J-Bay is set to kick off tomorrow and the question on everyone’s mind is who will come out on top. Will anyone be punching sharks in the line-up? Will Matt Wilkinson’s backhand attack take charge and make him the first goofy footer to grace the podium since Mick Lowe (2002) or even one better like Occy in 1984? Many think that its near impossible for a goofy footer to even come close to the finals at J-Bay but I believe if anyone has a chance its Wilko coming off two wins at right hand point breaks already this year. There are obviously the usual suspects like Mick Fanning (sore ankle), Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith, John John Florence and Julian Wilson, but my bets are on for some of the rookies on tour like Californian Conner Coffin and Australia’s Stuart Kennedy.
Conner Coffin is no rookie by all means when it comes to ripping long right hand point breaks. Conner’s local spot (Rincon) in Santa Barbara is one of the best waves in the world and he has spent most of his life surfing there. His style of surfing suits J-bay to a tee in my opinion, he has the speed and capability of producing big moves and he can also slow his surfing down when he needs to. I think Conner will do well here.
Stuart Kennedy proved he can mix it with the best surfers in the world taking home 3rd place in his first WSL appearance at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast. With two 13th and two 25th places Stu is in need of a good result. Stu grew up surfing one of Australia’s best right hand point breaks (Lennox Head). Stu has worked so hard to get to where he is and I believe he won’t go down without a fight. Hopefully Stu can pull out his forehand attack on a few bombs and climb his way back into the top 10.
My Fantasy Picks
So that’s it my picks for J-Bay 2016. Who knows what is going to happen this year but never the less I’m excited to watch it all go down. Let’s hope the contest doesn’t go on hold too many times due to the shark prevention system that they will be running this year. I think there will be a few extra eyes on the contest this year waiting to see if another Great White cops one square on the nose by Aussie shark boxer Mick Fanning.
By: Jamie Nicholson
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