It's extremely early, and it could swing any way, but I'm calling it: Parko to win the surf tour this year.
You can take it on board or throw it right on back, but Sl9ter needs a rest, Fanning can't muster up the focus he needs, Durbo hasn't yet realised that he will need the same focus as Fanning, and Taj will never understand that it's now or never. And for the outside comment, Steds needs a few more years to understand what it takes. So through a process of elimination, and the hope that he steps it up, I believe Parko will win it this year.
My gripe with his last few years is that he knows he's living the dream and he's appreciative of it. I'm not suggesting that he shouldn't be appreciative, he's got the family he adores and the job that allows him to do what he loves (minus the traveling) so he's loving it. But I wonder if he'll get to the end of it all and wish he had a stab at the top. Everyone knows he can do it, he just needs the focus.
This year is open to anyone- I don't think Sl9ter can back it up so Parko should give it a red hot go.
There is also a fantastic clip on worldprosurfers which makes me realise he's up for it. Unfortunately worldprosurfers no longer lets you download clips so I'm not sure how to embed it. You'll have to go check it out for yourself. http://www.worldprosurfers.com/joel-parkinson-surfing-dbah.htm
I'll leave you with some youtube clip of Parko smashing it out.
So while I really hope Durbo and Steds get up there, I'm putting coin on Parko...