Apart from Mick Fanning, whose mental strength and decision making shone through, it was hard to take too much from this year's Quik Pro France, which never really got out of second gear.  A lot of heats were decided by the luck of the ocean, as the conditions changed every time a butterfly farted  and the hold calls stretched on for months at a time. Still, the points remain crucial and with only two events to go the results proved decisive for those going for a world title and those on the bubble. God know why it's left to us kooks to criticise the world's best surfers, but if we don't, who will? Well apart from every other site. Anyway starting from 30 to 20, here is our first installment in the latest round if pro surfing  character assassination.

ASP # 30 Kieren Perrow

Kieren Perrow surfing a big wave at Shipsterns Bluff, TAS, 2001

Kieren Perrow surfing a big wave at Shipsterns Bluff, TAS, 2001

Surf Europe’s Vico gave KP a pasting in the last wankings and I am loathe to put the boot into a man who charges as hard as any surfer alive. A first round win however didn’t mask his problems in small beachies though, and he needed more than one morning of six feet tubes to do any harm here. Hopefully he goes out with a bang at Pipe.

ASP # 29 Alejo Muniz

alejo

I find it astounding that a man with such a complete surfing act could be this far down the rankings, but with his tour spot safe courtesy of his Prime efforts, maybe he has just turned off the focus somewhat. Surfing well, but getting 25ths must be tiresome and it’s about time we saw the real Muniz stand up. If he needs inspiration, maybe look to his mate and surfing peer Julian Wilson. They are not that different in talent.

ASP # 28 Damien Hobgood

gold-watch1

Hobgood’s Occyesque hooks was just shaded by Spartan’s power and tweak, and its sad to see one of the Hobbities heading for the drop zone, when he has put so much time, effort and class into this joke called pro surfing. Hopefully he will go out on his own terms, on his time, 'cause now he seems to need quality waves to make his mark. And there wasn’t many of those in France this year.

ASP # 27 Patrick Gudauskas

gudang

Backed up a 5th a Trestles with a 13th here, (and only done by Parko in shifty barrels as most are) it seems everyone’s favourite alternate is slowly moving through the backmarkers, and rightly so. With extra confidence, and some guaranteed starts, Gudang could come up the rails and burst that bubble. Maybe.

ASP # 26 Migel Pupo

pupo

They say Migel's 12-year-old brother is the best surfer to ever come out of Brazil, but at 22 Migi too was once talked as one of the nation’s brightest prospects. Julian Wilson took him out here, which is nothing to be ashamed of, and his ranking is hindered by two no show for injuries, but the smooth goofyfooter has a style to go much further and we like his  real love of the tube. Silly name though.

ASP # 25 Adam Melling

melling

So smooth it hurts, and yet there is a lack of overt passion that seems to be holding Melling back. He should look to his Byron role model, Danny Wills, a man who used pure technical ability and real style to stay relevant for over a decade. Melling has that ability.

ASP # 24 Matt Wilkinson

wilko

While I felt Wilko was slightly hard done by in his second round heat with John John (check out John John’s three safety taps for a 8.10) Wilko is still losing to guys so far his inferior, you can see why people blame the hysterical wetsuits, the blow dried hair and his refreshing oddness. They may have a point, as since the Goldy all he’s had is 25ths and 13ths. Is he too good to make the drop? On the evidence so far, no.

ASP # 23 Kolohe Andino

kolohoe1

Safe on tour for 2014, courtesy of his qualifying results, maybe Kolohoe might want to break the shackles, lose the coach, stop traveling with Dad and maybe go out and just have some fun, finger some girls and pop and not make some massive airs. His 23rd ranking is not reflective of his talent, but the stats don’t lie and he’ll need to start shaking up the big guns if he wants to really make his mark. See how we didn’t mention the hype?

ASP # 22 Bede Durbidge

bede

It was good to see Bede out freesurfing just after the King Of The Groms final, the oldest dude by an epoch, a week after he had been knocked out of the main event and pulling and landing some pretty big airs. He won’t go out without a fight and come Hawaii you just know he will be in the mix for the Triple Crown. Two foot Penon isn’t Haliewa though and Seabass took him to the cleaners with variation and flair. Bede best keep practising those airs.

ASP # 21 Travis Logie

flea-michael-balzary-tampa-bay-times-forum-florida-march-29th-2012

flea-michael-balzary-tampa-bay-times-forum-florida-march-29th-2012

Trying to kill Travis is like trying to kill a flea with a chainsaw. His 25th at the Quik Pro was not indicative of a really big performance against Medina, where his fastforward backhand and class wave selection was undone by two massive air 360s by the Brazilian. His heat score of 17.37 was the highest of any of the losers in Round 2. Will he be around in 2014? You try and squash him.

Up next is the 20-10, not on the bubble, not in for the world title, but still, someone has to be the butter in the sandwich.