Fantasy Surfer Insider Trading

Dusty Payne breaks down his Fantasy Surfer squad for the Billabong Pro Tahiti

Payne won't be in the draw at the 2013 Billabong Pro, but the man knows his way around a Teahupoo lineup. Photo: Joli

With the first day of the Billabong Pro Tahiti waiting period less than a week away, it's time to start ironing out your Fantasy Surfer squad after the long break from World Tour events. Whether you’re in the lineup or on your laptop, Teahupoo is a tough wave to wrap your head around. Luckily, we've got a man on the inside. To help you finalize your roster, we talked with Dusty Payne, who is out from the event with a knee injury but still has much more experience at Teahupoo than any of us ever will.

Joel Parkinson
Market Price: $12,000,000
“I've got to go with Joel. He's my boy and he made the Final with Mick last year. With his recent win in Bali, you know he's feeling good. I know that Teahupoo means a lot to him and that he wants it bad. Plus, we usually stay in the same house at the event. You've gotta pick your roommate.”

Michel Bourez
Market Price: $7,500,000
“Michel is arguably one of the best tube riders in the world and you'd be silly not to put him on your Fantasy Surfer team. He's proven he can take out the best in Bali, and I really think he's due for a win. What better place than at home in Tahiti?”

Sebastian Zietz
Market Price: $5,750,000
“Oh boy. I think Seabass is the hottest rookie on Tour. He's one of my good friends and having grown up in Hawaii he's really mastered riding the barrel. I think he's going to be right at home at Teahupoo. Typically, most Hawaiians feel pretty comfortable down there, and I think he'll find his rhythm pretty quick.”
(Editor’s Note: Zietz is nursing an injured foot. Follow @FantasySurfer to be the first to find out if he withdraws.)

Fred Patacchia
Market Price: $3,750,000
“Fred grew up surfing Pipe and I think that’s made him very comfortable in the lineup at Teahupoo. He's been in the Final there before and I think he could easily win this event. He's been rehabbing his ankle injury and I think his surfing looks better than ever. Overall, Tahiti is one of the places where Fred really shines and I expect him to do well at the event.”

John John Florence
Market Price: $8,500,000
“He's the golden boy. You'd have to be crazy not to make room for John on your team--especially in a barreling wave. He's easily one of the top-five barrel riders in the world and I think his ankle injury is pretty much behind him. Plus, he's Hawaiian. I've got to put my fellow Hawaiians on my team.”

Matt Wilkinson
Market Price: $4,250,000
“I watched Wilko make the Quarters out there the year it was massive. He pretended like he was scared all week, but when the time came, he was absolutely charging. As a goofyfooter, I think he'll have that advantage going for him as well.”

Owen Wright
Market Price: $3,250,000
“I expect Owen to do really well at this event. Granted, he's just coming off an injury, but he's still one of my favorites to watch out there. He takes off deep and is practically fearless. He's proven himself before in waves of consequence and I think he'll go far at Teahupoo.”

Damien Hobgood
Market Price: $4,750,000
“At any event with a barreling left, you need a Hobgood on your team. I would've put them both on my squad, but I could only afford Damo. To be honest, I think he's a bit of a steal at the price he’s listed at. He's proven himself at Teahupoo, and just like John John, it'd be silly not to have a Hobgood on your roster.”

(Alternate) Tiago Pires
Market Price: $3,000,000
“I think Tiago may go overlooked some times. He's a great backside barrel rider. He made the Semis when they had the contest at Padang, and he's done well in Tahiti in the past. Basically, he's proven that he can hold his own in any hollow, barreling left. If the waves are good, he could blow some minds out there.”

Team Total: $49,750,000

Pick your team now at