Jimmicane’s Passion Picks: 2014 Fiji Pro

ASP passion picks-fiji2014

Tavarua. It's the island that's shaped like a heart and the dream destination for most sane surfers. If you haven't reached that dream yet, consider a job in surf media. I'll be posted up in a pool sipping Piña Coladas while I watch the best in the world get drained...and will occasionally snap some pictures for @surfingmagazine's Twitter and Instagram. Follow it if you like, but reader beware: Expect extreme amounts of jealousy.

The Elite
Kelly Slater
I'd be disappointed if this man isn't active on 100 percent of fantasy teams. Let's be real, if you don't have Kelly on your team, you're either trying to suck or living on a prayer. Kelly Slater is Cloudbreak Jesus and he will never be crucified.

Gabriel Medina
Bombed out in Rio but there's no way Gabs will let it turn into a streak. He's a sneaky little tube mongrel, that Medina. He's a former finalist at Cloudbreak and showed up early to cleanse himself of the heinous wave quality of the first four events.

I'm skeptical of picking...

Michel Bourez
I mean come on, I'm not THAT skeptical. The dude was born and bred in left tubes. But for some reason he hasn't cracked a decent result in Fiji or Tahiti, ever. It doesn't make sense, but neither does the win-to-shocker combo surfers have been doing this year. The only event winner that hasn't got last place in the next contest was Medina after the Quik Pro (with a 5th at Margaret's). If Michel turns it around here, I'm officially on the "Spartan 4 World Champ!" bandwagon.

The Grinders
John Florence
It's time for John to suntan that upper left thigh. Best to apply SPF 50 or above.

CJ Hobgood
In case you haven't noticed, the Miami Heat ball out on everyone, @rickyrosay is a straight boss and Florida makes Cloudbreak its bitch. KS, Damo, Cory Lopez and of course, Ceej have owned this place over the years. Because of that, I brought a Florida state flag to Tavarua and I expect to hand that over to one of my Sunshine State brothers while they accept a big-ass trophy and check for $100,000. From Duval to Dade, we ride.

Nat Young
How blue collar is it to fly to Fiji early and practice getting drained at Cloudbreak while the girls were sent to Restaurants? That's what Nat was doing on that last swell and I expect my Bure mate to obviously kill it in this event.

Freddy Fuckin' P
I thought about Owen, Julian, and Seabass, but that ain't what Passion Picks is about. This man is pissed off right now. He's been getting shafted by the judges a good part of the year and is out for blood. Expect greatness from both bald men on tour here.

I'm skeptical of picking...

Kolohe Andino
This is the place where I write someone off only to have him prove me wrong and end up in the Semis or Final. I'm going to keep Kolohe on here to trick him into killing it at this event. And if he bombs out early, well... I told you so.

The Strugglers and Wilds
Brett Simpson
It'd be easy to write the guy off at this point. He's got shit for a seed, and will indefinitely face big names early. The media also likes to note that he hasn't won a heat in 2014 yet. But Brett showed signs of life late against Adriano at Bells and had Julian on the ropes at Rio. Then Hurley released this video from last year at Lakey Peak where, starting at 1:10, he pig-dogs the fuck outta some heavy shacks. It restored my faith that Simpo belongs on the WCT and it's time to claw back up the ratings now.

Aritz Aranburu

This is the Strugglers bracket and sometimes you're better off with the eeny-meeny-miny-moe method, which brought me here. I typically turn my camera away when Aritz is on a wave, so I'm not really sure if he is any good at backside tube riding, or surfing in general for that matter, but he surfs Mundaka, right? I'll give him a chance. Get 'em, Aritz!

I'm skeptical of picking...

Glenn Hall
Last time Micro was here he broke his damn back. One of two things can happen. A) He creates a comeback story of perseverance and revival, like Rudy and Lance Armstrong. Or, B) He's become absolutely terrified of Cloudbreak and paddles for the channel every time a 4-foot set looms on the horizon. I doubt either of those will happen, but the odds are stacked against the Irishman either way.