Mick Fanning in beast mode and on his to way to the win at last years Hurley Pro. Photo: WSL.
High performance surfing on the worlds most rippable wave at the worlds only liquid skate park, that is known as Lower Trestles or just to the locals just “Lowers”, located in San Clemente CA. This is ground zero that defines surfing progression. Welcome to the Hurley Pro, stop number 8 of the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League Championship Tour.
Lowers perfection is due to the cobblestone bottom, creating a fun and very inviting a-frame, where the only limit is your imagination.
Swell Height: 4-10’ Faces
Swell Direction: Southwest, South-Southwest S-SW
Swell Period: Long
Wind Direction: E-NE
Tide: Mid Tide
Bottom: Cobblestone Reef
The king is back baby!! Kelly Slater, just when you thought he might of been done for the season, the 11 time world champ goes out and drops hammers for his first CT win since 2013. Kelly and John John Florence had their re-match from 2014 in the final. While JJF finished runner up, he now sits at number 1 in the world taking the Jeep Leaders jersey from Matt Wilkinson. Gabriel Medina, made it through the semis, keeping his world title hopes alive, Adrian Buchan also put in a solid effort also making the semi finals. A few surprise round 3 losers too, Nat Young, Italo Ferreira and Matt Wilkinson all bombed out early. Watch for these guys to bounce back at Trestles.
Out: Bede Durbidge
Out: Owen Wright
In: Mick Fanning
The wildcards are ex CT ripper Brett Simpson and Trestles local Tanner Gudauskas.
Brief Overview: A long run of very rippable and favorably angled SW swell builds the first couple days of the waiting period, showing the most size the 8th-11th of September. There is potential for SSE/S tropical swell to mix in then as well. Reinforcing SSW/S swell may keep fun-zone surf running through the middle of the following week, with potential for more SW’erly swell over the last couple days of the event waiting period.
An ongoing storm system, moving out from under New Zealand into the Southwest Pacific over the last few days, has set up a long run of SW swell due to build in over the first couple days of the event waiting period. This swell will be from a good to great swell direction for Lowers, with a mid to long swell period which is also very favourable.
Get your high performance surf team stacked for this event.
The worlds best will throw more air and rail at Lowers than probably any other competition this year.
Helpful Hint: Try and make sure all your surfers don’t clash in the same heat for max points.
With the current shift in the world tour rankings your Tier A picks might be a little harder than expected. John John Florence is sitting pretty at number 1 in the world, you’d expect him to try and hold that spot down, not to mention his freakish talent and his aerial game is 1st class. Kelly Slater has the most wins at this event by any surfer, with his sights set on world title number 12, you can be sure he’s going to be motivated to crack another final. Start these two.
Other Tier A Options: Julian Wilson, Gabriel Medina and Jordy Smith.
The picks certainly don’t get any easier. Mick Fanning though. He’s back for another shot at an event win. His slick rail game and lightening fast whips makes Mick a genuine threat.
Oh Brother where art thou? Kolohe Andino, San Celmentes greatest gift to the WCT and the local home town hero, Brother knows this place better than anyone. Kolohe would do anything for a win here. Expect him to fire. Small wave wizard Filipe Toledo, I don’t really need to say much here other than put him on your team.
Other Tier B Options: Josh Kerr, Italo Ferreira and Kaona Igarashi
It’s slim pickings down this end of the scale, however there are a couple of diamonds here. Jack Freestone and his endless bag of tricks will surely bring the house down. If Stu Kennedy can do what he did at Snapper Rocks, well the sky is the limit. Pony up boys!
Other Tier C Options: Tanner Gudauskas
Dark Horse: Michel Bourez
As I’ve mentioned earlier, John Florence holds the gold jersey after his runner up finish in Tahiti. Wilko has slipped down into 2nd, with Medina 3rd, a surprise package of Ace Buchen in 4th, Julian Wilson and Jordy Smith are equal 5th. Kelly Slater has made a huge jump up the ratings to 8th, and is in with a shot at a 12th world title. The top 10 (bar Mick Fanning) are all in with a good look at the title right now, depending who tops Lowers. Watch this space.
2015: Mick Fanning
2014: Jordy Smith
2013: Taj Burrow
2012: Kelly Slater
2011: Kelly Slater
We’re starting to get down to the pointy end of the tour. World titles and requalifications are on the line. From here on in every heat win is crucial. With only Spain, France and Hawaii left its do or die. Can John John get his maiden world title? Can Wilko retain the world number 1 spot or will Kelly gate crash the whole thing? Cross the train tracks, rub shoulders with the pros, crack a Budweiser and watch the worlds best tear the sh*t outta Lower Trestles!
Event kicks off Sept 7th
Heat 1 - Jordy Smith, Nat Young, Keanu Asing
Heat 2 - Julian Wilson, Kaona Igarashi, Ryan Callinan
Heat 3 - Adrian Buchan, Miguel Pupo, Kai Otton
Heat 4 - Gabriel Medina, Adam Melling, Alex Ribero
Heat 5 - Matt Wilkinson, Connor Coffin, Wildcard
Heat 6 - John John Florence, Davey Cathels, Wildcard
Heat 7 - Adriano De Souza, Wiggly Dantas, Matt Banting
Heat 8 - Kelly Slater, Filipe Toledo, Jeremy Flores
Heat 9 - Italo Ferreira, Ciao Ibelli, Jack Freestone
Heat 10 - Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Jadson Andre
Heat 11 - Kolohe Anding, Josh Kerr, Stu Kennedy
Heat 12 - Sebastian Zeitz, Michel Boules Alejo Muniz