Shea’s Picks for Margaret River

Mr. Lopez drops his Fantasy Surfer advice for the Drug Aware Pro

We'll see what Margaret River looks like on the opening horn come Wednesday in Australia. Photo: Joli
We’ll see what Margaret River looks like on the opening horn come Wednesday in Australia. Photo: Joli

While the past few events haven’t offered up much in the way of decent surf, Margaret River is staring down a massive swell-spawning purple blob which should finally give us an opportunity to take in some real action from the world’s best. And man, do the 34 need to let off the steam that has been building due to a lack of surf this season. When Margaret’s is over 6 foot, it becomes an open-ocean venue, requiring an entirely new skill set to dominate. It’s always interesting see who has the meat to throw around a big board on a large workable wall. For this event, my FS team is composed of surfers with the experience and skill to successfully navigate the fiery, open-ocean conditions we’re hoping to see for this comp.

Kelly Slater
Market Price: $10,000,000
There was one truly masterful 9.5 wave ridden at Bells from the king that was so precise, critical, and powerful, it made all his other rides look pedestrian. When Slater finds the right board and right wave under his feet, not only does his effort escalate with this combination, but those viewing are treated to the pleasure of watching surfing at a Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan, Rodney Mullen level.

Fred Patacchia
Market Price: $5,000,000
Fred has made no secret that he’s an advocate for more big lefts on Tour. Opportunity just knocked.

Jordy Smith
Market Price: $9,750,000
I’ll never miss one of Jordy’s heats, mostly so I can figure out why he continues to lose. I’m fairly certain that I have it figured out now. The big man just needs to relax. At a venue like Margaret’s that suits his approach, with any luck, we’ll see a cool and collected Jordy opening up on a wave that fits his stature. When he’s on, he’s truly in a league of his own.

Owen Wright
Market Price: $7,500,000
After displaying a phenomenal performance on a number of waves at Bells, Owen has me thinking that he’s inching himself closer and closer to world championship form. Owen will be hard to match at big Margaret’s.

CJ Hobgood
Market Price: $3,00,000
Watching CJ lose at Bell’s showcased a stark contrast in contest surfing that ends and begins with a question: If style is paramount to identifying quality surfing, then why is style ignored in competition? For CJ to qualify for the Tour in 2016, he must take advantage of conditions that favor him. The first two events are the toughest for him, but Margaret’s suits his style well.

Michel Bourez
Market Price: $8,000,000
As Michel struggled in the mush of the first two events, you can rest assured that he was dreaming of swells like the one forecasted to light up this event. Margaret’s will allow for a much more fun comp for Michel and I expect to see him turn some heads.

Bede Durbidge
Market Price: $6,000,000
There’s truly no substitute for size and experience in large waves. Bede, who’s chock full of both strength and Margaret’s know-how, will prove to be a whole mess of trouble for anyone he draws.

Alejo Muniz
Market Price: $1,500,000
Spray. Lots and lots of spray is a sure-fire way to drop some big scores at a wave like Margaret’s. And when he’s clicking, Alejo is throwing buckets. Whether it’s on his backside and frontside, he’s been known to part seas. This approach should translate well for Alejo.

Pick your team now at FantasySurfer.com.