Can JJF Circle The Square?

It was here 12 months ago that John John tweaked an air, and then an ankle, thus removing himself from the 2018 World Title equation. It was surprising how little was made of his absence as Medina powered to victory over Wilson and Toledo last year. No one can ever take that title away from the Brazilian, nor the epic Pipe performance that won it, but with Florence out, there will always be an asterisk attached to that win. 12 months later, with a win at Bells under his belt, Florence has been churning through the gears to full recovery. It is a wave that should allow him to showcase his full arsenal and another victory will raise him to unbackable favourite. 12 months since his year violently tweaked to a halt, this week could be the kickstart to a third World Title. 

How High Can Italo Go?

It was last year at Keramas that Italo Ferreira truly stamped himself as a World Title contender. His mix of seamless aerial and hyperspeed gouges were at another level to all his competitors and he jumped up a bracket into the truly elite. Since then he’s only improved. Early Bali Instagram drops show a man on a mission to travel as fast as any surfer alive and launch at any section that comes his way. His approach is instinctive and reckless and it is the unhinged speed of thought that makes him the most watchable, and dangerous, surfer at Keramas. 

Will Wilson Take Off The Handbrake

Julian Wilson came off the back of his best ever year in 2018 and with an extended break and a return to full fitness many assumed he would be in the Florence, Medina, Ferreira and Toledo World Title mix from the get go.  Horror shows at D’bah and Bells however see him now with no room for error. Those two results will need to be cast aside, and one more early round loss effectively sees his World Title dream over. Bali then is make or break and you sense Wilson needs to compete with the handbrake off and simply let his surfing do the talking. If he can quieten the noise and surf with freedom, only two or three surfers can match his firepower. A tame showing ends his year. He may as well go big, or go home. 

A little more like the below from back in 2016 at Keramas please Jules

A CT Win For Ryan Callinan?

Ryan Callinan’s backhand and aerial firepower are his major strengths and Keramas should bundle those two into an optimal launch pad for the Novocastrian. He has now made two CT semis in the last five events and proven that he is a top ten surfer, with plenty more in the tank. An improving seed will also keep him away from the top seeds (he has surfed against Medina three times already this year) and if he gets on any type of roll it will take one of the world’s best surfers to take him out. Keramas is as good as any location for the goofy to claim a first CT win and a seat at surfing’s top table. 

Could Marks Press Go On A Decade Of Domination?

Talk of a future World Title has stalked Caroline Marks since she competed in her first CT as a 13-year-old and qualified as the youngest ever surfer at just 15. Last year’s rookie season, where she finished 7th, and her win on the Gold Coast however have now taken the future tense out of the conversation. Marks is very much right here, right now, and her deadly backhand and technical barrel riding should help at Keramas. Another solid result in Bali and any talk of potential can be consigned to the past. She may be well on her way to a World Title. It’s hard to think of how anyone will come close to stopping her from compiling many more in the next ten years.