2018 Surf Ranch Pro Preview
We’re all pretty sure what the forecast is like for the upcoming Surf Ranch Pro: one wave sets, but still plenty of chances. 3 foot and offshore with the rights slightly better than the lefts. The banks are all lined up, with a couple of good carve sections outside on the right, two long tube sections, followed by an opportunity for airs on the end. The left is more about turns, but definitely the chance for a cheeky pit in there too. Every. Single. Wave. Call that exciting, call it predictable. In reality it comes down to the surfers’ performances.
Here’s how the Billabong team is likely to fare at Kelly Wonka’s wave factory…
Kelly has gone ahead and made a mini version of Snapper at Surf Ranch - carves, long squeaky pits and the occasional chance of air. Add icy cold beers waiting when you come in and this is pretty much Parko’s version of heaven. He’s had a warm up here during the Founders Cup, had some epic boards under his feet and is pretty much looking like a veteran version of Rick Kane right now.
If there’s any question mark on Parko’s game for Surf Ranch it will be in the lefts. We all know how deadly his slices and tube skills are in hollow sand rights, but what about when you’re going the ‘wrong’ way? Considering Restaurants in Tavaura is one of his favourite waves, the most mechanical natural spots getting around, we reckon he’s going to be feeling plenty excited about it. It would be amazing to see him win a first-time event in his last year, wouldn’t it?
Snap game strong. Tube game strong. Full rotations on lock. Are you kidding? This little nugget of muscle will be a proper smiling assassin at Surf Ranch. The whole surfing world is talking about how the top two on the rankings - Filipe and Gabriel will be duking it out for the yellow jersey at Surf Ranch. Italo is flying just below (or should we say above) the radar at #4 - just how he likes it.
No pressure, everything to gain, and a surfing act that suits this man-made sand spinner to a tee. The fact that Italo very rarely falls is going to play right into his hands too. A lot of people stumble here or get caught behind. Italo’s steady head and sure feet are an asset that can’t be underestimated.
Griffin has been popping off harder than a fizzed up Coke can lately. Dropping clips with one-footed reverse fin wafts at Trestles and tearing Surf Ranch a new Mayhem-shaped hole. As a Californian he’s also on home soil and will have a raging stadium of fans cheering even when he puts on his leash. This all boils down to a recipe of high scores from hi-fi surfing. Are you excited? We sure are.
Griffin’s tube sense will be something that’s bound to help throw down big scores, but it’s his cat-like airs and fin blasting snaps that are going to be the real kicker. There’s a chance that because he goes so hard, he’ll run the risk of getting caught behind on this lightning-fast wave. However, that was a concern at J-Bay this year and he blew that theory out of the water, throwing up 9.5’s like confetti. This could well turn into Griffin’s pet event.
Laser sharp backside blasts, gallon-spraying carves, and a pit sense like a voguish viper - Frederico is going to be a bearded force to be reckoned with at Surf Ranch. Another guy who’s had his contest warm up during the Founders Cup for team Europe, Morais can confidently slip into the line up here with steady nerves and guns blazing.
One thing a lot of people are talking about is that taller, bigger guys have a disadvantage here. It’s a quick wave, small barrel and favors tight surfing. However, Gabby, Jordy, Michel Bourez and Fred have already proven that theory wrong, so it’s not something that holds a lot of water. Watch out for some fireworks from Fred come kick off on September 6th.