Billabong Pro Tahiti Picks
Shea Lopez on who to pick for your Fantasy Surfer team
How do you handle fear? Do you avoid or confront it? Does it paralyze or empower you? Because how you manage fear often determines your success at Teahupoo. With the recent serious injuries sustained by Kevin Bourez, along with the endless list of others who have been wounded by this wave, the seeds of fear have been planted for the World Tour competitors.
Riding Teahupoo safely requires not only great skill, but tremendous commitment. It takes the highest caliber of surfing to excel out there, and every world champion since Teahupoo’s addition to the Tour has proven themselves fearless when peering over the ledge. With a close ratings race, we should see a number of surfers looking to step up and throw their name in the ring as Teahupoo chargers and world title contenders. This should make for quite a spectacle.
Market Price: $11,500,000
Indecision can cause much grief. Kelly has an incredibly full plate, with many endeavors that require tremendous energy and time to realize, but still, a 12th world title has been on his mind since the end of last season. If he had won the world title at Pipe, it would have been a dream ending to an unimaginable career. But now we have the privilege of seeing Kelly excel at Teahupoo again.
Market Price: $9,500,000
Having an abundance of talent doesn’t necessarily promise success in the professional surfing world. A strong desire is always necessary. When you are willing to dedicate your entire youth to achieving competitive success, you just might become world champ before you become a man. Kelly did just that, and Medina is looking more and more likely to follow in his footsteps.
Market Price: $5,000,000
Sebastian can be a risky pick if you are looking for a consistent performer, but if you are looking for a lower ranked/priced surfer with potential to win any event, go with the Seabass. He’s always a crowd pleaser, and it would be a pleasure to watch him excel at this incredible event.
Market Price: $5,000,000
Like many Fantasy Surfer players, I’m still holding onto Owen from the beginning of the season when his price tag was insanely low. Of course, the fact that Owen has made the final in Tahiti before makes him a smart pick as well.
Market Price: $1,500,000
This guy isn’t just good at Teahupoo, he’s great. Never one to hold back in any aspect of life, Hedgey should terrify any top seed that he comes up against.
Market Price: $6,750,000
There’s not much left open for debate when it comes to John at Teahupoo. We all know that when he takes off on a wave of consequence, he draws the kind of line few can commit to with casual grace and prefect poise. If he doesn’t find his way into the final here, there will be obvious errors in his execution.
Market Price: $3,250,000
If you understand Basque culture, then you know Aritz has no qualms regarding any situation that may arise during competition. Most importantly, he charges hard while making the majority of his rides—a lethal combination at Teahupoo.
Market Price: $8,750,000
With two victories so far this season and the familiar power of his home break under his feet, Michel sits poised to win for his family, his injured brother, and Tahiti as a whole. In doing so, he would also be solidifying his place in the world title race. We will continue praying for his brother Kevin as we wish the best for Michel at this very special event and place.