Who we think needs to spruce up at the Outerknown Fiji Pro.
It’s quite difficult to fathom that we’re already at event number five of the Championship Tour, and the Corona Open JBay is just around the corner as well.
For those surfers at the top of the pole these are the times to consolidate and to make solid their title runs, but for those a little bit further down, it is vital to bank some points at this stage of the game.
Some of the boys need to make big moves in Fiji, or they will find themselves in unenviable positions - at the bottom.
Kerrzy is sitting at 32 on the Jeep Leader Board and is in need of a big result here. Historically he hasn't really had any really big results in Fiji, so this is the one event that could be a kingmaker for the lad. Kerrzy isn’t shy when it comes to big, roaring lefts; he just hasn't bustled his way through to many finals in these kinds of waves. Kerrzy is still going to be a fixture on the Championship Tour for a long time to come, so he’ll be right, and he’s also got a 20th place on the Big Wave Tour rankings as some sort of career backup.
Kanoa Igarashi, at 24th on the Jeep Leader Board, also needs to keep his head together in Fiji and put a decent result next to his name. While he is a newbie on tour he should still be allowed some more time to figure it out, but he hasn’t been getting the best heat scores that he wanted. His long and drawn – out bottom turns that were hos trade mark on the big sets at Saquarema will translate well to Cloudbreak and he could well impress.
Jack Freestone, at 22nd on the Jeep Leader Board is punching well below his weight at this stage of his pro surfing career, and we’re all waiting for something to happen. Easily a top ten surfer or more, Freestone has been struggling with consistency and with some contest situations. While big left barrels are not necessarily his forte, he is none to shabby when there are left tunnels around and he could easily find a rhythm. Having said that, he actually needs to find this rhythm as soon as possible so that he can achieve the results he so deserves.
Stu Kennedy is tied 32nd with Kerrzy, and it seems a bit of shame, to be honest. The surfer who blew so many minds last year, and even made people question the validity of the qualification process – how can such a good surfer not be on the Championship Tour – has yet to string together a run of excellent heats like he did frequently last year. He’s a popular underdog kind of guy and we all want him to succeed, but he did do his best surfing in smaller right-hand kind of conditions last year. He will need to pick up his left game from last year, when he came 25th, and lost to Michel with a heat total of 8.83 in round two.
These are four surfers to watch, and we all want them to do well. Let’s see if they rise to the occasion.