No shoving; you'll get your picks, too. Photo: Lemos

No shoving. You’ll all get your picks. Photo: Lemos

Coming from Florida, I've always thought that Brazil got a bad rap when it came to their waves. With a spectacular coastline offering up all types of surf, Rio is Brazil's Huntington Beach — except that Rio is a dumping and wedging shorepound, capable of producing powerful surf perfectly suited for big airs, big moves, and even dredging tubes. When you put the tour in conditions like that, you're left with the huge scores and memorable rides we've seen over the last few years. With the widest field we've seen in some time contending for a World Title, you can bet the Tour will be bringing all they have to the beaches of Rio in hopes of spurring their own Wilko dream run.

Gabriel Medina
Market Price: $9,750,000
Brazilians rarely seem to crumble under pressure. If anything, they're constantly rising to the occasion. Gabriel is one who will be sending it to the moon when he finds a ramp to his liking.

Italo Ferreira 
Market Price: $9,500,000
Strong and consistent, Italo is perfectly suited for a successful run on the Tour. Amid the the frothy, sucking-out sections of Rio, his composure, power, and sturdy nature will give him a major advantage.

Kolohe Andino
Market Price: $4,500,000
Kolohe honed his game on the slew of funky conditions that mark much of the San Clemente beachbreak scene, constantly challenging him to improvise. In this type of surf, there are only a few on Tour who can keep up with Kolohe when he clicks into a good rhythm.

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Kelly Slater
Market Price: $5,750,00
At a bargain price, and overdue for a string of heat wins, Kelly can still produce the surfing needed to win when the conditions are ripe and the effort is there. I'm looking for him to make a rebound at Rio.

Jack Freestone
Market Price:$3,00,000
Jack is an uncanny talent. A man of all trades, this oversized grom has the tools he needs to save himself a seat near the top of the rankings.

Jordy Smith
Market Price: $7,250,000
A true showman, Jordy is coming into the event hot and is one of the few who relishes the huge crowds and crazy energy of Brazil. The big man can thrive here.

John Florence
Market Price: $6,500,000
John's known for blowing minds in the water. But it's the way he does it that never fails to impress me, quietly performing the impossible and stopping everyone dead in their tracks. I'm anxiously anticipating the reunion of John and the the wedging ramps of Rio.

Josh Kerr
Market Price: $5,500,000
Despite creeping up a tad in age, Josh is still one of the leaders in the air with his patented huge punts and radical variations. Over the years, Kerrzy has become more comfortable in his approach and has developed a deeper understanding of what it takes to translate his brand of surfing to heat wins.