turn a below average wave into something special. He takes risks in dumpy beachbreaks and it tends to pay off in the slower heats. Gabs won an event here in his first half year on tour and has placed well since. Whether it’s six-to-eight foot La Grav or running lefts and rights down the beach, he’ll put on a show. Now that he’s fully out of the title race we’ll see him thrive. Be on the watch for big combos and many claims.
Wigs can work the tube better than most of them. Photo: WSL/Kirstin Schultz
Wiggolly’s on a roll. He’s managed to pull good results at the events where I thought he’d struggle. We’ve all been aware of his tube prowess but who knew he’d thrive at Lowers against the top air guys. The thing that Dantas has in his favour is he’s a goddamn wave-magnet. I’ve never seen someone that gets more good waves than Wigs. One evening surfing Snapper a few years back after the comp finished, Slater caught a wave and pulled out in front of me. While he and I were paddling back to the takeoff zone, Wiggolly caught the best wave that had come through that evening. Slater looked over to me and said, fuck, this guy is one of the biggest wave magnets I’ve ever seen. I replied with; more than you? He said, way more than me. Wiggolly also got great wave selection. So, by the words of monsieur Slater, he’s going to be on all the bombs in the shifting conditions that are a french beachie.
When you grow up surfing french beachies you learn how to slip in late. Photo: WSL
The tubemaster is in a good zone at the moment. Jeremy’s grown a lot in the last year and he seems happier. He’s also surfing 10 times better on JS boards. Usually the hometown hero has a shocker; Jeremy hasn’t done as well as expected in France in the past but he’s a new person this year and with a win under his belt at Chopes it’ll be exciting to see what he cooks up at home.
Jules oops in the green machine. Photo: WSL/Kirstin Schultz
He had a tough one at Lowers but he’s got love on his mind. Jules just got engaged to his lovely gal Ashley Osborne and has been in France for a few days now. It’s not often that someone who’s having such a great year gets a bad result at an event they should win, like Lowers. But when it does they usually rebound strong. Jules thrives in waves that are short and sharp. Late drops into the tube, straight into an air or closeout move. Look for big alleyoops from Jules or single manoeuvre waves that score high. The only thing that could make Julian lose is he sometimes becomes a bit too selective. In the slower heats he tends to struggle so Jules needs to get busy and take risks. He has the ability to turn a four into an eight.
Why hello kind sir! Photo: WSL/Damien Poullenot
Another wave magnet. Kerr’s happy go-lucky approach usually pays off. It’s all a mirage though. The man’s calculated and focused. Josh had a shocker at Lowers and will bounce back in France. He’s still yet to win an event and if he ever was going to, France would be the one. I don’t think he can go head to head with Filipe Toledo or John John Florence in the air but his tube riding is incredible. And because he’s a little guy he tends to be able to doggy door closeouts a bit better than those of larger stature.
Seabass ready for a fresh french fillet. Photo: WSL/Kirstin Schultz
Seabass got really unlucky at Lowers but he took the interference call like a champ. On the positive side he did the best surfing he’s done all year. Seabass thrives in conditions that require getting busy. He works for it and finds good waves in tough conditions. He’s also in need of a result that will bump him up into a qualifying position. It’s tough watching guys like Bass who surf so well lose while other guys are getting through heats with mediocre surfing.
Mr Reynolds and pumping beachbreak, now that’s a winning combo. Photo: WSL
Just because. Who doesn’t want to see Dane win this event and get back on tour. Dane has had a pretty poor showing this year for his standards and he’s hungry to get a good result. Dane got second in France in 2012 to Kelly. He tends to thrive in the unpredictable beachies and if he can get through the first round with a win I think he’ll be on his way to a good result.
Round one match-ups:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater, Jadson Andre, Brett Simpson
Heat 2: Julian Wilson, Miguel Pupo, Aritz Aranburu
Heat 3: Owen Wright, Sebastian Zietz, Dane Reynolds
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo, Adam Melling, Tomas Hermes
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza, Keanu Asing, Caio Ibelli
Heat 6: Mick Fanning, Michel Bourez, Maxime Huscenot
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina, Matt Wilkinson, Dusty Payne
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores, John John Florence, Alejo Muniz
Heat 9: Italo Ferreira, Adrian Buchan, Ricardo Christie
Heat 10: Nat Young, Bede Durbidge, Glenn Hall
Heat 11: Josh Kerr, Kai Otton, Kolohe Andino
Heat 12: Wiggolly Dantas, Joel Parkinson, C.J. Hobgood
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