New stop, who dis? El Salvador! This little crypto nug of a country known for its love of Bitcoin is also all about pit groins – throwing right hand spinners off rocky points.

For those who haven’t heard much about the waves here we’re looking at Punta Roca, which is a world class right hander, or maybe El Tunco, a mushy burger that will favour the small wave wonder kids. Either way, it’s all about speed, hifi snaps, airs and hail mary blasts.

The turn around is faster than Toledo’s forehand whip, so get in your teams fast and get ready to adjust as the early rounds roll. For now though, here’s your best fantasy surfer picks El Savador for 2022.


We’ve had a little movement here in Tier A with Johanne Defay rising up the ranks. Does that mean you should jump on the momentum bandwagon and go this French fille? I say, non.

While Defay was firmly in my team for G-Land, I’m still backing Carissa as the number one woman to beat at pretty much every stop this year. Unless the forecast gets really small, it’s going to be a power play on my end of Miss Riss most of 2022.

And, if there’s slop to contend with, then Brisa Hennessy has to be your next in line. She’s been epic this year and can’t be underestimated at any stop. Look for her to slay the rights, feeling at home in a Latin American country not far from her home of Costa Rica.

In: Carissa (power)
Back up: Brisa


Jack Robbo has just won two events on the trot, defying expectations to become Australia’s big world title hope for the year. Does that mean I’m picking him for this event? Nope. Despite old bowl cut ruling in a variety of conditions in WA and G-Land, I still can’t see him topping the ranks in waves that require finesse and speed.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s epic, but the likes of Filipe are the order of the day when it comes to small to medium waves pretty much anywhere in the world. After Fil, it’s all about the fill-ins. Think Kanoa if it’s on the right point, or Italo if it’s on the lefts. Our mate Ferreira has been a bit furry of late, but he could go on a McFlurry and put the Mr Whippy back on the cone.

Ethan is a dark horse who could impress too, so don’t count him out if the swell is looking good.   

In: Filipe (power) and Kanoa
Back up: Italo


Five surfers, two picks. And that’s before we run a full round of eliminators to whittle the draw down to a mere stump. These early selections are almost redundant with Tyler Wright out with the spicy cough, but let’s give it a little chilli and go the best in class.

If it’s right handers then Lakey and Steph are going to be hard to beat. Isabella is a possible go, but only if she survives the Guatemalan Insanity round early in the draw. If you’re a Simspon’s fan you know what I’m talking about.

Meanwhile, Tati is on a tear. She’s the kind of woman who can will a victory and has to be in the guacamole mix. If she’s wearing her tostada basket Body Glove hat post-heat interview, it’s a sign that she’s going to win the entire event. Be warned.

For now though, let’s flip the coin and come up 7x world champ as heads, and last year’s #2 as tails.

In: Steph & Tati
Back ups: Lakey


As the old proverb goes, tier B picks will win you tricks. I’m pretty sure the saying can be attributed to Fantasy Surfer Buddha, Kaipo Guerrero. No matter who said it, the wisdom rings true – this is where you’ll rise up the ranks or fall down to the gutter post event.

With the biggest buffet in the field, it’s fairly slim pickings if you’re looking for gourmet goodness here. Best to aim for the hi-fi surf lords – think Griff, Kolohe, Sammy Pupo and Jordy as your starting squad. Brother Miggy is back up, Caio Ibelli could impress and Barron Mamiya could become a King.

However, stick with the slayers and all will be tasty. Steer away from the goat though. That mature meat is tough in these conditions.  

In: Griffin, Jordy, Kolohe, Sammy
Maybe: Miggy and Caio


Tier C in mens and womens is all about the Gabby double. For the women’s here it’s all about Gabriela Bryan while on the mens it’s all Medina. Before we get to the second section, let’s address the ladies first.

Gabriela has wildly impressed this year and is set to notch up another run in waves that frankly don’t suit the other contenders in the field. Sally just seems slow, Caroline is out of sync and Tia Bianco is unlikely to rise up to the level of her very strong competition. Rather than focussing on the negative, let’s run in the plus again.

Bryan could easily win this event, so for a bottom tier pick has to be easy money. Grab Gab and slot her in. A worthy contender for the El Salvador crown.

In: Gabriela
Back up: Sally


Medina. Medina. Medina. Medina. You can only pick two surfers in this tier and four of them should be Gabby. Assuming we don’t get another pick glitch this time around you’ll have to think of someone else too and for me that’s another Brazilian Goofy, Yago Dora. The guy is insaaaaaaane in rippable waves and that’s the MO of this event. Get him in and feel confident he’s going to rack up the points (unless he’s gone by the time things start scoring that is).

It’s hard to think of another back up here, but maybe for sentimentality go with Carlos Munoz. Apparently he’s in the draw as a start and I’d love him to go well. I don’t think he will, but hey, you have to back the underdog sometimes, right?

Otherwise, back the two surest things. Gabby, Gabby, and also Gabby. Yago as a distant second.

In: Gabby and Yago
Maybe: Munoz

That’s it. Good luck. Remember to shuffle them up after round 2 and power up the right pickles.