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Gabriel Medina: a good pick. Photo: ASP/Smorigo

Gabriel Medina: a good pick. Photo: ASP/Smorigo


The Inertia

Known for its beach culture, fanatic fans, huge crowds, tiny bikinis, and having the worst waves on Tour, Rio is the fourth stop on the circuit, and the waves aren’t spectacular.

Sure it can get good, but it seldom does. As a result, it has provided many an upset and plenty of controversy. Perhaps the greatest incident of rage causing officiating came with the infamous floatergate. Local Adriano de Souza beat Owen Wright with a single floater rewarded an 8.23 – a good floater, to be sure, but ridiculously over-scored when compared to Owen’s wave.
So this year prepare for the worst by expecting more of the same. Scraping over small waves trying to make the most of what’s on offer. I’m crossing my fingers in hope of a couple of sick banks.

Keep in mind that the time difference will mean that most of this event will be watched on heats on demand, unless you are truly dedicated and have an understanding partner who’s ok with you staying up all night. In reality, I can’t see many doing this simply because the wave quality just ain’t there. However, the following three events of the ASP World Tour are Fiji, J Bay, and Teahupoo. Suffice to say it’s probably better to save yourself for these spectacles.

What it important about the Rio Pro is locking in a good team for Fantasy Surfer. My picks would be the guys capable of launching big airs. It would also pay to have a couple of Brazilians on the team; surfers who know how to search and find diamonds amongst the closeouts.

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Slater could be a bad pick here. He has a huge amount of pressure placed on him by being swamped everywhere he goes in Rio, he also struggles to stay engaged in competition when the waves are sub par. Having said that, he’s Slater, and you can never write him off.

My Top 5 Picks for Rio
Gabriel Medina
Felipe Toledo
Owen Wright
John Florence
Julian Wilson

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