Rio Picks

Shea Lopez on who to pick for your Fantasy Surfer team

| posted on May 05, 2014
With a healthy mix of power carves and progressive airs in his arsenal, former Rio Pro winner Jordy Smith is an easy favorite. Photo: Joli

With a healthy mix of power carves and progressive airs in his arsenal, former Rio Pro winner Jordy Smith is an easy favorite. Photo: Joli

A tropical opposite to the veteran-favoring Bells event, Rio de Janeiro requires youthful exuberance to shine. The quick, thick, and challenging sandbars of Rio can be a tuberiding treat or aerial feast for those with the right skill set. It’s a highly-charged atmosphere on the beach, which buckles some competitors and brings out the best in others. With a fun swell forecasted to kick off the waiting period, you can expect the Top 34 to showcase some great surfing in the opening rounds.

My Fantasy Surfer team lost a few of the older, more grounded surfers. Replacing them are younger guys with plenty to prove.

Gabriel Medina:
Market Price: $8,750,000
How far would you go to win a surf contest? What if there were hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake? Or an entire country watching your every move? You still wouldn’t go as far as Gabriel. That’s the thing about being the best; you don’t get there without doing what others won’t.

Filipe Toledo:
Market Price: $5,750,000
I won’t be the least bit surprised when Felipe wins his first WCT event, which could be as early as this week.

Alejo Moniz:
Market Price: $3,000,000
If Alejo shows up ready to surf in Rio, he will provide great value and opportunity to any Fantasy Surfer team, but that is a big if.

Kolohe Andino:
Market Price: $4,250,000
There will be a time for Kolohe, and it must be coming soon…

Owen Wright:
Market Price: $4,250,000
As Owen’s health and confidence return, so does the fear in his fellow competitors, who may have forgotten how proficient a competitor Owen really is.

John Florence:
Market Price: $7,250,000
Wave count is critical to John’s success. His make ratio is better than anyone, yet when you wait through suffocating lulls for only two opportunities…well, everyone falls sometimes. And so, John should find Rio, once again, very similar to Ehukai Beach Park and the multitude of ramps on offer much to his favor.

Julian Wilson:
Market Price: $9,250,000
Distractions and emotions can push and pull someone like Julian from a place of comfort and clarity, into a realm of remorse and indecision. Knowing what to do and how to do it is all that matters when you know what you want. And Julian wants to win.

Jordy Smith:
Market Price: $9,750,000
In the competitive format, just like everything else, there are always flaws to be exposed, and adjustments that can be made to improve upon the past. This is life. Jordy’s life plays out much like everyone else’s, except we get to watch his unfold live. After his heat at Bells, I can’t say enough about how well Jordy has handled the many injustices that he has faced.

The waiting period starts Wednesday for the Billabong Pro in Rio, so click here to get your Fantasy Surfer team ready.

  • Jamii Hamlin

    so its a mans world but still would be great to have some picks for the fairer sex surfer who are ripping and very much part of the asp tour package now….

  • God

    what the fuck does ‘dfvdfgdfgdfgdfg’ mean?

  • matt obrien

    Once again an honest breakdown/pick for upcoming contest. maybe Shea should have a talk with Nick Carrol on how to be honest when disecting the world’s best. Mr. Carrol might learn a thing or two! Looking forward to Kelly crushing all at Rio though.

  • BangBang

    Crazy, 3rd time this year Shea chooses the exact same set of surfers as me. But then I realized it’s surely the same for many of us long-time surfers & fantasy players , as the probability (not that many surfers on tour) + surfing experience lead to the same choices…

    • Simpo

      Does this not add up to like 52 million

  • Michael S

    Go Medina! 1 hahaha


    i think Medina is the real threat on this event, but Shea you cant forget Taj, cause in Brazil he is used to do good results, same for Adriano…….

  • Bernardo

    JJF is a great surfer but he depends a lot on many factors…..maybe just like Dane.

  • Simpo

    This adds up to 52 million right

  • tony ty carson big island

    Have to respond to Justin Housman’s article “Selling Out” in the April issue, this seems as good place as any to start. One of his main opening points was Laird (and others), deserves the respect of every surfer on earth. Justin is either naive, misguided, delusional or purposely trying to brain wash young groms and others reading his drivel. Who really deserves your respect? Maybe, the thousands and thousands of young groms riding their bikes to the beach in the pre-dawn light going for a dawn patrol session or an afternoon or evening surf, the thousands of older cats who have been surfing for 10, 20 30, 40 or more years who have sacraficed jobs, relationships, promotions for more water time and are still stoked to be catching waves, all of these dudes and dudettes, surfing with no thoughts of glory or cash, no groupies, fans or fanfare, just surfing for the pure stoke of it, maybe they are the ones who really deserve our respect.

  • tony ty carson

    “All of these people gladly traded personal integrity for success”. JH –Sounds like a deal you’d make with the devil, trading your personal integrity for success. And the surf industry, contrary to what Justin would have you to believe, is not your friend, they lost their soul a long time ago, they could care less who buys their tees now, (little grannies in the mid-west, soccer mom and dads), as long as they make a profit at the end of the day. It’s almost uncool for a real hard core surfer to wear a quicdollar, hurley, volcom-now owned by a French fashion company, ect tee. The good news is- I think most real hardcore surfers don’t even follow the asp ( zoosee) or most of this other junk, they would rather just go surfing.

  • tony ty carson

    The surf industry (pro surfers, free surfers -marketing the lifestyle- ect.) is not surfing, my brief forays into the dark, sickly heart of the matter have reminded me of that. The “cool” kids are looking towards the past, trying to re-discover surfing’s lost age of innocence, LS The good news- if you look hard enough, it can be found.

  • tony ty carson

    Justin also said “everybody getting paid to surf is a sell out” if this is true?- then maybe like we discussed in the first post here- the groms and all the other cats just working and surfing– with no thoughts of glory or cash, no fans no fanfare- no groupies, just surfing for the pure stoke of it—maybe they are the real hope for surfing’s present and future.