Jimmicane’s Passion Picks: J-Bay

It’s been a nice break between events for someone like me because I’ve had plenty of opportunities to shoot photos of the world's best. However, I do wish the ASP would just pack all the events into a shorter period of time and make it a legitimate season. Of course they never will, which makes being a fan of WT surfing tough to really get into at times. There’s no consistency at all, which means there’s no such thing as momentum. The tour is so damn sporadic. Here’s who I got bringing the passion to Africa! —Jimmicane

Jimmicane’s lineup at Fantasy Actions Sports League.

Mick Fanning

I just went on a trip to a bunch of right pointbreaks with this guy, and holy shit, he was on fire. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on what people are actually doing to waves as a whole when you’re shooting photos because you’re concentrated on a bunch of different variables. There were times on that trip where he’d kick out after a ride and I’d be trying to comprehend what I just saw happen. The top spot on Passion Picks has won the last two events. Mick’s going to hold that trend for me at J-Bay and get his first win there since 2006.

Jordy Smith

The dude cried when he won last year! That’s passion! Who are we kidding here? If you don’t have Jordy on your J-Bay roster, you just want to do badly.

Dane Reynolds

I know you all are worried about the knee. I’m not. I just watched him surf for a week straight. If this was a beachbreak or a place where you would need to do a bunch of airs to win, I would be a little wary, but airs aren’t really going to be a factor here. Dane is back, folks, and he loves surfing J-Bay, although he might not be so psyched to go there during a tour stop. Bottom line is, this is the best surfer in the world and he’s one of the more surf-stoked people I’ve ever been around. When there’s one other person in the water and he has his choice of waves, you better believe he’s gonna do his thing. Enjoy watching him in these events while it lasts 'cause blood diamonds are forever, but Dane in African WT events definitely is not (unless Quik grabs this event from Billabong in the future).

CJ Hobgood

Glad to hear my good friend is OK after a very scary head injury freesurfing in Brazil. Damien has historically done better than Ceej at this locale, but money is a factor here and my budget on Fantasy Surfing is struggling after already picking Mick and Jordy. If you watched CJ at Bells, you know he can catch fire on long clean rights, and after missing the Prime events in Brazil and losing out in Durban, he’ll be extra motivated to snag a result.

Adam Melling

The poor man’s Mick Fanning, and I mean that as a compliment. He took scalps from Taj, Damo, Dusty and Bobby on his way to the final in 2010. That’s some Last of the Mohicans shit right there!

Dusty Payne

An integral part of #teamgivinithell. Thinking about making him a permanent mainstay on my roster. Wait till you folks see Lost Atlas. He’s MVP of the movie.

Bobby Martinez

Bobby loves to fight. Well, maybe he does. I actually have never heard of or seen him fighting anyone. But he sure does love to watch it and tweet about it. Well, right now he’s backed into a corner, fatigued and woozy, with an inevitable top seed coming in for the career knock-out blow. If Bobby gets punted off tour at the midyear cut, will he go One-Worlding, or is that it? I have faith. Big result coming right here. Bobby goes Hagler on Hearns, Round 3 style.

Gabe Kling

Gabe hasn’t had the best of times lately. A string of bad results, then Matix, his main sponsor, cans its surf operation, as does shoe brand DVS. There's three WT comps and one more Prime before the midyear cutoff. Gabe’s always done best when times get tough. He’s a trooper. I expect him to surf well at J-Bay and win some heats. He’s already up there practicing. Let’s go Gabe!

The Billabong Pro J-Bay starts July 15th, at which point we’ll find out if Jimmicane should hit the Australian surf sports betting ring or stick to his beloved Jaguars. The contest can be seen live, in all its roping glory, on the webcast at billabongpro.com.

Photos by Steve Sherman