Our WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore was a little less interesting to write compared to Chopes where it pumped! From the freak of nature in Teahupoo, to man-made perfection at Surf Ranch – the last two events on the mens’ world tour couldn’t be further apart. While Chopes is all about guts and holding on for dear life, the Freshwater Pro is all about technical skill and linking everything together. Funnily enough, the guy to beat at both locations is Gabriel Medina, probably showing why he’s world champ.

Think speed, skill, carves, airs and being able to thread a tight pipe and you’ll have an idea of who you’ll want to pick for fantasy surfer at this event. With only days away until the thing kicks off, there’s no need to worry about forecasts or lay days. It’s all on schedule (are you going to pay $5k to get the VIP exp at the pool?) and by the book. Does that mean your team should be by the book too? Let’s see. Here is the our mens side WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore (there’s a womens’ coming later)


WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore

You don’t even need to look at the options to know who the two most owned guys will be for this event – Gabby and Filipe. How you can go past the defending champ at the world’s best small wave surfer hands down is baffling. Of course, there will be some people out there wanting to shake things up and take a risk. If you haven’t already locked in the obvious, let’s talk about who that could be.

First up, let’s cut out the definite nos. Jordy, Kolohe and Italo all failed to make the cut for the top 8 at this event last year. Considering the waves are exactly the same, it seems logical to use history as even more of a measure than usual for this event. Sure Jordy is looking lean, Italo is surfing like a hurricane and Kolohe looks sure to break his win drought soon, but I just can’t see any of them topping the top dogs here.

Slightly more interesting for the Freshwater Pro is Owen Wright. He’s fresh off a win and did finish 5th here last time around. However, I just can’t see the Avatar controlling this simulation like the others can. Then, you have Kanoa. He came 4th last year and was 3rd in the qualifying round. He cracked his first event win at Keramas too this year. If you’re looking to tickle up the picks, he’s probably your best bet.

One really exciting option, though, is Seth Moniz. Seth is no slouch in the tube, has pulled backflips in pools before and is on a hot streak as guaranteed rookie of the year for 2019. Can he top that cinderella story with a win? I think definitely maybe. If you want a really sneaky pick, he’s your boy.   

In Short
In – Gabby and Filipe

Back up – Italo
Dark Horse – Seth


WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore

Last year, I left Kelly out of my team at this event and he was in Tier C. Foot injury, I reasoned. Old, I thought. Damn, was I wrong. The GOAT scrambled his way into 6th place! I’m not making that same mistake this year, he’s locked, loaded and ready to shoot his bald head out of my fantasy cannon.

The other two guys who made the top 8 last year sitting in this tier are Julian and Seabass. Seabass is almost a no brainer. He was tearing at J-Bay when it was small this year, which is almost a wave pool when it’s like that. His boards look great and dad strength is on his side. Julian on the other hand has been looking duller than a documentary on doormats. AND I STILL KEEP PICKING HIM. Guess what? I’m picking him again. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but my reasoning is he can’t make any bonehead mistakes in this event. You’re guaranteed 3 lefts and 3 rights just like everyone else. There’s no priority. Surely that means he’ll do well, since he really is still one of the most technically skilled surfers on tour. If he loses though, I’m banning him from my team.

That leaves one more slot left for surfers who didn’t make the top cut last year. Wade Carmichael is a maybe, Caio Ibelli a resounding perhaps. Michael Rodriguez has to be a possible option too. If you look at his scores last year, he’s one of few surfers who had an 8+ in his scoreline that didn’t qualify for the final.

There’s also Conner Coffin who did pretty well and would be a good bet to lock in safe scores. I’m looking towards guys who didn’t get a chance to surf last year instead. Maybe they’ll shine? We don’t know. At the top of that list is Jack Freestone. He won the Red Bull Airborne at Keramas, just took down the GOAT at Chopes and seems like the kind of guy who should tear this place apart. He’s also another guy, like Julian, who often lets strategy get in the way of his surfing, so could be great in a mechanical situation. You can almost hear me reasoning why I’ve put him in my team when I know he’s a MASSIVE risk. But, put him in I have.

If you’re looking for other options, Deivid Silva could stab his way to glory with that backhand whip of his and air game on the lefts. There’s also Peterson Crisanto, who we know is epic in smaller waves and could be flying under the radar.

The rest can sit on the bench and drink a Michelob Ultra, or whatever heinous beer they have sponsoring this year’s event.

In Short
In – GOAT, Julian, Seabass, Freestone

Back up – Rodriguez and Conner
Dark Horse – Crisanto


WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore

There are some definite hits and definite hopes in this round. Have you seen Griffin Colapinto’s clips of his doing wild stuff in the pool lately? Airs to backwards surfing and all sorts of shenanigans. As a Tier C pick for our WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore, he’s the start up option I’d be looking at. As long as he managed to put a reasonable left-hander together as his back up score, I reckon he’ll be a shot for the final round.

Yago is another easy pick. A 9 in the qualifiers last year saw him lose out by just one spot to make the cut for glory. He’s like the opposite of Griffin. Insane on the lefts, but needs a right back up to do him proud. That’s my two spots taken already. However, it’s not done as easily as you think. Some of the wild cards are proper wild this year. Mateus Herdy does airs almost as good as Filipe, Crosby Colapinto has the flare of his older bro and possibly an even deadlier carve. There’s also veterans like Adriano De Souza who could light things up. Pick any of those names as a possible slot and you have reasonable options.

Crew I’d just got off right away are Ricardo Cristie, Jessie Mendes and Ezekiel Lau. Ricardo, because I just can’t see him doing well at this event. The other guys because they finished bottom 25 last year and simply aren’t in great form. Leave them out and look above for safer bets.

In short
Yes – Griffindor and Yagodor

Maybe – Mateus Herdy
No  – Mendes and Lau

And that’s our WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore, lock ‘em in and fantasise about being showered in winner’s champagne come finals time.

WSL Fantasy Guide for Lemoore

If you’re still chasing more Fantasy/Surf related news/content, then hit below on the latest episode from Lipped where local charger Jamie Powell joins in and they talk about Tahiti, tubes, and whether we can call out “non-chargers”.

They then move onto the Freshwater Pro where they look at changes to the format, whether we should run comps in pools and why no-one but the top 7 can win.

And it’s fantasy time as the boys make their  picks for the Dragon x Lipped Podcast WSL Fantasy League – use the code lipped and get involved.