Shea’s Picks for Portugal

Insider Trading Picks for your Fantasy Surfer Team

With the World-Title race now a likely dogfight between just a few competitors, can John John Florence bounce back from France and set some early 2016 momentum in Portugal? Photo: Paco

With the World-Title race now a likely dogfight between just a few competitors, can John John Florence bounce back from France and set some early 2016 momentum in Portugal? Photo: Paco

With the world title now a two-horse race between Mick and Adriano (with Mick my likely pick to become world champion come season’s end), my focus will be on the surfers looking to make a statement for 2016. As a venue, Supertubos can be as challenging as any lineup in the world, breaking mere feet from the most enthusiastic crowd of surf fans found outside of Brazil. Current forecasts show some impressive swell tracking towards Supertubes, so pick your team accordingly

Gabriel Medina
Market Price:$12,500,000
With a third-, second-, and first-place finish over the last three events, Medina is again surfing like the most devastating competitor on tour. He’s surfing like he has something to prove, and that’s suited him well and taken off some of the pressure of having to defend his title.

Josh Kerr
Market Price: $7,500,000
In shifting conditions, Josh Kerr often reaches moments of untouchability. From the dumpy little wedges to large heaving tubes, Kerr has found success in Portugal in the past. I’m looking for that trend to continue in 2015.

Joel Parkinson
Market Price: $7,500,000
Shockers can take their toll on you, zapping your mojo until you begin entertaining the thought of retirement. As far as the rankings go, Parko is dwelling in a zone he’s only touched on before as a result of an injury. If his heart is open and his body is tuned, he’ll once again rise in the ranks. Here’s hoping those perfect six-foot Supertubes are enough to bring out Joel’s A game.

Tiago Pires
Market Price: $1,500,000
After years of subpar performances at home at this event, eventually skill and local know-how will favor Tiago at Supertubes. To see him clicking into some home-turf tubes and big-heat wins would be a welcomed moment for surf fans in Portugal.

Nat Young
Market Price: $7,250,000
Silently sitting at 10th in the rankings, Nat has been flying the flag for young Americans for a few years now. This strong goofyfoot has all of the markings to make a big push forward at this event.

Ace Buchan
Market Price: $5,750,000
I see Ace holding all the right cards when it comes to finding the proper formula for Portugal. With no lack of preparation, Ace pins his competitors into a corner early. He’s a proven success story and will carry some influence here.

Mason Ho
Market Price: $1,500,000
Supertubes is an ideal venue to witness the Ho show. As made famous from Dad Mike and Uncle Derek, the Ho show is the wildest and most action-packed spectacle in the surfing world. In a sea of homogenized surfing, Mason is a creative alternative to the masses—win or lose.

John John Florence
Market Price: $6,750,000
There are surfers that occasionally dust the lineup in magic, and then there’s John John, who holds the innate ability to create the unbelievable out of thin air. There’s simply no other way to say it: the kid’s playing on another level. For him to win a world title, however, he’ll have to settle down a hair. Historically, it’s been the competitors that conform to a set criteria that wear the crown.