Wednesday, 3 April 2013

World Title Runner-Up Pick

I went down to Bells Beach for the finals of the surfing.  I haven't seen the comp there for years so I was pretty excited.  Bells is rarely as good throughout the year as it is at Easter so it's good to see the world's best on great waves.

At the start of each year I take a slightly less than random guess about who will win the world title.  I had about 4 years in a row where my pick came 2nd.  So I've changed my annual guess to the runner-up for the world title.

Taj Burrow will be the best surfer ever to have never won a world championship.  I said that about 6 years ago and I still stand by it.  For years he was content to just 'get stoked' and surf with the kids but he missed his window- not through being too old, just through a change in judging criteria.  If they judged aerial manouvers in 2001 the way they do now he would have already won a title or two.  But surfing being surfing, they lacked progression.  They're starting to catch up now but the kids learned from Taj and now they're leading the way.  Taj is also the lucky recipient of my annual runner-up pick.

Unfortunately for him, the only recent photo I have is one of him in a state of anger after losing the semi-final yesterday (he was unlucky).

I'd love to see him win but he needs to be so focussed for the whole year and I've never seen him do that before.  He's travelling with his trainer, Johnny Gannon, who I think is great and will get the most out of Taj but I don;t know if it's enough.

I've been a big fan of Jordy Smith's surfing for years and I think he's not far off taking the win, but a kid I had never seen surf until last week, Filippe Toledo, blew me away.  He's only 19 so give it time but he's already so progressive it will be fun to watch him develop over the years.
Jordy Smith and Filippe Toledo.
My ideal top 3 for 2013 would include Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow and Mick Fanning but it's a long year...

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