Fantasy Surf Advice – Outerknown 2017 Fiji Pro

Heading into one of the most entertaining stops of the year, you may find yourself wondering – is my fantasy surfer lineup ready? That’s a good question, considering the tour effuses with mega talent from all points of the globe.

But is talent alone enough? Who’ll wear their heart on their sleeve and go tube hunting on a squirrelly, shallowish left at the heart-shaped island known as Tavarua?

To narrow the selection, let’s first take a look at past performances and upcoming matchups.


Most Wins At Cloudbreak

Clearly, Slater knows the place. Past winners can be a good indication, but with Slater’s bad back and distractions, will he deliver? (*he also skipped Rio, so maybe a little R&R is exactly what the doctor order). That said, Owen Wright was so dominant in 2015, posting 4x10’s, that he’s a must start.

Kelly Slater x4
Gabriel Medina x2
Owen Wright x1


Tough Heats To Predict

Things get messy when colossal matchups happen in the first round. You'll likely only want to pick one guy from each of these heats. Unless, you believe they can make it through Round 2, as well. (see, that’s where things get tricky)

Heat 1
Kolohe Andino
Italo Ferreira
Joan Duru

Heat 8
Gabriel Medina
Nat Young
Wiggolly Dantas

Heat 12
Kelly Slater
Mick Fanning
Bede Durbidge


Who’s Heating Up This Year?

It's always good to consider rising stars.

John John Florence
Jordy Smith
Adriano De Souza
Owen Wright
Kolohe Andino


Good Bang For The Buck

Surfers who are trading for low $, but have performed well in the past. There’s something to be said for a good deal.

Nat Young
Mick Fanning
Jeremy Flores
Italo Ferriera
Bede Durbidge
Kelly Slater
Julian Wilson
Josh Kerr


Surfers Familiar with South Pacific Power / Surfers Who Like Going Left

There are certain surfers who like power, serious power (they were born into it!) It all depends on where they grew up and where they’ve spent time surfing. Hawaii also delivers a similar jolt. Australia is much closer to Fiji, therefore Aussie surfers have a chance to visit more often.

Also, in the past two years, we’ve seen more goofy footed surfers in the quarterfinals. That’s indicative of things to come, as the performance becomes more critical, facing the wave can have its advantages.

Owen Wright
John John Florence
Kelly Slater
Ezekiel Lau
Joel Parkinson
Adrian Buchan
Michel Bourez
Mick Fanning
Wiggolly Dantas
Jeremy Flores
Bede Durbidge
Joan Duru


Past Quarterfinals Results at Cloudbreak

2016 – Quarterfinals
Gabriel Medina**, Matt Wilkinson*, Kelly Slater, Adrian Buchan, Adriano de Souza, Wiggolly Dantas, Mick Fanning, John John Florence,

2015 – Quarterfinals
Owen Wright**, Julian Wilson*, Taj Burrow, Jeremy Flores,  Wiggolly Dantas, Italo Ferreira, Joel Parkinson, Kai Otton

2014 – Quarterfinals
Gabriel Medina**,  Nat Young*, Michel Bourez, Kolohe Andino, Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Adriano d Souza

2013 – Quarterfinals
Kelly Slater**, Mick Fanning*, John John Florence, CJ Hobgood, Jordy Smith, Sebastian Zietz, Josh Kerr, Joel Parkinson

2012 - Quarterfinals
Kelly Slater**, Gabriel Medina*, Mick Fanning, CJ Hobgood, John John Florence, Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Adriano De Souza

**Event Winner

*Even Finalist


Italo Is Back

A giant question mark looms over Italo's head after hurting a ligament in his right ankle in March. Ankle injuries are a big deal in surfing, but then again, he could be 100% and would surely be worth more than his current value. 


Is Bino Lopes in? Will it matter?

Caio Ibell is officially named out for Fiji and Bino Lopes will take his spot. Not sure if that affects anything.


Will Julian Wilson break out?

It’s the question that’s on everyone’s minds, when will this kid blow up on tour? As the runner-up in 2015, you could even argue he’s a no-brainer pick. But as one of the most volatile surfers on tour, he’s a risk at most stops. But with the right power and wave, Fiji is one of his safer bets.


The Forecast

Looks good with overhead to double overhead waves on the first two days. Competition will begin 8pm on Saturday, June 3rd EST.


All Said And Done

Even after you narrow down your squad of elite surfers, a ton of potential lineups still exist. It’s true. Too many guys on tour this year rip; it's a good problem. Someone could unexpectedly break out at any moment.That’s part of why playing is so fun.




Ross Water Portrait Mizata 2016.jpg

By Ross Cauvel