The turn around from El Salvador to Rio is so fast, surfers are checking their plane connections and players are checking their wifi connections to see if picks are open. At the time of writing, they aren’t (they are now, today – June 22 – but we’re still running with Tim’s new and improved format cause he’s currently out of wiffy while he runs rings around Aus with his fam).

Never fear, you have until round 3 to lock things in, so really there’s heaps of time.

However, with no defined tiers yet, and a distinct lack of motivation on my part to manually work them out, I’m going for something different this time around with our Best Fantasy Surfer Picks Brazil. Here you’ll learn about 3 surfers you should definitely have in your team, a dark horse pick, and someone you should avoid at all costs. Mens and womens are both on the table, so here we go, for good ol’ Rio de Janeiro.

Here are your Best Fantasy Surfer Picks Brazil…


Steph Gilmore
Hot off a win and with momentum on her side, Steph is shimmying her way into an event she won in 2018 and got a 3rd at last time it ran in 2019. While it’s hard to shunt out Carissa or Johanne, who’ll likely be your other tier A picks, I feel like this style ball is just getting rolling. One to consider powering up too, although the next offering could also be an option.

Lakey Peterson –
Fellow finalist with Steph in El Salvador, fellow finalist in Rio 2018 too. Are you seeing a pattern? Like some kind of misguided savant I am. It’s maths. It’s science. It’s basically a hunch with rationalizations to back it up. I reckon we’re going to see a repeat final of the last event again at Rio, if the heat draw allows it.   

Sally Fitz – 
Wowowowowowow. Defending event champ and 3x winner here who’s most likely going to be in tier C. Hard to turn down a bargain like that. I might even be able to stomach those Harvey Norman ads they’ve been running of Sal’s kaleidoscopic worlds if she’s in my team. Not really, but she’s a legend and I want her to win so if the glove Fitz, put it on.


Bella Nichols –
Crazy to think I have all Aussies in my team for Brazil. Unheard of. I’d be spruiking Tyler Wright too, if her visa hadn’t been botched and she couldn’t get into the country. So, Bella it is! Smooth style, great in smaller waves, can ride a tube if it pumps. If you want two for the price of one, consider Brisa Hennesy too. Has been solid this year and could lift again now the limelight is off her and the yellow jersey.


Sol Aguirre –
Not to be confused with the crusty Onderonian resistance fighter from Star Wars this young Peruvian is in the draw against the big girls of the Empire. My bet is she’ll likely be out of her depth for her WT debut. Carissa and Tati in round 1? Talk about intimidating. Yes she rips. Yes she could be a future star. I just can’t see that star shining at this particular event.


Filipe Toledo –
3x Oi Rio Pro champ, including the last two times it has run. On a ball-tearer this year, deservedly in the yellow jersey and red hot contender for world champ. Need I go on? I do. Filipe has made 4 out of 7 finals this year. Are you shitting me? Talk about consistency. Add in that he’s at his spiritual home and will have every fan on the beach amping him to go bigger, higher and faster, and you have to have him in your team. Powered.

Gabriel Medina –
A no brainer in Tier B or C. You wouldn’t pick Gabby over Filipe, but you can now have the best of both worlds. Viva Brazil! This guy literally does back flips to get high scores at this event. He’s NEVER won here either, and you just know for a champ of Gabriel’s talent, that sticks in his goat. Get him in. 

Yago Dora –
Did you not see the airs Yago was doing in El Salvador? Were you not entertained? Languishing in the bottom rungs of the rankings, Yago’s going to be a
killer pick in Tier C at Brazil. He has every trick in the bag and then some. The only thing that will stop his is being matched up against someone heavy in round 3. Having said that, there’s a few dark horse options to consider as your sole bottom option, so wait out for the draw and pick your picks wisely.


Joao Chianca
Shiiiiiiiiiiit yes. Joao is back in the draw which means I get to want to put him in my team but still not do it. Making matters even more complicated Mateus Herdy is in too! We all know how good this kid is after seeing him in Mexico last year. Let me tell you a secret. He’s even better than you think. So good, I’m naming two dark horses again in the mens. I really should call this section dark horses, shouldn’t I?


Griffin Colapinto –
Crazy to make this call after Griff just beat Fil in the last event, but I seriously can’t see him backing up his radness again in Rio. Why? History. He’s had two starts here and never made it past round 3. Considering you’re now juggling him as your possible top pick, it’s just too big of a decision to make. Stick with Filipe (powered up) and your fantasy money is much safer.

And that’s it. Your slightly different best fantasy surfer picks for the Oi Rio Pro. Juggle dem balls before round 3 locks in (if timezone carnage allows) and good luck coming into the final stretch.

Fantasy Surfer Guide - France 2018 - Griffin Colapinto