Sharks, shacks and solid speed walls – J-Bay is one of the most pleasurable events to watch on the WSL tour. While airs can definitely factor in, most of the time it’s about mad hacks, threading the needle on difficult pits and finishing up on The Bricks. That means your fantasy surfer team has to show that same shred repertoire. Pace is definitely a factor at this freight train right, with plenty of surfers overcooking things and getting caught behind the section. Goofy footers tend to be at a disadvantage. In fact, a goofy hasn’t won here in recent memory. The last stink foot to even make a final was Damien Hobgood a whole decade ago. That doesn’t mean a goofy can’t do well (think Occy and Luke Egan the place). However, if you’re playing the odds you’re definitely stacking things the right way. Bringing all that couch surfing wisdom into play, here is your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for J-Bay 2019.

TIER A - SUPER TUBES

Apex predators rule the line up at J-Bay. If you don’t have teeth, you’re better off on the beach. The same goes for surfers. Those who are at the top of their game will always be at the top of the food chain. First point-proving specimen: Filipe Toledo. The guy has won here two years in a row, is already sitting towards the top of this year’s rankings and is faster than lightning on the ice pipe. You should get him in your team just as quick. Next is Jordy. Again, top 5 right now, two-times event champ and has more local knowledge than Gabriel has Tinder matches. Get him in.

Other maybes in our WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for J-Bay include Kanoa and Gabriel. Kanoa was figuratively on fire (not literally, Pottz) here last year, making it all the way to the semis before getting extinguished by Filipe’s rail hose. He could definitely be a dark horse to get in the stable. While I’ve said goofy-footers are a risk, Gabby is one who has an impressive history at J-Bay. Last 5 years in a row he has made quarters or better. Knowing his win ratio in finals, if he cracks it through the semis he could be breaking the backhand drought come end game.

That leaves Italo, Kelly and Kolohe. Italo’s results here in the past fairly suck. So do Kolohe’s. Neither have made it even to the quarters at J-Bay, ever. Kelly is another story with multiple wins. However, in the last five years, he’s only made one quarter and one semi. Something to consider when making what you want to be the absolute top picks in the absolute top tier.   

In Short
In – Filipe and Jordy

Back up – Kanoa
Dark Horse – Gabby


TIER B - BONEYARDS

Tier B is normally super hard to pick. However, this year in our WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for J-Bay there are some clear cut options with plenty of skeletons being left to rot in the desert sun. If you want to talk track records at J-Bay it’s hard to go past Wade ‘Jesus’ Carmichael. He’s made the final 100% of the time he’s surfed the event. Of course, he’s only surfed the event once. Still, impressive considering he blitzed crew in his rookie year at a notoriously tricky wave. This year he’s looking just as raw and amazing and should be a force again. Julian is another who slays in Africa. While he’s usually hot and cold like a frozen prawn on the BBQ, Joycey’s results at J-Bay speak for themselves – 5th in 2018, 3rd in 2017, 3rd in 2016, 2nd to shark in 2015. Given he’s tier B, he’s a very easy win.

Conner Coffin is next on the shredder menu. He’s in career best form and this is a wave that suits his surfing. Leave him out and you’ll be regretting it like a bong hit of Durban Poison. Finally, Bourez is another guy who cuts up J-Bay like a sushi chef cuts up salmon steaks – often and with precision. He hasn’t made finals here just yet but has been a regular fixture in round 5. Since round 5 doesn’t exist anymore, I’m thinking that will translate into automatic quarterfinals. It’s maths, right?

There are a few maybes beyond these guys, but it’s hard to pick them above the proven options above. Owen is a maybe, with a semis finish here back in 2015. R-Cal could be throwing Luke Egan roosters to do well, Seth Moniz could possibly continue his fine form and Caio Ibelli could lift for a good run. However, against surer things, all of them amount to gambles. Bones you can leave for the vultures include Jesse Mendes, Yago Dora, and Deivid Silva. All goofies. No proven records.

In Short
In – Jesus, Julian, Conner and Bourez

Back up – Owen or R-Cal
Leave – Mendes and Dora


TIER C - THE BRICKS

Tier C could be a yellow brick road that takes you to the Emerald City, or a dirt track that takes you to the Bog of Eternal Stench. Old school movie references aside, this is the tier that often makes or breaks a team. The last thing you want is to have one or two of these guys ending up with dirty turds. However, tier C picks can often make final runs. I’m looking deep into the beautiful eyes of Frederico Morais right now. Tier C for Brazil and he made semis. In 2017, he made the final at J-Bay. 2018 he waltzed into Rnd 4. Even if he makes it that far it’s a good pick for the bottom tier. Get him in.

Then you have Pinto bean. One event here and he made round 4, only to go down with a priority interference and a 9.5 in the bank. I thinking he’ll be a great call this year. Adriano De Souza is another highflier in the bottom slot. As long as he doesn’t get sore knees like Jeremy’s J-Bay fans, he could be racking up lots of points for many a team. After that, Freestone is a maybe, Seabass is a maybe, Ace is a maybe. Soli Bailey is a nah, Jadsen Andre is a não.

In short
Yes – Frederico and Pinto

Maybe – ADS
No  – Soli and Jadsen

That’s us for the WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for J-Bay. Lock ‘em in and fantasise about being showered in winner’s champagne come finals time.

WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for Jbay

If you’re still chasing more WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for Brazil related news/content, then hit below on the latest episode from Lipped where Sam Griffiths joins in to discuss the role of team managers, getting Steph’s hat size right and why Jeremy Flores ran up the stairs at Bells.

Plus Cahill joins us straight of the plane from Rio with an on the sand wrap up of the Rio Pro. Finally, Harry Mann gives us a breakdown of J Bay and we have all of our Fantasy Teams for the Lipped x Dragon Fantasy League.

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.