J-Bay. Every natural footer’s dream. Every goofy footer’s chance to dream that they’re Occy. Long walls, speedy pits, hail mary’s on the bricks. The place is excitement plus. A place every surf fan loves to watch being torn apart. And, the 2022 J-Bay Open is just around the corner. Lakkkkka bru! 

Filipe is in pure domination mode. The rest of the men’s tour is on a mission to catch him and cement their places in the final 5 for Trestles. On the women’s side, Carissa Moore has re-clinched the yellow jersey after a somewhat unlikely win at Brazil. With those two in form, and both being former champs here, it’s going to be a hustle to see who else you should pick for your fantasy surfer teams. With slots open and less than a week to go, here’s a look at your top squad options, plus some insight into a few surfers you should leave on the sand.

Here are your Best Fantasy Surfer Picks J-Bay…


Carissa Moore –
Can this woman do any wrong? On a long right hander she’s defending champ at, with momentum on her side after a win in Brazil, it’s hard to see the Queen of Carve stumbling at this event. While Lakey Peterson is a sneaky bet in tier A, having finalled twice at J-Bay in her last two starts, the big money is on Miss Riss. Powered.

Steph Gilmore –
Steph Gilmore in full flight on her forehand is a beautiful thing to see. Assuming this event is in 3ft+ waves, she’s going to be a deadly option in the eternally tricky tier B. Steph disappointed in Brazil, which is a concern, but this has to be a pet event of hers and one she took out in 2018. If she pulls out her signature white wetty, all bets are off. It’s GOAT showtime. 

Tyler Wright –
She’s back! After a blazing start to the year and a win at Bells, Tyler dropped away with injury, the ‘rona and then visa issues. Now flying in with full fury, this title contender is going to be swinging for the fences. Back in Tier C, she needs to pull out something special to make top 5 at year’s end. Almost impossible to leave out of your team.


Bella Nichols –
On a long, right hand point, Bella Nichols has the skills to win this event. Huuuuuge call considering who she’s up against, however, it has been a year where the young guard have pulling out some super impressive surprises. With her smooth power and cool comp head, it’ll only be so long until she cracks a W. A solid long shot if you’re looking for someone others are less likely to pick.


Caroline Marks –
Generally I avoid goofy footers at J-Bay. History does make a fool of me a little here, with Gabby and Italo both making the final here at the last showing in 2019. However, before that no other goofy has won Jeffrey’s in recent memory. I reckon a lot of crew will be tempted to go Marksy because she’s the ‘female Occy’. Occs style and power is still the stuff of legend here and could rub off onto the judges for some nostalgia points. But, with Tyler in the same tier as Caroline, I think past world champs on their forehands are simply a smarter option.

WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Pipeline


Filipe Toledo –
This clip does all the talking I need to do here. 2x past winner on a roll. 2x powered.

Jordy Smith –
This tiny nippled freak is in tier B so should be in your team faster than you can say bruuuuuuuuuu. If it’s double over head, there’s almost no one better at this place. As long as Jordy doesn’t gift waves of the day to his competitors, like he did here against Owen Wright last showing, he should make it to the pointy end of the draw. Get him in.

Gabriel Medina –
As of writing this, Gabby is still in the draw. He did suffer a suspected knee crumple in Brazil, which was tipped to have him out of the water for 6 weeks. But there’s been no official update since then and he’s STILL IN THE DRAW. Remember when Mick won J-Bay with a gammy leg? I bet you Gabby does and wants to emulate one of his heroes with a wounded animal win. If not, swap him out for someone like Kanoa. The itchy rashy ain’t in tier C, but he’ll be an epic pick at this wave nonetheless. 


Kolohe Andino –
Oh Brother. Has this guy let my high hopes down a bunch recently. Still, if you can’t give the inventor of the bootie shoey the benefit of the doubt, who can you back? It’s high time Kolohe won a WT event and this is it. He’s shown incredible form at J-Bay in the past, and with a line-up in Tier B he should be a solid pick that some will be reluctant to choose because of recent burnings.

Fantasy Surfer JBay Picks - Kolohe Andino


Whoever the wildcard is. Unless Sean Holmes decides to come out of retirement to have one more crack at the J-Bay crown, I’m calling no one is going to stack up in the mens against the likes of Filipe when they draw him. Being a shameless underdog promoter that comment stings a little, but it’s true.

Stick with the guns and you’ll generally hit your target. If you want a name from the tour itself, I’d have to go with Jaddy. See my comment above earlier about goofy’s at this wave. See my last comment about it stinging to ditch underdogs too. Both apply to Jaddy. A legend I want to see on tour for years to come. Just not someone I’ll have in my team in Africa. 

And that’s it. Your best fantasy surfer picks for the Corona J-Bay open. Juggle dem balls before round 3 locks in (if timezone carnage allows) and good luck coming into the final stretch.