Who will triumph when the WSL takes a right turn to JBay?
It’s time to look over at the golden racetrack that is Supertubes in JBay, and the upcoming Corona Open JBay. It’s always a helluva contest, and surprisingly it hasn't had a sponsor for a while now. Until Corona that is. With a brand spanking new backer there is an upbeat feeling surrounding the event, and everyone on the ground is rearing to go. With South Africa entering a recession, the locals can do nothing but be ecstatic about the investment that Corona and the WSL bring to the table.
We think that it’s probably going to be a natural-footer* winning the event this year, and we think that it’s probably going to be one of these guys.
Parko is one of the smoothest surfers to have won out there amongst the razor-edged lines of Supers, and when he comes to JBay he’s always frothing to get out amongst it all day every day. He has two wins in 1999 as a rookie, and 10 years later in 2009. His style suits the wave perfectly, and he has a total innate understanding of the wave fluctuations.
Fanning is the guy winning all the events at JBay at the moment, when he’s not getting his Zen disturbed by big fish that is. He has the 2014 title, the 2016 title the 2006 title and the 2002 title, and might have had the 2015 title if he didn’t get his leash entangled with that same fish and have to ‘hop on the sled and reset’. His speed line is the perfect foil for a six-foot high tide bomb at Supers, and his rail surfing, carves and barrel rides are unsurpassed out there.
Slater has a long history at Supers and JBay, punctuated by a number of event victories. His performances over the last few years have been somewhat lackluster, maybe from equipment choice or maybe through niggling injuries, but if he’s on his game and feeling his boards underfoot, he is an unbelievable surfer at Supers and can win any heat, including a final.
Conner Coffin, at 25th on the ratings board, needs a big result at this stage of the year, and he is perfectly primed to do it at Supers. His surfing on right-hand point-breaks is groomed, as mentioned here
but the fact that he is hungry for a win is more important than anything right now. He is an amazing surfer to watch at Supers and he draws very interesting lines on the open faces. He’s also not shy to bury a rail. He could be the JBay darkhorse this year.
Jordy is always going to be the dangerman at Supers. A couple of things need to happen for Jordy to get his next win in JBay but they’re totally achievable. He just needs to be on one of his magic boards, he needs to get those special waves at Supers that he loves, and he needs to not over-amp. He has been known to froth out so hard that he pushes his last turns at Impossibles with too much vigour at times, when all he needs to do is finish waves cleanly to get those required points. If he comes into JBay cool and calm, then he will go all the way through to the final.
John John is a bit of an anomaly at Supers at this stage, but that’s not to say that he needs to be discounted. If it gets solid, and he does anything like what he did at Bells, then we will have a contest on our hands. He has yet to have a breakout event at JBay, but all that means is that it’s coming soon.
*Wilko could also easily win the JBay contest. When he gets his swing going and starts doing those backhand cracks over and over, the judges love him for it with each and every move being slightly more tweaked and more inverted, all the way to the gully. We’re kinda hedging our bets now, but allow us the indulgence of keeping Wilko on the radar.