It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Or is it? That’s what the WSL has been promoting at least. And Blink 182 headlining the Surf Ranch Pro, damn, makes you feel like you’re back in high school trying to kickflip off the curb at your local Checkers wearing baggy pants and singing ‘All the Small Things’! Anyway, enough tomfoolery, the Surf Ranch Pro is about to kick off, and you want some advice for your Fantasy Surf Team, luckily yo ass has come to the right place.
The usual CT format has been discarded for the Surf Ranch Pro and replaced by a pool specific golf inspired format which you can read about here. Given the format change and the fact that there will be hordes of surf frothing enthusiasts lining the pool screaming their lungs away while drinking beer, you’re probably going to want to choose surfers that feed off the energy of the crowd. Homies that remain calm under pressure. Calm like a bomb, ready to explode.
Remember like five years ago when Mick Fanning was the man to beat on tour? When Mick Fanning and Adriano de Souza were the most likely to get good results at most places? Events like Bells, Snapper, Jbay and the European leg you’d be a downright fool to leave ADS or Fanni off your team. Well, it’s safe to say that Filipe Toledo is now that guy on tour. Leaving him off your team is more of a risk than putting him in. Except maybe at Tahiti and Pipe.
Filipe is short (which suits the tight transitions of the Ranch just fine) surfs super fast, surfs with power, and isn’t intimidated by big crowds, in fact, most times he uses the screaming crowd to elevate his performance. And if the latest video from the S-Ranch featuring Filipe garnishing a single wave with three alley-oops isn’t enough to convince yo ass to put him in your team, then you’re lost, baby. You’re lost in the woods.
If you dig away at your memory box, you’ll recall that before the European leg last year, Surf Ranch ran a cheeky little test event starring the top-rated CT pros, and of course, the GOAT himself, entitled; the Future Classic. An event which Gabby won. Now don’t get us wrong here, it’s hard to overlook Italo, Julian and Jordy, especially considering Goldsmith’s favourable performance at the Founders Cup for Team World. But Gabby’s fresh off a win at Tahiti, and when Gabby gets on a roll, that ball don’t stop rolling till stepdad Charlie breaks the scowl.
Gabby’s in his 3rd consecutive year in the running for the title, and he knows it. And he’s gonna do everything in his power to reel Filipe in before the circus heads to Hawaii come year end.
Three reasons to put Griffin on your team:
1.) Large crowds only seem to enhance his performance.
2.) He knows the wave so well, he’s planned his waves down to every turn.
3.) Just watch that edit above again, filthy!
We know this may seem like an odd pick, but hear us out; Kanoa, like Filipe, elevates his performance the bigger the crowd. Disagree? He’s a two-time Vans US Open of Surfing champion. Kanoa never lets the situation get ahead of him, he surfs a wave exactly for what it allows, he never over-cooks turns and has impeccable timing.
Kanoa put on a sterling performance at Jbay this year, surfing the wave excellently. A wave that just last year, he absolutely sucked at. Like Supertubes, Lemoore is a long wave, and it requires you to remain calm and focused for a long period of time, two things Kanoa proved capable of at Jbay this year.
Like Kanoa, Frederico is good at keeping a level head on a lengthy wave, and like Kanoa, Freddy doesn’t try anything the wave doesn’t provide. He surfs waves for what they allow. Freddy throws a ton of spray on his open face carves/off-the-tops, which we’re sure the judges are gonna dig. If you watched the Founders Cup you would’ve noted that much of battle was won by actually completing a wave from start to finish, and everybody knows, Freddy doesn’t fall.
Zeke often finds himself in some sort of weird altercation in heats. Paddle-battles, hustling priority battles etc, just usual weird Zeke antics. But without all that crap, we reckon Zeke might just surf better if he can concentrate long enough for the length of one Surf Ranch wave that is.
Zeke’s a tall human that surfs relatively short boards, he surfs tight, powerfully, and has a made air game, qualities that bode well for a top 8 surf ranch finish.
Have you been following Mfeb on Instagram? If you have, you’d have witnessed his delightful little edits of him riding the GOAT’s wave pool to some tantalising soul music (damn that brother got style). And you would’ve noticed him shredding on it. Looking hot! Also, a little birdie came down and informed us that they allegedly ran a secret test event at the wave pool a couple weeks ago, an event which Mikey (allegedly) won.
After his breakthrough result at Tahiti, the monkeys off his back, and we reckon Mikey’s gana do the surfing we all want to see.
He owns the damn thing.