The title stays in Brazil!
(This story was originally slated to appear as a comment beneath the latest Medina story but was scooped out of Disqus by moderator Negatron.)
35. Joao Chianca
Someone had to be here.
34. Lucca Mesinas
Have only watched videos of him going left.
33. Liam O’Brien
Irish-sounding named, Australian Rook who got some ‘CT experience last year at Rottnest, where he surfed ra… he surfed. Joey said something like he wanted to be a physicist or something, which would be great, squaring up his surfing ability with his profession. Too harsh? Of course, but the only other thing I could think of to say about him was something about the potato famine and him having to survive the time eating a steady diet of rats and nettles, which is all he could muster.
32. Jake Marshall
Who was the last decent ‘CT’er from San Diego County? Taylor Knox? Machado? He’s neither of them.
31. Callum Robson
Husky dude with flailing arms, which I could see the judges not penalizing, but also not getting into.
30. Jackson Baker
Looks like a thumb. Like other Tour thumbs before him (StuKen, Adam Melling, Drew Courtney), he’ll end the year lowly rated (probably cut), forced to requalify via the Challenger Series.
29. Jadson Andre
Charges and seems like a cool guy. Rank style, but like that he’s on Tour. Hopefully he can do better than this (not make the cut, mind you, but maybe be near it).
28. Connor O’Leary
Had a good rookie year, but hasn’t been able to get it together on Tour. Kinda hoping he doesn’t, it being pretty funny to read Bicko rave about him when he’s doing shit.
27. Caio Ibelli
Replacement surfer for Gabe. Thank God he’s not Mikey Wright, who if still around I’d rank dead last, easily.
26. Owen Wright
Ranked this highly for the bronze in Japan and his potential performance at the Pipeline.
25. Carlos Munoz
Costa Rican Kelly Slater or something. DLS thinks he’s great. Don’t know, as my skills at rating surfers, as should be apparent, are negligible.
24. Miguel Pupo
Thing 1 will probably end up rated low.
23. Ryan Callinan
Hurt and I forgot about him.
22. Zeke Lau
Might want to try boosting his median heat score above 11, where he has generally been on Tour, otherwise we’ll see him have to Challenger Series again. Not everyone can be a Top-20 surfer.
21. Imaikalani deVault
Looks like he rips. Hopefully better than the second coming of Roy Powers.
20. Samuel Pupo
Younger brother to Thing 1… that’s all I got.
19. Ethan Ewing
ndy reincarnate he’s not. Still waiting to see what all the hype was/is about.
18. Deivid Silva
Nice backhand attack. Should be plenty of rights to keep him on Tour.
17. Nat Young
Freckled face devil spawn from Santa Cruz, hopefully Natty breaks out and ends the year higher than this, if only to have people get frustrated and use him as an example of someone who is overrated by judges. Like Daeiouiavid, should be plenty of rights for him to stay on.
16. Leonardo Fioravanti
Leo is blah. Would be way cooler to learn that he had brothers named Donatello, Raphael, and Michaelangelo.
15. K-Hole Andino
Still looking for that elusive first win… will probably still be waiting. Rated lowly due to me needing to place him somewhere.
14. Kanoa Igarshi
2021 was a year of semi-fulfilled opportunities for Mr. Japan, him having placed in the Top 10 and winning silver at the Olympics. Bet he was wishing to do more. The chance of becoming a global superstar could dwindle if he does poorly early. If that happens, we can only wish that we’d witness a claim from him where he screams and punches himself in the face for all of us.
13. Conner Coffin
Surprise Top 5 finalist. Looking for him to fall back a little bit, but should remain on Tour, entertaining all the folks with his Live Musical Performance at Trestles brought to you by Fermensch Kombucha and b-Vibe Butt Plugs, where he will perform his version of Steal My Kisses to a bunch of zealous OC white people.
12. Frederico Morais
Seems about right. Not a Top-fiver (I was hoping through Barra that he’d somehow qualify for the Final at Trestles), but judges like his surfing.
11. Seth Moniz.
10. Jack Robinson
Seth and Jack should benefit from better waves on Tour this year, rather than having to surf garbage Australian beachbreaks all year. Would have put Jack higher, except I can’t trust that he’s going to be able to put everything together. Barra was encouraging last year and hopefully not an anomaly, but… nothing.
9. Morgan Cibilic
What a year 2021 ended up being for Little Morgan: a Top 5 finish! A surprising performance for not really going to the air. Like compatriot Liam, Morgan surfs simply, feasting on a diet of cutbacks, off-the-tops, and bottom turns, which are not a move. Unlike Liam, Morgs rips, really sinking his teeth into waves, devouring them as if he were sampling his favorite willow or maple bark. Rated lower than he placed last year just because.
8. Griffin Colapinto
Griff finished just outside the Top 5 last year because he boofed Barra. No matter, he would’ve been pulverized by Fil or Gabe anyway. Well-rounded and seemingly never suffering from constipation, Griff could do really well this year, so well that this ranking might be criminal by year’s end, but the people ahead of him have other things going for them…
7. Yago Dora
“Thing 2 would like to clarify that just because he wears the number 2 does not imply in any way that he’s inferior to Thing 1.” He’s better.
6. Jordan Michael Smith
This is Jordy’s year!” Everyone, every year.
Still, getting older, I can see the judges breaking down enough for him to get his own Joel Parkinson Lifetime Achievement Award World Title.
5. Gabriel Medina
Before opting out of Pipe, Gabe ranked Number 1 in these rankings (still, he probably should), but has been bumped down a little based on the uncertainty around when he is coming back. His surfing has always been more important in a jersey than outside of it, so it is a little disorienting to know that he will not be competing. Still, let’s hope he gets back and smites everyone down to re-claim his throne.
4. Italo Ferreira
Easily the most exciting surfer on Tour, Ike could prove to be a big beneficiary of Gabe dropping off Tour. The absence of a clearly superior Gabe in barreling, hollow lefts, while also probably boosting backsiders, could potentially make Ike’s surfing more appealing to the judges, as he will be the preeminent goofy on Tour with no real comparison on Tour. Without being compared to Gabe, Ferreira will look better.
3. John John Florence
If these rankings were based only on skill and ability, JJF would rank first, easily. At full-strength, as we saw in 2017 and the first half of 2019, John John is nearly unbeatable. Unfortunately, despite his focus on wellness and fitness, he appears to be injury prone, missing time each of the last three seasons due to a broken body. If only the Whoop bracelet could keep your knees from exploding…
2. Kelly Slater
Based purely on the amount of discussion he evokes around himself and whatever else the fuck he wants to talk about, Kelly is the most important surfer in the world. Unfortunately, potentially missing the Australian events, we might not see Jimmy too long on Tour this year in the water. No matter, that probably just means we’ll get to see more of that bulbous snout on-screen as part of the call-ins during the contests for faded pros, which Kelly is not, least of all in his own mind.
1. Filipe Toledo
The 2022 World Champion of the Finals at Lower Trestles.