From power carves at Bells to power carves at Margaret River – the two stops on the Aussie CT might be on opposite sides of the country, but they’re pretty similar in terms of the surfing (and surfers) that win the day. Rail. Game. Is. Key. Main Break right is like a compact version of Bells Bowl with a gnarlier end section to hit on the bricks. The real wildcard is if the swell comes up and a scary Box gets opened. Surprise, you’re either getting 2s or 10s. If you’re a goofy, you’re pretty much cooked. So, keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared to shuffle things if it’s looking solid.

Right now, kick off day will be small but offshore. The following days see a medium jump in swell with possibly good winds too, especially in the mornings. With all that in mind, here are your best fantasy surfer picks Margaret River 2022.


There’s only one word for Tyler Wright’s performance at Bells: Phwoar! While it’s doubtful that’s even a word, there’s no doubt about her performance. She’s back to career best form and powering. Given that zap of confidence, I’m powering Tyler up as my pick in Tier A.

That’s not done lightly either. Carissa is back in the yellow jersey and has won Margies in the past so is also a solid option. Tyler is running hot though. Hopefully picking her sets my team on fire, instead of it ending in ashes.

In: Tyler (power)
Back up: Carissa


Fil won Bells. I don’t think there’s any argument John John was the stand out surfer though. The guy had me grunting in sympathy for the lips of the Bowl, which were getting hammered worse than Thor’s helmet at a headbutt party. Double John is also a double winner at Margaret River and is so far above everyone’s skill level there it’s silly. Power him up.

The next smart pick is the man of the moment Filipe Toledo. He’s defending champ at Margaret’s and is obviously in fine form right now. The guy even dominated last year when it was huge, so there are no question marks about his performance if the swell is solid. The only hiccup would be if it’s at The Box and he draws a local wildcard who’s a beast out there. Keep an eye on round 3 match-ups and the forecast to see if you might need to sub in a last-second swap.

Back up wise, you’re looking at Kelly, Italo or Kanoa. For me, Kanoa is still one of the guys to watch this year, despite his early loss against Mick Fanning last event. He’s absolutely ripping and could clinch the yellow jersey back at the end of this run. Italo is another who’ll be stinging after the judges spanked him on the bottom and he spat the muffin post-heat Victor Ribas style. A nice one to bake in the oven.

In: Double John (power) and Filipe
Back ups: Kanoa and Italo


The 2021 and 2019 champs for Margaret River are in this tier. Pick them. I could make it that short, but let me explain. Tatiana Dub Dub won last time around with her backhand of god attack. The event before that she placed 2nd against Lakey Peterson too, so has a pedigree in West Oz that’s hard to ignore.

Lakey Peterson is another who tears the absolute macadamia bag at this venue. You’d be nuts not to pick her. Her forehand slices are looking sharper than ever and she’ll be fired up after a tough beat against Courntey Conlogue at Bells.

Speaking of the Sea Tiger, she’s also won here in the past and will be doing her best to dodge the mid year guillotine. That extra motivation makes both her and Steph Gilmore deadly options, as they hover around the cut mark. It’s hard to conceive of either of them dropping off this early in the year, so consider them super strong back up options if the round 3 draw is looking wild for the others.

In: Tati Dub Dub & Lakey Peterson
Back ups: The Sea Tiger & Steph Gilmore


A few unusual losses at Bells has seen tier B turn from a sess pit into a super pit. There’s more gold in this mine than at a rapper’s album launch. Jordy came 2nd at Margies last year and was one probably the form surfer of that event. He’s nailed semis here before too and will be deadly from Main Break to Box and back.

Kolohe has had double 2nds to Double John and if there’s ever an event on tour he’s going to win it’s this one. There’s also Griffin, who made semis last year and Seth who made quarters.

Finally, old mate Jack Robbo finally cracked incredible form at Bells and is a deadly pick for his home of West Oz. If it’s at The Box, he’s guaranteed and 18+ heat score, so is worth the entry just for that. After a dream run to make semis in Victoria, his confidence is high and rail game sharpened to a point. If he’s in a late afternoon heat, his airs will be shit hot. Shit. Hot. Get him in.

In terms of other back ups, I’d be squinting in the direction of Conner Coffin and Nat Young who have done well here in the past, plus Jacko Baker as an Aussie underdog demon. Horns up, tail out, let’s go hard.

In: Jordy, Kolohe, Griff and Jack Robbo
Maybe: Conner, Seth, Nat Young or Jacko Baker


There are some really good long odds open in this tier who could easily surprise with a win at Margies. I’d be looking at rookies to rob the bookies. Luana Silva is absolutely under rated in solid right handers and is a great chance to flex her Sunset skills at Main Break.

Molly Picklum is another who could surprise as well and is worth a look. If you’re wanting someone with history here, Isabella Nichols nailed a quarters finish in 2021 and was looking amazing all the way.

Caroline Marks is available as a pick right now, so stay tuned on whether that’s a glitch. If not, a crazy option for the price of entry. For now though, I’m taking a punt on Luana to surf out of her skin and make the mid-year cut to book a flight to G-Land.

In: Luana Silva
Back up: Isabella Nichols


Surfing careers are going to be going out in a blaze of glory this event. Popular style lords and new blood will be spraying once the guillotine falls on the mid year cunt. A lot of those looking at the blade are in this tier.

So, who doesn’t belong here? Ryan Callinan for one. The dude is such a weapon that it’s hard to fathom we might not be seeing him in events like G-Land, J-Bay and Chopes. Just out of sentimentality I’m putting him in my team.

There’s also Joao Chianca, the dude who’s name I constantly mispronounce but never miss a heat of. This guy is liquid magma every time he hits the water. Steaming and hissing and set to erupt. He’s had some wild battles this year and might just be my favourite new-comer to the tour. Don’t leave me, Joaowwww. He’s in.

Back up wise, I’m looking at two faces who have smiling white teeth and savage forehand attacks in waves of consequence. The first is Morgan Cibilic. Last year’s Aussie GOAT who’s now been relegated to the back of the herd. The second is Imai Devault, who’s Maui pedigree could see him surprise at this venue. Remember when Dusty Payne won here as a QS? I do. Imai’s approach is super similar and he’ll be pushing hard to make it another W for the Mauaians. I googled it. That one is definitely a word.

In: Joao and R-Cal
Maybe: Imai and Morgs

That’s it. Good luck. Remember to shuffle them up after round 2 and go with your gut before the mid-year cut.