Quiksilver Pro France – Who We Calling.

Do you remember a time, when the ASP had the phrase ‘top 16’ and if you were in the top 16 you actually were one of the best surfers in the world? These days the Championship Tour events on the World Surf League only get exciting from the top 16 onwards.

With the forecast for the remainder of the Quiksilver Pro France still looking good for the inside sandbars, there will be an opportunity for surfers to win with power and with barrel rides. This opens up the field somewhat, as it might not be a win based on massive aerial twists and spins. There are many pro surfing fans out there who love a bit of power, and yearn for the days when solid muscle moves trumped little air flicks.

Jeremy Flores is one surfer who has a lot going for him at La Grav. Although local knowledge is not such a massive element in a shifting beachie like this, it does play some part, particularly in wave selection. Jem does also have the ability to match power with power, and knows how to lay a rail into a wave face in the grinding shorey, as we’ve witnessed previously in the event. He still comes across, as hungry, even a bit desperate. This will result in a no-holding-back result, which we all love to watch.

Zeke Lau has such a fine tube game to complement his power, and has been finding the nugs and throwing spray all event. He is also on a mission, currently sitting as the 28th ranked athlete on the Jeep Leaderboard, he needs a big result to keep him in the game. He has the steeze for big gaping la Grav barrels and can keep it steady in tense moments in a heat. If need be, he will paddle right over a competitor.

Marc Lacomare has local knowledge that seems to be a factor. When the waves are closing out and everyone is going right, he finds the one open left barrel. When the rest of the guys go hunting down the left barrel, he finds a gaping right barrel on his backhand. So far he hasn't produced too much of an air game, but he does have a flock of local fans who aren’t afraid to get getting vocal. This can help a surfer find the additional ten percent that makes a difference.  

Local boy Mark Lacomare has a vocal French fan club behind him. WSL/Poullenot

Wade Carmichael. We love a bit of power from the big guy. When he came up against The Panda he was on the ropes until the last few minutes, and when he picked up that final wave, gut feel said that he either needed a big barrel or needed to go to the air for the required score. Instead he did a massive open-face gouge, sending spray to the heavens, and finished it with a solid inside smash. The win saw Cardosa do another kind of smashing, of his board.

Michel Bourez, the Spartan, can go to the air but often he doesn't have to launch to get the job done. With the muscle and physique made for bruising waves, Bourez can win an event on turns alone, gouging and carving. He also has an impeccable barrel game, backhand, and forehand, and can read a big beachie tube like no other. A win on the face would be fairly achievable for the big guy.

Michel Bourez blazing on his backhand. WSL/Masurel

Gabriel Medina

It’s impossible to not put him in the list for possible winners. If he needs to take to the skies, he has the best game plan, if it’s a barrel riding contest, he can ride anything hollow, backhand or forehand, better than most, and it needs to be based on speed power and flow on the open faces. He has enough variety and skill in his quiver to beat every single person competing in this event. He will most likely win the event, just because he is a complete surfer.

The final 16 contenders