Oh you bewwwwwty. The WSL tour is about to resume in Mexico with a fix of fantasy picks, churning pits and arcing whips. After the high-flying antics of Italo’s gold in Japan, it’s going to be epic to see the contrast of rippable walls and long, funneling sections. 

The sand is looking good and the forecast looks fun in the first couple of days of the event, so lock in your teams now. This wave will be mostly about tube riding and rail work, with the odd hail mary air spicing the excitement like a Oaxacan insanity chilli. Look mostly to veterans who can thread neat lines and control their speed, over beachbreak whippets. As always, round 1 will determine who you might need to shuffle around, but it’s all about finding that baseline at the beginning and building from there.

With all that in mind, here’s your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Mexico 2021…


It has been mostly a one-woman highlight reel this year when it comes to surfing. Carissa Moore is one of the sport’s GOATs and is in the goatiest form of her career right now. Top of the rankings, Gold-Medal winning Olympian, full-rote, smiling icon. Knowing that the wave at Barra de la Cruz plays to Riss’s strengths it’s damn hard not to just lock her in without thinking about it. She’s in my team, easy.

The one little shade of doubt is Johanne Defay who has shown real sparks of brilliance this year, with a final, a win and some really impressive tube sense. If you’re wanting a dark horse to shimmy on in, she’s one to stamp on the dance card.

Sally? Probably not. She’s epic, but right now the other two women are showing better form.

Pick – Carissa
Back up – Johanne
Leave – Sally

MENSTier A - Filipe and a Pinto Bean Burrito

Controversial statement – no goofy footer will make semis or better at Barra. For all its perfection, the place runs from carve sections into drainers that bend and warp, with a few subtle wobbles depending on the tide. That’s damn tricky when your back’s to the wall. Forehand surfers with speed to burn have a distinct advantage at this wave.

Basically, that means Filipe Toledo. Remember that guy who wasn’t in the Olympics, even though he’s ranked 3rd in the world right now? That guy who won in the pool and has been the standout at both Snapper and J-Bay in recent years. Yeah, he’s my power surfer.

With Jordy out, the next slot really is a crap shoot. Conner Coffin could be mental, as could Kanoa. Even Mr Dentine himself Morgan Ciblic could convert his shining smile onto your face if he’s in your team and wins. My bet though is Griffin Colapinto. His 10 at Kirra during his rookie year is still seared into my mind and, knowing he’s from Cali, I’m sure little Pinto bean has stuffed himself into many a liquid burrito at Barra.

That leaves Italo and Gabby out in the cold, which is a wild call, but it’s a sandbank I’m willing to die on.

In – Griff the Pinto & Filipe (Power)
Back up – Conner and Kanoa
Out – Gabby and Italo. Have I gone crazy?

WOMENSTier B - Power players with an extra side of GOAT

If there’s anything Steph Gilmore has shown us this year, it’s that pure Zoolander style is part of her DNA. She looks better than anyone on a saltwater catwalk, but is definitely not an ambiturner. Lefts are this superwoman’s kryptonite. Guess what though? This isn’t a left! This is a tubing right. And, if there are any conditions where the 7x world champ shows her brilliance it’s in waves that resemble her home break of Snapper. I’m popping her into my team faster than Wade Carmichael could pop the top off a Corona. Pew pew, power surfer.

The next easy option for me is Tyler Wright. She has all the grunt in the world, can barrel ride, and will be fired up to make that top 5 cut off for the end of year at Trestles.

Other tube maestros to consider are Isabella Nichols, Malia Manuel, Kelly Andew and Courtney Conlogue. Any one of those crew could do well, but I’m thinking Malia and Courtney are probably the pick. I’m mostly staying away from goofies this event, since it’s a tricky backhand wave, so have have nixed the rest of this tier on that basis.

In: Steph & Tyler
Back up: Courtney & Malia
Out: The goofies

MENSTier B - AI Forever

When Andy Iron’s won the CT at Barra many a moon ago, it was like watching Hesus walking on water. There’s currently one surfer in the draw who is going to blast that nostalgic feeling right back in the judges faces – Ethan Ewing. This guy is the surfer’s surfer right now with his speed, power, flow, and has to be a sentimental favourite for his first ever W here.

Adding to that vibe, I’m also adding Hawaii’s favourite son Seth Moniz in the mix as well. The kid has pokied himself into many a bowl over the years and should rise up this event.

Jimmy Slade is another one I’d expect to rule the lineup in Mex. To do well in heats these days he needs proper waves and here, proper waves he’ll get. The last slot on offer, I’m giving to the Italian Stallion Leonardo Fioravanti. He looked in amazing form at the Olympics and will be bringing the spicy sausage to this tube buffet as well.

Another maybe for our Fantasy Surfer Guide Mexico, is Mr Fingers Morais, who will be throwing jazz hands carves like it’s no-one’s business. Caio Ibelli could be another one to surprise as a potential under-the-radar pick. Once again, the goofies get goolies, although Owen could be a maybe for those eying some backhand action.

In – Ethan, Seth, GOAT, Leo
Back ups – Fingers & Caio
Out – Deivid

WOMENSTier C - Not Lakey

When I saw Lakey Peterson in the draw at Tier C, I was like, eaaaaaasy pick for our Fantasy Surfer Guide Mexico. Then, she pulled out. Noooooo! Why are you messing with my emotions like that, Peterson? The rest of the options are lightyears away from her talent in good, right hand pits.

Macy Callaghan could do okay, same for Sage and Brisa. Right now I’m going with the Latina Lightningrod Silvana Lima. As a wildcard I reckon she could do some serious damage. Just keep an eye on who Silvana draws rnd 3, because if it’s Riss or Steph, swap her out for the most likely upset match you can find.

In: Silvana
Back up: Brisa, Sage or Macy
Out: the local wildcards

MENSTier C - Tube Pigs and Blonde Rigs

Normally with tier C you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. This time, in our Fantasy Surfer Guide Mexico, there’s a bunch of guys who would thread right through that brown keg. Jeremy Flores, Jack Robbo, Wade Carmichael, Mich Bourez, Mikey Wright and Kolohe Andino are all crew I’d seriously be looking at in higher tiers. To have them here is like being given cursed Inca Gold. At first you’re stoked, but then you realise things could go horribly wrong. Who do you pick?! Even wildcard Mateus Herdy could easily make the final series.

To miss out on that lower-tier glory could be heartbreaking. I’m going with someone who has underperformed this year but could easily win this event and Chopes back-to-back : Jack Robbo. His tube sense borders on supernatural and I get the feeling he’s ready to throw down some serious wizardry in this contest.

My next slot is going to Kolohe Andino. He’s normally a title contender. He looked sculpted like a Greek God at the Olympics, so I reckon will be psyched to get back into CT mode at Barra too.

Wade and Jeremy would be my next two in, but seriously, you could juggle any of those guys and feel really good about it. The key will be to play the match ups come rnd 3. For now, though, it’s…

In – Jack Robbo & Kolohe
Back ups – Wade & Jeremy
Out – the rest

So that’s the WSL Fantasy Surfer Form Guide Mexico. Good luck. Happy picking and happy Corona with lime sipping.