It that time of year again! The worlds best surfer congregate on the Gold Coast for the first event of the year, the Quiksilver Pro. Traditionally the Quiksilver Pro is dominated by locals and natural footers, however the hole that has formed in the Superbank from weeks of large north-easterly surf is sure to create some surprises.
Many competitors chose to get back in the groove by competing in the Burleigh Break Pro and Surfest Newcastle. Owen Wright came away with a win at Burleigh, and has his eyes set on a top 5 finish this year. At the time of writing this article, Surfest Newcastle is currently still in the quarterfinal stages.
No surprise that the reigning world champion Joel Parkinson, is one of the favourites for the Quiksilver Pro 2013. Living just minutes from snapper, Parkinson has seen the Superbank in all sorts of conditions and will be able to fine-tune his surfing during the event accordingly. Parko will be brimming with confidence after his Pipeline Masters victory two months ago, the day he claimed his maiden world title. Close friend and 2 x World Champion Mick Fanning is considered to be one of the other leading contenders to take the title, he is ridiculously fit and lucky enough to call the point break home. Other natural footers that spring to mind include; Taj Burrow who took the event out last year, Adriano De Souza coming off a top 5 finish last year, and of course the mercurial Kelly Slater.
Quiksilver have the luxury of “boosting” competitors into their namesake event. One of those is insanely talented free surfer, Dane Reynolds. Arguably the best high performance surfer in the world, has in the past has struggled with the pressures of competition. Over the last year, he entered various competitions, gradually improving his WCT credentials. One feels that if he manages to string together 4-5 consistent heats, he will be very hard to stop. Hardly a fair 1st round matchup for the top seeds of the competition.
Keep an eye out for the new guys on tour in 2013. Sebastian Zietz is coming off his Vans Triple Crown victory in Hawaii, a tri-competition event that holds much prestige amongst the surfing community. Zietz will be sure to give the world tour a shake this year, especially in the larger reef break competitions. Nat Young is another tour newcomer, the focused goofy footer is keen to impress but you feel at the tender age of 22 this year might be a steep learning curve. Felipe Toledo, another young Brazilian that seems to be following the footsteps of Gabriel Medina. Toledo is extremely athletic and lit up the North Shore during the winter with some huge air variations. Last but not least is Glenn Hall, the power surfing goofy footer grew up surfing on the NSW Central Coast. Strangely enough he will be competing on this years tour as an Irishman.
Enough talk, all us at Commentary Box Sports cannot wait for the Quiky Pro 2013 to get started. Our Quinella prediction; Parkinson, Fanning, Slater, Wilson.