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2018 WSL Tour - The Crop

The rookies

Here we go again...

The 2018 WSL Tour is about to kick off and it’s going to be a one heck of a ride. The talent pool coming through is insane with every rookie looking likely to take out a CT event at some point during the year. In the Men’s draw I’ve got my money on Griffin Colapinto (USA) purely because of the edit he released the other day. If you didn’t see it, firstly, shame on you, but he basically ripped for four minutes. I’m talking turns, airs and some serious green time. You heard it here first. Griff. Trust me – he’s the man. In the Women’s draw, I can’t go past 16-year-old superstar Caroline Marks (USA). The youngest to ever make it on Tour. She rips. She’s also goofy footed which is nice to see. Guaranteed she’ll do some damage at Snapper when the event window opens in a couple of days.

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The middle fiddles

These are the surfers who have got some experience under their belt and get the whole ‘heat strategy’ game that needs to be played during events. They’re probably not going to win a World Title this year, but they’ll certainly shake things up. So, for the gents, I’m thinking Frederico Morais (PRT). He’s had an epic off-season, hunting down some heavy slabs in his own backyard, Supertubos. I just feel his confidence is at an all-time high. Look to Bells for Frederico to shine. And for the ladies, I’m picking up what Sage Erickson (USA) is throwing down. Last year was a real breakout season for Sage, as she just seemed to get insanely better at each event. Particularly at her home break, when she took out the Vans US Open of Surfing. There is no doubt in my mind she’ll make the final of Margie’s this year. Call it a sixth sense...

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The veterans

They’ve been there, done that, and bought the damn t-shirt. These guys are the masters of their craft. And call me biased but I’m going with Mick Fanning (AUS) to take out the first two events before he holsters his board for good – competitively speaking. However, after Mick’s done, I’m going with Julian Wilson (AUS). Granted, he’s had a horror off-season (thanks to a silly mountain and a faulty bike) but I just feel as if it’s time for Jules to cash in on his God-given talent we all wish we had. Plus, he’s just had a baby girl who happens to be adorable. So that’s got to stand for something right?

The women’s draw is arguably the most exciting it’s ever been. It also helps that they’re going to be competing at J-Bay, which in my eyes is long overdue, but sick nonetheless. For me, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) looks hungrier than ever. She came so close last year to securing her first World Title, and I just reckon the fire is burning strong within her belly. Sally surfs with so much power and grace there’s just no way she’s not going to take out Bells. Throw in a back-to-back win at Margie’s and she’ll be a shoe in for the Title from there. Hundy per.

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It’s going to be a gnarly year of surfing

Written by Sam Quennell

Published on 9th March 2018 in Surfing

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