The world's best surfers are already invading the lineup at Lower Trestles in preparation for the men's Hurley Pro and women's Swatch Pro, which are set to begin on September 6. The playful Southern California pointbreak provides the Championship Tour surfers the perfect stage for state-of-the-art-progression. It's undoubtedly going to play a huge role in this year's World Title races, too, so with that in mind here are a few revealing trends to ponder heading into this year's competition.
Winning Matters for the Women
Every winner of the Swatch Pro has gone on to win a World Title that same year. Stephanie Gilmore won both in 2014. Carissa Moore in 2015, and Tyler Wright in 2016. While that's clearly a small sample size, it'll undoubtedly serve as extra motivation for competitors this year.
Jordy Smith is Coming in Hot
Jordy Smith has won the Hurley Pro two of the last three years, and this year he's coming in as the current Jeep Leader. It's his first time leading the ratings since 2011. Smith's career heat win percentage (HWP) at Lowers is 68 percent, which ties him with Mick Fanning in that category. With Kelly Slater out of this year's event, Smith and Fanning hold the top spots with two wins apiece.
John John's Numbers Don't Add Up
Reigning World Champion John John Florence has just one Final appearance at Trestles in his seven attempts. He lost to Jordy Smith in the 2014 Final. His HWP at Lowers is only 48 percent, and his average heat score (AHS) is 14.19, which puts him outside of the Top 10 in that category.
Watch Out for Owen, Julian, Adriano and Filipe
No. 4 ranked-Owen Wright, No. 5 ranked Julian Wilson and No. 6-ranked Adriano de Souza have all advanced to the Finals at Trestles, too. Wright finished runner-up to Slater in 2011. Wilson came second to Taj Burrow in 2013, and De Souza finished runner-up to Mick Fanning in 2015. Julian is on a hot streak of late, while Wright and De Souza are solidly in the top 10 with their AHS and HWP stats at Trestles. Meanwhile, No. 9 ranked Filipe Toledo has yet to make a Finals appearance at Lowers, but his AHS is a whopping 16.4, which is more than a point higher than all active competitors this year.
Forget About Parko at Your Peril
No. 8 ranked-Joel Parkinson is operating on a different plane these days. He's admitted that he's more interested in peaking at the right moments then trying to sustain the year-long intense focus required to win a World Title, and his results have actually improved as a result. One of his favorite places to light up is Trestles. Parko's made three Final appearances there, including his runner-up finish to Jordy last year. He won the event back in 2004.