After all my shuffling I ended up with
Taj - Julian - Kerrzy - Fanning - Bede - Melling - Kolohe - Dane
Only got 2 straight through to round 3 with Mick and Melling. I made room for Taj and ended up with Dane instead of another half decent seed and Taj let me down a bit in round 1. Hopefully he bounces back. Dig out that trusty 5'11".
The judges still seem to be struggling with how to deal with airs, and scoring some such as Dane way high, and others such as Brett Simpson and Andino much lower.
Anyway, Taj looks strong for the year as do Mick, Joel, Kelly, John John, Owen and Julian. Watch the world champ come from outside that list (Jordy? Funky Cold?) as I've probably now applied the famous buzzy hex.
I think your right with the call about airs
That thing from Brett Simpson was going for broke in the most critical section and only got a six something
If it was Dane it would of got bigger cheers and bigger scores
So I've ended up with 7 of my 8 surfers in round 3 thanks to some good round 2 performances. Unfortunately I've got Julian and Melling surfing against each other in round 3 but fingers crossed I have 6 in round 4.
I should have gone with Melling. I was picking TKnox to win it all. Had all my eggs in his basket.....
haaa nahhh just kidding.
But in the Taj heat, Dane GAVE away waves to him. Taj was super flustered to start but was luckily up against someone without a lot of strategy. Dane gave Taj one of those 9s and I have to say, someone playing a little more strategy may have kept Taj to one good wave again. had Dane used priority like he should have, he easily could have dropped a 9.
anyways it didn't happen, but I still think its early to tell with TB. I think as new as the school is, I think the guys who look the best to make a run are 3 classics and 1 newbie: Slater, Parko, Fanning, John John. If John John's weakness is small waves that he doesn't know that well and his strengths are big barrels AND he detonated like he did at Snapper? Watch out!
Yeah the first half of the Dane/Taj he was blown wave after blown wave. It was frustrating to watch. Dane didn't seem very interested in the contest going by his post heat interviews.
This year is going to be interesting, especially if Slater has a couple of bad results early on and throws in the towel it opens up things a bit. If he bits his mind to it it's pretty hard to beat the guy. JJF is going to be interesting to watch. If he got out in front it'll be good to see how he handles that pressure. He always seems so relaxed in heats but that'd be a different world of pressure for him. He's got the talent in all conditions though. He's one of the new crop that can do ALL the above the lip new school stuff but you can throw him into the heaviest barrels and he can out class 95% of the guys there too. I'd have liked to have seen him at Teahupoo last year. I think Mick's always dangerous too, especially after a dud last year and coming back refocussed for this year. I'm not so sure with Parko.
I'd like to see Michel open up this above the lip stuff in heats more. I've seen freesurf clips of him busting airs and nose picks and all sorts of stuff but he seems to stick to the rail stuff in heats. I think to win those crucial quarters, semis and finals you really need to pull out that bit extra to win.
Parko finished number 2 last year and closed out the year incredibly strong, perhaps surfed the best last 3 events of anyone, including slater. With events like Snapper, Bells, France and Portugal, I think its impossible to count him out. Then if Pipe runs at backdoor, Parko is a major player.
AS for Slater, the only way he isn't a factor is if he chooses to step off tour. Otherwise he is going to continue to power carve his way to the top. He is so damn consistent and capable of linking together winning waves. Not to mention the most savvy competitor on tour.
regarding Michel, yeah he is a power surfing specimen, but honestly prj, Fanning and Parko don't do much above the lip at all. They have speed, flow, power and consistency. Michel is fully capable of that and he can lay down hacks that 75% of the guys on tour can't....so he has his own wow factor in my opinion....
For sure he does, but from some of his video parts he has a legit above the lip game too. I'd like to seem him pull a few out in heats now and again. Imagine a wave full of his power carves that normally gets an 8 or so with that extra above the lip flair thrown in too!
On another note, Wilko just got robbed. He should have had that score on that last wave.
Parko would be pissed that JBay is off the tour. I reckon Parko surfs JBay (and Bells) better than anyone else on tour. And it's his own sponsor that's stuffed him.
I dunno about Parko and Fanning not having an above the lip game. I just reckon they stick to their knitting which is power, speed and flow, and then pull out the airs for extra points as a "hail Mary" or for the quarters and beyond. Mind you, their above the lip game is second tier compared to Wilson or Dane or Funky Cold, but they can still do it.
I personally hate to see a wave wasted with one radical air then to see the balance of the wave peel off unridden. Hate it. That's why I hate to see judges give 8.5's and more for one turn waves at a place like Snapper or JBay. They only seem to do it for the favoured few anyway (aka Dane and Slater).
Just watched Taj's heat
Ripping as usual but looked very unsure about his equipment
His caddy was waiting on the beach with a spare board but in the end he didn't need it
I think he needs to land those big turns if he wants to go all the way
Still looks good though