The writing is already on the long walls of Supertubes. If someone doesn't step up, Kelly Slater, who has won three of the first four events in 2008, will win an unprecedented 9th world title. But while the title contenders ponder how to stop the relentless Slater surge, Fantasy Surfer players are rubbing their hands in expectation. With the introduction of Skyboxes into the 2008 Fantasy Surfer stable, there are now more prizes than ever, supplied by the hottest brands in surfing. Even if you missed the first four stops on tour, one good event can net you enough loot to feel like the grand prize winner. Point your cursor to www.FantasySurfer.com to begin trading.
Fantasy Surfer – the next best thing to being on the Dream Tour.
Five things to consider before picking your team for the Billabong Pro, J-Bay.
Has an 89-percent win ratio over the past three years in J-Bay (17 out of 19 heats). Over those three years Kelly has a remarkable average heat score of 16.21. (That includes a miserable combined heat score of 6.17 against Taj Burrow in last year's final.)
Despite its perfection, J-Bay is a very difficult wave to surf well. Top to bottom doesn't work here. You need to link speed carves and functional floaters between vicious hacks when the wave allows for it. Experience at this stop is always a huge factor.
Speaking of experience, as an 18-year-old local wildcard, Jordy placed third in the 2006 event. Jordy is the only person with a higher average combined heat score at J-Bay than Slater (16.6) over the past three years.
Adriano de Souza
Adriano has made the quarter finals both times he has competed at J-Bay, and is currently ranked 4th on the ASP World Tour after the first four events. His confidence and approach to surfing Supertubes should keep the momentum going.
The Goofyfooter’s Challenge
Guys like Ace Buchan, Travis Logie, Bobby Martinez, and Damien Hobgood have taken down some big names, but have failed to seal the deal on the business end of the event. Incidentally, the last goofyfooter to make it into the quarterfinals at J-Bay was Occy, way back in 2004. He's also an event wildcard this year, and could be the cat among the pigeons.
Catch all the action live action on Billabongpro.com or head over to Aspworldtour.com from July 10-22, 2008. As always, SURFER Magazine will be on the ground in J-bay providing you with a view from the inside at one of the tour's most celebrated events.