Filipe Toledo's About To Go On A Fucking Killing Spree
Or Dooma Fahrenfort's morning of the Swatch Pro, Hurley Pro picks.
"8 events, 8 different champions, 7 possible title contenders" will not be the WSL pre-amp video for France. The spell will break. Someone will double up and get two wins.* Sure the forecast makes it anyone's game but things will not be exciting unless Surfline has gotten the forecast wrong. You know what a lacklustre forecast means? More boring stories in the booth - nostalgia to the max. Speaking of nostalgia, remember when I nailed Tahiti? Julian still hasn't thanked me.
Now that I've successfully stroked my ego, here's who I think could win Lowers...on the morning of the Swatch Women's Pro.
Who’s going to beat Filipe at small Lowers? I think he’s 25 percent better than he was last year. His completion rate's higher. The only person who stands a chance is last year's champ, Jordy (who dropped Filipe in the semis last year). But, considering the lack of surf, I'm calling Mr Toledo as the first surfer to win two events in 2017 (maybe three if we count the Kelly Slater Wavepool event following Lowers).
He's last year's champ with last year's magic board. Jordy has been putting a lot of time in the water at Lowers, more than probably any other World Tour surfer. After a recent boat trip and a horrible bout of Bali belly, the big fella is looking about ten pounds lighter, which could be a huge advantage (did I mention the surf's going to be small?).
Wouldn’t it be good to see this guy back on top of a podium? The lovable Brazilian came on strong his rookie year but has since slowed down after his injury. In fact, the whole Brazilian storm has slowed down, or maybe Filipe has just left them in his dust. Anyway, Italo is capable of winning Lowers or at least placing high. He needs a breakthrough result and a final or semi at Lowers could get him back on track. If he looks amped up, I think he could combat the occasional awkward line he draws while going right.
I don’t think it will happen but I'm rooting for it. Kolohe suffers from the same stage fright as Michel Bourez in Tahiti. Despite being the best at home, they can't loosen their tie. Brother is overdue for a win and as much as I don’t want to see those awful Oakley Gascans and FMX Redbull Hat on stage I’d like to see him get over the hump and put himself in the conversation for future world titles.
Maybe. Maybe not. Still, Mick's rail is bar-none on tour and he's one of the best ever out at Lowers. Mick looks like he doesn’t care this year, or isn’t as motivated, or would rather ride a soft top, or drink beer, or surf better waves than what the tour's providing, or whatever. Which is fine, but I think he just needs a win to get him back in action. With the slow surf expected this week, Mick can handle the pressure of a buzzer beater better than anyone. That is unless he comes up against someone Pottz calls an "aerial specialist".
He’s a wave magnet and capable of turning small waves into good scores. If you look at all the heats he surfs he always manages to get a decent back score and seldom loses with just one wave. In slow conditions at Lowers, getting busy and making your own luck will be key.
Adriano de Souza.
Adriano's ability to fit a bunch of moves in a short space on the rights makes him one of the best at Lowers. He's put his time in the lineup. ADS starts off deep, gets the first wave and then moves to the second peak. Which swings wider and closer in than the main peak. The waves that come through here are a bit steeper and suit his style; he'll get busy. Adriano won’t win Lowers but I got a feeling he’ll get a solid result.
Round One Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza, Wiggolly Dantas, Miguel Pupo
Heat 2: Julian Wilson, Caio Ibelli, Jadson Andre
Heat 3: Owen Wright, Jeremy Flores, Josh Kerr
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson, Bede Durbidge, Ethan Ewing
Heat 5: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Hiroto Ohhara
Heat 6: Jordy Smith, Ian Gouveia, Evan Geiselman
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina, Adrian Buchan, Nat Young
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson, Conner Coffin, Stu Kennedy
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo, Joan Duru, Leonardo Fioravanti
Heat 10: Connor O’Leary, Sebastian Zietz, Kanoa Igarashi
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino, Frederico Morais, Jack Freestone
Heat 12: Mick Fanning, Michel Bourez, Ezekiel Lau