The Hurley Pro at Trestles is professional surfing's answer to Formula 1's Grand Prix. At the Hurley Pro, aerodynamics, speed, and performance will be key. With its clean walls and endless ramps, this "track" produces maximum joy for both competitors and spectators.
Put the fear and power on the shelf until Pipe. It's time to sharpen the creative mind and recharge the "Dream Tour" with some good ol' hot-dogging! There's no better place than Southern California to collectively get behind this crazy ride on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) and celebrate a huge punt with a â€œDude that was so sick!" and "I know, right!â€
Excitement aside, you will need to pick wisely for this venue. There are some who will shine and some who may still have a power-surfing mindset from Tahiti, J-Bay, and Fiji. At Lowers, the Tour will quickly become an arena for the agile.
As of time of publish, only two percent of you have chosen this young man! Wow, what gives? Keep in mind, if you leave him off your roster you will lose out. Kolohe may be a little riskier than Kelly Slater (USA) or Gabriel Medina (BRA), but this is an opening to get some huge points over your friends. The forecast currently looks pretty small, which may cause problems for many of our â€œmatureâ€ residents in this tier. Keep in mind, Kolohe is on a huge roll this year and this is a home game. His confidence will be through the roof and so will his surfing! Start 'em.
You wouldn't be wrong to think that putting Filipe in your squad is a risky play; he's fresh off the injury list. But the Brazilian flyboy will be the man to watch. No one on tour has as much spring and pop. He not only flies through the air better than anyone, he's not too shabby at hacking. Barring any trouble from his ankle and any silly mistakes (which he makes from time to time) he will post huge scores. The question is, will that translate into a solid result? Start 'em.
This regular-footed hipster from the Goldie will be turning heads in California. With a strong foundation and a tight arc, Crews will post solid numbers against John John Florence (USA) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) in his Round 1 clash. When picking your Tier C horse, be mindful of their seeding points. Mitch is at the top of his tier, giving him a slightly easier draw when he advances to the second or third rounds. After taking some lumps in Tahiti, he'll be looking forward to having a lower heart rate during this event, which should allow him to focus on his strengths. Expect him to string together all his maneuvers like a pointbreak surfer should. Start 'em.
Again, Lowers is the Formula 1 Grand Prix of the schedule. Agility, speed, and acrobatics are the name of the game here. Michel is ASP's Spartan. He's built to destroy, not take flight. Ready for a disclaimer?: He's obviously having a stellar year, with two wins so far! But keep in mind, these were both in punchy waves, a far cry from the fragile lips of Southern California. Technically, there are no bad picks in Tier A but you need to weigh your options. Go for the cheetah, not the rhino. Sit 'em.
Kai absolutely charged in Tahiti and is becoming known for his fearless attack in those types of huge, hollow waves. But despite being a savvy competitor, the Aussie charger will be vulnerable at the Hurley Pro when faced with the vast repertoires of people like John John and Jordy Smith (ZAF). He will have a shot at taking out Joel Parkinson (AUS) in their Round 1 clash -- both will rely on bombs and spray -- but come Round 2 or 3 he will need to break out his wicked backhand attack. Otton has proved his mettle in massive conditions, but other surfers may be boosting all over the joint. Sit 'em.
This heavy-footed, Brazilian powerhouse will be chucking more spray than fins. Raoni is far from a one-trick pony but Lowers is a place to be frisky. Plus, his ranking is a major concern. Down at the bottom of the pack he'll be up against the top seeds, making for a tough road ahead. Unless the forecast changes for the better, Raoni will be searching for that magic carpet to carry him through the lightweight surf. His skills are arguably underrated, but the punchier beach breaks of Europe are a better place to start the strong Brazilian. Sit 'em.
Sure, being rated seventh in the world is hardly underdog status. So why the dark horse pick? Because most of you (95 percent) don't think he will win or even have him on your team. ADS is such an amazing competitor. He never makes mistakes, hardly falls, and has all the tricks in the book. Not only is he surfing better than ever, he continues his quest to study the sport and strengthen his skills to patch any potential weak spots. With a somewhat small wave forecast ahead, look for ADS to come into this event fresh, focused, and ready to win his first WCT in 2014.
ASP commentator Ross Williams offers a Fantasy analysis for each stop on the WCT. Make sure to pick your roster at fantasy.aspworldtour.com. The event window for the Hurley Pro at Trestles begins September 9, 2014.