Fantasy Surfer Picks - Fiji Pro 2017
On June 4, the world will cast its eye towards one of the tour's (and Parko's) favorite lefts, Cloudbreak. Gabriel Medina has dominated here recently, winning in 2014 and 2016, but guys on their front hand have enjoyed a run of recent success in general with five of the last six finalists being goofy footers. Legends like Kelly and Parko love this wave though so goofy footed dominance isn't assured. Need a little insight on how to set up your team? Check out our picks below -
1. Owen Wright
Owen missed the 2016 event due to injury but absolutely dominated in his last appearance in Fiji, winning with a perfect 20.00 in the finals against fellow Aussie Julian Wilson in 2015. Owen has already shown that his year off didn't impact his surfing after taking the win at Snapper in the first event of the year and now that he's on his forehand in a place that he's won before, he has to be one of the favorites heading into this event. Expect big points from Owen.
Joel will tell anyone who asks that Cloudbreak is one of his favorite waves in the world so you know he's coming into this event absolutely frothing. After missing last year's event due to injury he's sure to come in looking for a strong showing here so he can improve on his 6th place standing on the current world rankings. This event is looking set up for a Parko finals run.
1. Gabriel Medina
Medina is a bargain as a Tier B surfer and despite a slow start to the year, he has to be considered a favorite for this event this year. After winning here two of the last three years he's sure to come in motivated and can be counted on for at least five strong rounds of points.
2. Julian Wilson
Julian was bounced out of last year's event early after a finals appearance in 2016 but we've got a good feeling that he's going to start hitting his stride this event. A Round 5 exit in Brazil is sure to leave him motivated and wanting to have a strong showing in Fiji.
Italo's back from injury and if you've seen any of his Instagram clips, is absolutely shredding at the moment. He's had some success at Fiji in the past, making the quarters in 2015, but is coming in extra motivated to get back from his injury and make up some ground on the rankings. A favorable first round heat sets him up well for a place straight into the 3rd round and the bonus that comes with it.
4. Mick Fanning
Mick was eliminated in the 5th round the last time he competed in Fiji but if the waves are good, Mick is going to be psyching and an interested Mick is a huge problem for the rest of the field. He's got a tough first heat against Kelly and Bede but we think he can pull it out and make a good run that ends with you getting a decent points total.
1. Nat Young
Nat's a former finalist in this event has been known to go on runs in events where he looks unstoppable. Take a flyer on the goofy footer and pray he survives his first heat against Gabs and makes it out of Round 2. If he's out of that second round, you are in good shape for Nat to make some noise and score you some serious points.
2. Ethan Ewing
It's been a rough start to the year for Ethan but after surfing mush in Japan, he's going to be frothing for some better waves and with a strong backhand attack, he's in good shape to have his breakout event.
Good luck with your fantasy team, we hope you win your league (unless you're in the Billabong league, then we definitely hope you don't win).