To the surprise and delight of surf fans everywhere the WSL has opened up Fantasy Surfer trading for Sunset Beach almost right away. Huzzah! Time to lock in your team and then second-guess it 15 times before changing things completely after round 2.

The forecast is looking good too, with the miracle winter on the Seven Mile Miracle continuing to pump. Head high and clean for the first few days, before a big swell opportunity in the middle of the window. Let’s go! Unlike Pipe, this frumpier cousin up the coast is more about big open-faced carves and throwing your stinky armpit back like it’s a deodorant commercial. Sahhhh.

With that in mind, find out below who’s likely to come out smelling roses and who’ll get the dirty turd at Sunset Beach next week.

Here’s your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Sunset 2022.


Is there any denying that Carissa Moore is an absolute beast in big right handers? Okay, she’s a beast in everything, but this is where she crosses her golden bracelets and turns into Wonder Woman. Just an unstoppable force.

Okay, so Tyler is wildly solid and Lakey has claims with her forehand attack, but I’m going the Queen as my power pick without question. If you want to go against the grain, hit up Wright as a dark horse option. She could well win, especially if she gets on a roll. Especially when you take into consideration she’s won here before as a wildcard.

*Note: Moana Wong has been given a wildcard and may appear in this bracket once the WSL updates things. I’d still run with Riss. But, if that means Lakey is in tier B, consider her as an option below.*

In: Carissa
Maybe: Tyler


How good is the GOAT! When I’m 50 I’ll probably have trouble blowing out candles and he’s getting blown out of Backdoor bombs. Lord. Still, don’t pick him here. The guy likes surfing Sunset about as much as he likes getting vaccinations. He’s had a terrible history at this wave competition wise (for him) and it’s unlikely to change now.

Just thinking about it on the Banzai Podium had him thinking about retirement. Meanwhile, John John is a freak of nature at this wave. Just watch this and tell me your thinking about leaving him out. You’re not, obviously. Power up like a power ranger, baby.

That leaves only one more spot in the squad to fill. Seth is a consideration. He’s at home and on a roll, so is a major consideration. Kanoa is deadly here as well and is flying under the radar as a silent assassin. I’m going to Filipe the script though and go with someone many of you mightn’t expect. Toledo. He won Margaret River last year in big surf and to me has proven his carving chops beyond doubt. You know he’ll be in top 5 by year’s end, so let’s start the run here.

In: John and Filipe
Maybe: Seth or Kanoa


After the shining light of tier A, I had to blink to adjust my eyes to this shady crowd. There are some good options when you squint, but no one really jumped out right away to burn the retina with a yes.

Malia Manuel will give the line up a nudge, as will Johanne Defay. If the end bowl whips up a few pits, then the Frenchwoman ups her game even more. Super Sally Fitz will have a veterans advantage in a wave that’s notoriously tricky to negotiate. Tatiana has shown she’s got a solid backhand hammer in big waves too.

Still, it’s all a bit, maybe this woman, maybe her. I’m running on instinct with Malia and Johanne for now, but will ultimately decide once the eliminators have been run to see who has the ‘best’ draw.

In: Malia and Johanne
Maybe: Sally and Tati


Oooowee. I feel like a young kid, standing in a candy shop with just 20 cents in my hand – excited, but a little nervous that I can only get 4 x 5c lollies for my bag. It’s going to take me an hour of telling the guy behind the counter to swap my selections until I’m happy.

Let’s go with the obvious calls first. Jack Robbo reads this wave like he’s a magical prophet. He surfs it like a wizard too. You could even consider Mr Bowl Cut as a power surfer option. Zeke Lau is another one with a wild, wild history at Sunset Beach. Jordy is lethal in anything that requires forehand man hacks (or Hackmans in the case of this wave).

There’s also Griffin Colapinto, whose digital Triple Crown entries will have you salivating at his potential. Conner Coffin, Italo Ferreira, Fingers Morais, Leo Fioravanti. Damn, the list goes on. Even Ethan Ewing has to be every Aussie sentimental pick for a win here, doesn’t he? Still, we need to make a call, so here’s my starting squad…

In: Jack, Zeke, Griff and Ethan
Maybe: Jordy or Conner


For tier C there are a crazy amount of solid options here. 7-times world champ Steph Gilmore may be recovering from Covid (maybe), but she’s a ninja in rights and will have all that quarantine energy to burn off with savage top-down turn madness.

Courtney Conlogue and Caroline Marks are insane options too. Both are heavy hitters with heavy feet that rise up in heavy surf. I’d probably run with Courtney over Caroline because of the forehand advantage at Sunset, but Caroline could do an Occy and whip under the lip to a podium finish. Consider.

In: Steph
Maybe: Courtney


So, according to the WSL right now Gabby is still pickable in tier C? Liam O’Brien is going to surf with a broken leg and R-Cal with a broken wrist. Let’s take all of that with a grain of acai.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for announcements about legit wildcards in the draw, but for now, Nat Young and Owen Wright are looking like two very solid options. Goofy footers tend to do it tough at this wave, but those guys know their way around the line up and are ultra solid on their stinkfeet to boot.

Jacko Baker could be a carve hound to sniff out a few heat wins as well. I hear Billy Kemper just got a slot, but I’d be reluctant to put him in against the top seed mad dogs. Let’s wait and see until the fateful round 3.

In: Owen and Nat
Maybe: Jacko Baker or wildcard glory

Good luck. Happy picking. Enjoy the show. And that’s your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Sunset Beach 2022.