With the world tour event at J-Bay on in less than a couple weeks now we caught up with two of South Africa's best, big wave world tour champion Grant Twiggy Baker (on his way to Peru) and local Jeffreys Bay standout Warren Dean to find out their predictions for this year's event.
Due to appear in another epic Clash of the Legends heat against Occy this year, we also figured we could do worse than ask all time great Tom Curren for his hot picks too.
An on form Michel with his Firewires could really do some damage... they're the type of boards that go great in coldwater and at J-Bay...
“As always, it will really depend on the conditions the event scores. A lack of swell at Fiji really shook up the outcome and it'll be the same for J-Bay. If it's smaller conditions then backsiders will find it much harder. That said, if it's cooking, Jordy Smith will be hard to beat, no real surprise to anyone. I could see Michel Bourez do well again, his quiver of Firewires are really well suited there especially in cold water which tends to stiffen their flex and hone the Tahitian's power surfing."
[part title="Grant Twiggy Baker"]
If anyone can push Jordy all the way it's Michel Bourez
"My prediction is fairly predictable as I can't see anyone beating Jordy at Jbay for many years to come. He has honed his technique on the long right hand point breaks of the East coast of South Africa since he was a kid and has spent more time in the water and competing at J-Bay than anyone else on the tour.
Past that it's always the guys with the cleanest top turn and smoothest styles who do well at J-Bay. So it's hard to look past the old school surfing of Parko, Fanning and Slater alongside new school guys like Julien and John John.
But my favourite surfer in the world to watch and the guy who I believe will push Jordy all the way is Michel Bourez, that guy is on fire!!"
[part title="Warren Dean"]
“If there are barrels Kelly won't lose easy..."
"Yes, I think being South African, we will be slightly in favour of Jordy winning, but he does surf J-Bay so well. My second pick would be between Parko and Fanning. Because between those two they have the best flowing styles with sick carves at J-Bay. Next would always be Kelly! We all know how good he can be when he hits top gear. If there are barrels Kelly won't lose easy.
My wild card for the event is Michel Bourez. I think the form he is in right now will take him far in this up coming event and he has a great carving style too.
I'm the natural footer in this video, on the second and third waves…"