25 May, 2018 25 May, 2018

Fantasy Surfer – The Corona Bali Protected

In 2013, before the Oakley Bali Pro, the surf world went nuts at the prospect of watching the worlds best tackle the high-performance giant that is Keramas. Everybody frothed out! Cause we all expected massive lofty punts all day long. You see many of our fave Taylor Steele movie sections, saturated with airs, (back when people actually watched full surf movies), were shot at Keramas. And some of the dopest airs were launched and successfully landed there. But once the comp started, we soon realised that busting and landing airs at Keramas in a heat is a tricky affair. You’re either going for straight tens, like John John’s massive alley-oop or nothing. You see Keramas is a man’s wave (not be sexist in the least), but you need to be a heavy-footed powerhouse to surf it well. Just look at 2013’s Oakley Bali Pro final for evidence; Michelle Bourez vs Joel Parkinson. And then put together your team.

Current No.1 on the Jeep Leaderboard Julian Wilson (AUS) advances to the Quarter Finals of the 2018 Oi Rio Pro after winning Heat 2 of Round 4 at Itaúna Beach, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Tier A

Julian Wilson

Juls, as far as we know, has spent a fair amount of time at Keramas. Many of Julian’s best airs were landed at the spot. Thus he knows the wave well. Julian’s also rolling with a ton of confidence at the moment. It’s still early on in the season, but Juls is within striking distance of the title and he knows it. Because he currently leads the ratings, his early heats will most probably be a touch easier than most. So making it to round 4, won’t be too hard to imagine, and once Julian finds his groove, he becomes very difficult to beat.

Filipe Toledo

Filipe Toledo’s performance at the Oi Rio Pro was phenomenal. Groundbreaking. That full rotation in his round 4 heat. OMG. Ridiculous. And then that filthy backdoor double up pit to absolutely bury Wade Carmichael alive in the final. Filth. For too long a time, Filipe’s barrel riding skills were pretty damn lacklustre. Not WT material. But the man’s come a long way since those early days, and his barrel riding skills, at least on his forehand, are lit right now. Filipe’s riding high on confidence, and he feels no pressure. The first few days of the waiting period looks kinda small, which plays perfectly into Filipe’s hands. We’re expecting to see Filipe make a serious stake for the yellow jersey at the Corona Bali Protected.

Frederico Morais (PRT) advances to Round 3 of the 2018 Oi Rio Pro after winning Heat 8 of Round 2 at Barrinha, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Tier B

Jordy Smith

It truly pains us to see our boy JS lying so low on the rankings. His Channel Island sponsorship a distant memory, Jordy’s been looking a touch lost this season. And it’s showed in his results. 13th’s all over the show. He’s like a 13th factory down there at spot number 25. But we wanna see Jordy turn it all round at Keramas! It’s a wave that suits the big man, a slingshot kinda takeoff that throws you into the first turn section. Because of the wave’s power, it prefers a back foot surfer, and we’re hoping Jords can show us exactly how good his rail game is at Keramas.

Frederico Morais

Clean walled up running rights are the kinda waves that suit Frederico Morais just fine. Give that man an open face, with tons of power, allowing him to open up those eagle-like wings, and gouge away at a massive open face carve, and watch the judges fling scores at him like an ill-informed American flinging his vote behind Donald Trump. That’s all.

Sebastian Zietz (HAW) is eliminated from the 2018 Oi Rio Pro after placing third in Heat 3 of Round 4 at Itaúna Beach, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Sebastian Ziets

We were going to put Willian Cardaso here, just cause his back foot probably weighs more than a small car, but then we decided on Ziets. Firstly, cause we’re not sure how good Willian’s barrel riding skills are, and secondly, cause we know Seabass is an absolute artist in the pit. Do you want evidence? Go and queue up his double barrel at the Oi Rio Pro in round 3 against Mr. Hermes. Too sick! Ziets loves to slice through the water with his carves, never lying on top of the water, and considering Keramas power, this approach will work out well.

John John Florence

JJF seems a bit rattled this season. We’re not sure why. Maybe he’s just having an off year. Nonetheless, having the option of putting John John in your team in Tier B is a no-brainer. Last time we were at Keramas, John busted one of the biggest airs in competition ever. Maybe he’ll rekindle that kinda form at Keramas.

Tier C

Mikey Wright

Cause what the hell would your team be without putting in the wildest of wild cards right here. With Mikey, you’re almost guaranteed a round 3 result. And when it comes to Tier C, that’s all you want, anything more is a bonus. And if Mikey makes it past round 3, he’ll freakin destroy it from there on out. Not putting him on your team, is a risk not worth taking.

Let us all take a moment of silence… to pray and hope, that the wild man doesn’t get lost in Kuta, Jalan Poppies Lane 2 on route to the East Coast. Cause who knows if he’ll ever emerge from that sordid hole of nothingness. Hopefully, Mikey limits his wildness to carves and airs. That’s wild enough for us thanks.

Joel Parkinson

Ahhhhh Parko. Remember the days, the good old days when we played the old Fantasy Surfer on Surfermag.com, and Joel was always a threat to win no matter the destination, except Brazil that is. Well, those days are all over. But Joel knows Keramas well. The wave suits his style, and he won here in 2013. Let’s give the old dog a shot.

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