Oooooowwweeee. After a year spent beached az like a Kiwi whale, the World Surf League is finally about to hit the water again. You bewty!

During the time away, the wozzle hasn’t been idle either. They’ve revamped the tour outlook and revamped the WSL Fantasy Surfer structure. For the first time, punters need to pick surfers from both the men’s and women’s side of the tour, plus nominate power surfers who will get double points for each event. Both are most excellent add-ons. What hasn’t changed is that you need to pick winners in 3 different tiers to call yourself the WSL Fantasy Surfer GOAT.

Here’s a look at who to choose, who to lose and who to pin the lightning on as your points pony. Your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for Hawaii – includes bot Pipeline and Honolua Bay…


The first round for WSL Fantasy Surfer this season is split between Honolua Bay for the ladies and Pipeline for the gents. That means you need two very different waves in your scone cavity to think about. Rippable right bowls on one side and heaving pits on the other. Thankfully, Tier A is a no-brainer for the women’s.


There’s only one surfer in Tier A for Honolua that’s even made the final at Honolua in the last 5 years. She’s won it twice and had two seconds as well. Carissa Moore is also the reigning event and world champ. Put her in faster than a battered Mars bar in the fryer. She’s my sizzle for power surfer on the women’s side too.

For Pipeline things do get a little trickier. You have the world/event champ, the biggest terminator on tour, a wily GOAT and some other dark horses pulling the cart. 


These guys are my two top picks for the men’s Pipe event with Gabby just pipping in for power player. Even though it would be satisfying to give Double John double points he’s simply not as consistent as the surfing cyborg. Medina came 2nd here last year, won the year before and is so good in anything it’s crazy. Still, Double John is the man at Pipe even though he’s never won. Surely it’s only a matter of time before he has the official Master in front of his name, especially if the forecast is good. That leaves two very worthy backups in Italo Ferreira and Kelly Slater. Kelly has won here a record 7 times (yet not since 2012). Still, he’s made semis three out of his last four attempts. Italo is defending champion and has full world champ confidence running as well. He’ll be like a greyhound straining at the leash to rip any fluffy targets apart. Well worthy of making it onto the betting card. 


Next we’ve got the wider tier. This is where some prudent picking can really make your team gleam. There’s two picks for the women’s and a solid four to fill out for the men’s. Look out for past event champs and up-and-coming stars to do most of the damage.


The two-times Honolua champ and smiling assassin Steph Gilmore is definitely a key sword to stick in the scabbard. Just watch her slice and dice up this poke bowl for a perfect 10. I’m very tempted to put Courtney Conlogue as the next best option for women’s tier B too. She’s crazy powerful, has hit semis before and in my mind should be a world title contender this year. However, Malia Manuel just seems to gel with this wave like toothpaste to teeth. She’s had twin Honolua seconds (2018, 2019) and without the pressure of being the event sponsor’s lead surfer like last year should rise up to her podium best again here.

When it comes to the men’s there’s so much goodness in Tier B it’s hard to figure out who to leave out, rather than who to put in. We’ll start with the easy yeses. 


Three Pipe Masters walk into a bar and shout Hulk Hogan a drink. No. No joke. It’s the set up for my 100% serious Pipemen of 2020. Jeremy has dual Masters Crowns while Bourez and Julian have one each. Owen Wright is an absolute weapon out at Pipe as well and I’d expect him to put up a big showing, especially if he brings his tube suit wrestling vibes to match that mad WWE skullet. There are some other back up options that could easily moonwalk onto the dancefloor as this year’s best on ground too. Yago Dora has made quarterfinals the last two years, which is wildly consistent. Not many instantly think of him as a Pipe guy either, so will he’ll fly under the radar before he flies above the lip. Griffin Colapinto has shoved his bean in many a watery taco before too, with a semis finish at Pipe in 2019. Seth Moniz is a local stallion. Conner Coffin loves throw huge scores at this wave also. All considerations, just not Master-level bodyslams, brother.


I normally loathe tier C. It’s full of stinky picks and fool’s gold on a downward spiral. Saying that, for the first event of the year there are some definite shining lights in the basement. Case in point…


After lots of time out of the water, Tyler Wright came back at Honolua last year to crush the dreams of every title contender at the event bar one. She came 2nd to Carissa and showed why she’s a previous event champ here. I can’t see anyone going beyond Tyler as their tier C pick, but if you’d really like to get freaky, maybe go the Costa Rican Conquerer Brisa Hennessy.  

On the men’s side there’s one guy everyone already has locked in and plenty of tentative tickets before the wildcard line up drops. 


Show me someone who doesn’t have Jack Robbo in their Pipe team and I’ll show you someone with an irrational aversion to bowl haircuts. Jack is one of the best pit riders on the planet and those skills easily extend to the Banzai. He’d even be a contender for darkhorse power surfer and a solid thought for Triple Crown winner. After that, Miggy Pupo has shone at Pipe before and will be psyched to be on tour full time again for 2021. De Souza is another previous event champ well worth a thought too. Stay lively though. Wildcards have a history of winning at this location, and with a stellar line up of proper tube lords, it’s definitely worth being ready for a last-minute swap. 

One last thing to remember is scores don’t kick in until Rnd 3 of each event. So, shuffles before that lockdown are possible. With the new rules it will take some time to settle in, but it won’t be long until we all sort out the loopholes. Good luck. Happy picking. Enjoy the show. And that’s your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Hawaii 2020/21.