I’m currently sitting on a plane headed to Western Australia for the first time ever. Thinking about sharks, Nikki Van Dijk and making myself rich on fantasygrudge.com.
Conner Coffin ($17,500)
Am I tripping, or is my Rookie of the Year pick sitting at #2 in the world right now? I'm not tripping, and I'm not backing off. Conner has every reason to keep this roll going at Margs. A big open face is his friend and he'll definitely smash The Box. 😉
John Florence ($15,500)
I'm guessing you've seen VFABM. I'll also guess you have Johnathan on your team for Margarets, which is smart. After finishing 2nd to Adriano last year, he paddled straight out at The Box and put on a clinic. Why KP didn't choose to run the finals out there is still anyone's guess, but John doing well in this event is close to being a sure thing.
Julian Wilson ($6,000)
Wilko slipped by him on a tiebreaker at Bells but Julian looked damn good in the process. When does he not look good really? The guy is a Zeus.
Taj Burrow ($5,000)
I've talked in the past about how Taj has no home field advantage given the fact that he never actually surfs Main Break. But this year they have the option for North Point. And The Box should get more play if the WSL does any research on ratings. No one wants to watch Margaret River but we all think West Oz is badass. If KP does the right thing, this pick will turn out great.
Kelly Slater ($5,000)
Clearly, Kelly is not the same dominant surfer he once was. Slates has his hand in too many things to fully commit to the CT. I truly wonder what's even bringing him to West Oz for this event? Are they still paying an appearance fee? Dude, you know that wave pool is worth way more than what Drug Aware can pay you. Regardless, at $5,000 on FantasyGrudge, I feel inclined to take him because he's the GOAT. And even though it seems like Quarters is pedestrian for Kelly, that'd be a bargain for someone tied at 23rd place in the rankings.
Josh Kerr ($5,000)
I don't think anyone not named John Florence is better than him out at The Box and his air game travels to North Point flawlessly. Kerry's also won at Main Break as a QS and finaled two years ago against Michel Bourez as a CT. This pick is sturdy as an ox.
Gabriel Medina ($5,000)
I'm not yet ready to concede my 2016 World Title pick but I am a little worried he doesn't have his shit together. I mean seriously, he's not looked like the Freak Boy we're all accustomed to. What's going on Gabby? How about you, Charlie and I go play a round of 18 and figure this one out.
Jack Robinson ($1,500)
My pick to be the next John John Florence. I've watched Jack bog cutbacks and look like a prodigy gone wrong the past couple years, but I've also seen this story before and I won't get fooled again. Kids get weird sometimes between age 15-18, but that freak of nature talent doesn't just leave your body. Jack is coming into his own, and with his style and tube riding ability, the rest will start to follow. This could be his coming out party.