Narrabeen has been an epicenter of Aussie surfing culture for decades. It’s hosted iconic moments like Shane Herring thrashing Kelly Slater to win the Coke Classic, Tom Carroll swathing his man-sized thighs in toddler-sized boardshorts, and birthing the best nicknames ever for surfing elites (hello Noodles and The Iceman).

Now Narra is back! ‘Bout bloody time too. The place can have draining lefts on its day, could throw up 6ft bowling Carpark Rights, or slide some sneakers at the Alley. There’s also Dee Why as the back up location – a short slabby right barrel before some fat cutdown action. Hopefully, it will be all about performance lefthanders though – one of the few venues on tour that gives the goofies what they crave.

With the form hot off the Newcastle Pro last week fresh in everyone’s mind, here’s a look at who should perform coming into the next slab off the rank. This is your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Narrabeen.

WOMENSTier A - Carissa and Daylight

Well put a wedding ring on my finger and call me Miss Taken. I said not to have Carissa in your team last event. That was until I saw her surf in round 1, then promptly ignored my own advice and slid her in as power surfer. Praise Huey too. She looked twice as good as anyone else in the draw. Her 9.9 air reverse (ahem, 10) was light years above anything else we’ve seen in women’s competition to date. I want more of that. We all want more of that. With confidence running high, you’d be silly not to have her in. Back up, of course, has to be Tyler. Sure Isabella did well last event, but how can you go past world champs for a rookie in this tier? Answer: you can’t. 

In: Carissa (powered up)
Back up: Tyler
Out: Isabella

MENSTier A - The Brazillian Cyclone

The Brazilian Storm has just been upgraded to a category 3 cyclone – Gabby, Italo, Filipe. How on earth anyone is going to get past their reign of glory has me stumped. The only hope is Double John and, if he’s going to let himself get beaten by rookies, that hope is slim.

If you’re trying to figure out who to put in your Tier A team, look at those 4 names and no more. Sure Morgan surfed well at home, but I can’t see him finalling again here against the Cyclone. There’s also Kanoa, who is deadly and Jordy who is always rock solid, but if you’re picking event winners they’re still outside chances.

The other thing to consider here is who to power up. I’m giving Gabby the lightning this time. He looked the better surfer in the final at Newy but just couldn’t get that 2nd wave. Look for him to sizzle some payback in Sydney. 

In: Gabby (power surfer), Italo
Back up: Filipe and Double John
Out: Morgan

WOMENSTier B - Golden Girls

Tier B continues to serve up gold for this event. The question is whether you want 24 carat or fools gold? The top options have to include Steph and Sally. They’re the ones going for Olympic gold in Tokyo later this year (if it happens). So, they’d be two of my first picks at Narrabeen.

However, continuing that analogy, Caroline Marks should be a consideration too for team USA. After her showing in Newcastle, that could be warranted, but, I’m looking at Lakey here. She’s damn sharp on her backhand or forehand depending on conditions and is still world title material when she gets in her groove. For that reason, I’m putting her ahead of Sally right now in terms of picks, but may just swap things out of the forecast remains on the small side.

Another backup here is Courtney Conlogue. She ripped the chips in Newy when it was bigger, but backed off as the swell did too. A maybe, but a solid maybe at that. Up the Sea Tiger. Those I’d leave out are Tati and Keely. Both could perform, but in lefts I think there’s better. Malia could be one who flies under the radar, but for now I’m going with the obvious options.

In: Steph and Lakey
Back up: Sally and Corn Chips
Out: Tati and Keely

MENSTier B - Give Them The Finger

The middle tier stands out like a middle finger this round. It’ll either say fuck you to everyone else, or flip the bird around and fuck you back. This is the spot that makes or breaks your scores. In the spirit of fingers, I have to add the OG namesake to my team – Fingers Morais. His backhand is sharper than a cutthroat’s razor and is sure to spill blood in the early rounds. He’s no slouch in bowly rights either if the southern swells light up the rights (which current forecasts suggest is highly possible).

There’s also Julian, who looked great in Newcastle until he didn’t. Typical Julian to run hot then cold, but here’s hoping he can keep the right tap on and not chill up faster than piss in your winter wetsuit. After that, I’m going with the Brazilian Backup Squad. Yago Dora could be insane in puntable lefts and Caio Ibelli is a little nugget sneaker whose whips will rack up plenty of points any way he goes. Get them in.

After that, Griffin the Pinto is a solid option, as are the Jacks Robbo and Freestone. Wade is also solid but he’s not an option. Too many other shredders who are light on their feet in waves that are likely to be 3ft and smaller. Keep Jesus for a WA resurrection. Jeremy and Leo are also on the bench. I’d say Deivid could be a go too, but I’m not sure his left game is as zippy as on rights, so will go with the other Brazilians instead.    

In: Fingers, Julian, Caio, Yago
Back up: Pinto & Freestone
Out: Wade and Leo

WOMENSTier C - Backhand Blitz

One of the things about surfing is you have to play the stage. When it’s Chopes, you put in Pipe lords. When it’s Trestles you put in air lords. On lefts, you need a backhand blitz. For those in the know, they already understand that underrated Macy Callaghan has one of the best backhand surfers on the women’s tour. Her vert snap is crisp like a fresh hundy. Something that pays her bills and got her on tour. Because the tour comps are mostly in rights, she doesn’t get to show it off that often, but that off the top rip will be in full form for this event.

With a good change of the swell throwing up some rights though, and if you’re wanting someone with a bit more consistency, then Bronte or the Costa Rican Rocket are two other options. I’d say Laura Enever would be an epic wildcard too, but given she’s going to have to get past Carissa, I have to keep her out. For now, stick with the blitz. 

In: Macy Callaghan
Back up: Brisa or Bronte
Out: Laura

MENSTier C - The Little Wildcard That Could

Holy bottom dwelling bankroll. There’s actually a fair bit of money in this tier. First, let’s acknowledge that the Gold Coast Greyhound Mick Fanning is here for another sprint around the track. That many people are excited to see him back it’s not funny. I’m tentative about putting him in my team, because he’s going to have to get past Italo to score well, but there’s always that chance he’ll win round one and seed out of the match-up come elimination time. Stay tuned to change teams if so.

For other bets with better odds, I’m looking the way of Seth Moniz and Owen Wright to do some serious damage at Narrabeen. Both are top 5 contenders on tour and will eat up the conditions like Acai bowls in the hot sun. Ethan is another one whose results haven’t matched his talent just yet and could blaze up and earn you some points. There’s also Reef Heazlewood, whose air game is up there with the likes of Yago Dora, so could surprise a lot of crew as the little wildcard that could.

Dylan Moffet and Matthew Gillivray seem easy nos so keep them out. Meanwhile, if Michel Bourez rings up Tom Carroll and borrows some tree-trunk stump boardies from the 80s for the heats, I’ll put him in on principle. Do it, Spartan. Put on a show.

In: Seth and Owen (Bourez if he’s in Tom Carroll shorts)
Back Ups: Mick and Reef
Out: Moffat and McGillivray