Bottoms. Photo: Curley

# 10 Julian WILSON - BALI #5th - ASP #11

Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking? Well just like Derek Zoolander, Julian found his way and confirmed it with panache in Bali.

A fifth place that could have been a 1st for Julian, posting his strongest result since Snapper. Visibly confident at a location he's spent so much time shooting video parts, Julian - just like on the Goldie - didn't have to care about his biggest flaw: his wave selection, as the wave at Keramas is close to mechanical perfection.

A heat average of 15,27pts is an unnecessary confirmation of Julian's amazing potential, when everything comes together. Power surfing, tubes, and of course all his fancy repertoire of aerial tricks, J-Dub is by far one of the most technical and stylish aerial surfers when it comes to grabs, and he put on quite a show throughout the event.

Making it through to the quarters with two really, really, ridiculously good waves against fellow team member Nat Young. Let's hope he can build momentum at Teahupoo before 3 stops he knows and loves performing at: Trestles (3rd), Hossegor (2nd), and Supertubos (1st).

Kerrzy. Photo: Henning

#9 Josh KERR - BALI #3rd - ASP #9

A well-deserved and expected performance from Kerrzy, putting his whole repertoire on display at Keramas, from ultra-tech aerials to deep barrel riding. Dominant in every way, he picked the best waves, made the best choices and drew the best lines on every section.

His bodycount speaks for itself: Dusty, Toledo, Kelly, John John, C.J... only to be stopped by event "winner" Parko in the semis. Josh surfed a strong event, showing proper momentum going into Teahupoo and a clear contender as a potential end of year top 5 finish.

His Rd4 heat against JJF and Kelly was a reminder of how exciting the Tour can be with the right competitors at the right breaks, and how freaking good Josh is (8.67 - 9.17 - 9.67 - 9.5 - 10).

Incidentally, the judges might learn something from using the replay properly and comparing Josh's RD4 10pt ride to Parko's.

Nat's Nat and he ain't shat. Photo: Curley

#8 NAT YOUNG - BALI 3rd - ASP #6

The dangerous, driven rookie just keeps gaining momentum, with 15,99pts heat average in Bali for a 3rd place finish. Whatever the stop is, the Californian remains cool, calm and collected, using his strong core fitness to power through his heats with an aggressive, mechanical backside attack.

Although his style may not be the smoothest, it's efficient and most of all flexible. Whether it's open face turns or tubes, on his frontside or backside, the rookie has it all, never over-torquing his turns, just putting in the exact amount needed to hit with power without losing control, giving him unreal confidence at such a young age and deservedly maintaining his 6th spot since the beginning of the season.

In his re-match against DE SOUZA from the Bells final, Nat remained confident and smart while the Brazilian appeared lost and sketchy, quietly ejecting one of the most feared competitors without further ado. As we've claimed since his performance at Snapper, Nat is here to stay.

Parko life. Photo: Henning

#7 Joel PARKINSON - BALI #1st - ASP #3

I've already written about Parko's performances in my intro so I won't waste too much of my really valueless time regarding him not earning some of his scores and therefore not belonging in the final. Instead I'm just gonna copy and paste a dictionary definition I find suitable:

"Perfection": noun. The condition, state, or quality of being free from all flaws or defects.

...so unless I'm mistaken, if you fall, it's a flaw so it can't be perfection. Not a perfect 10 then. Simple as f*ck.

As far as wave selection, tube riding and drive on his roundhouse cutties went, Parko surfed brilliantly, it just sucks to listen to a "I really liked the second 10 more than the first one, and then if JJF had landed his backflip I would have loved his 10 even better..." ARE YOU SERIOUS? What about the f**king judging scale? It was just a bad joke... and that's the second screwed-up 10 for Parko this year after the Bells' buffoonery... way to go ASP.

The only time Parko seemed to put himself to work was in the final, winning this heat fair and square against Michel's mistakes. He just did not belong in the final four.

Michel made his first ever long overdue WCT final in Bali. Photo: Curley

#6 Michel BOUREZ - BALI #2nd - ASP #8

With a 16,20pts heat average (2nd best after JJF), Michel dominated all his heats and could have rightfully won the event had he not made a couple mistakes in his first ever and long overdue WCT final.

Some will say (well, at least myself) that he deserved more than just a 0.47pts difference with Parko on his first wave, but he still let Parko get away on a little inside runner that shut the door, so the final result was just. (kinda)

Just like at Snapper where he got 3rd, or like Jordy in Rio, Michel was über-confident, leaving strictly no doubt as to whether he would complete any of his murdering turns. Always in rhythm, reading the waves excellently, Michel impressed by his control, contrasting his agile ultra light upwards phases and monstrously heavy and powerful hacks down the face of the wave. Great to see a pure, raw power surfer such as Michel getting a result.

Let's hope Michel can bring this good form back home to Teahupoo to prove he can be a modern mix of Taylor Knox, Luke Egan and Occy, witha touch of new-school flair. #gomichel

#5 Sebastian ZIETZ - BALI #13th - ASP #11

Seabass will have lost twice against John John and, considering the Hawaiians form, it's a real shame they came up against each other so soon as they could have both reached the final and shown the judges how to work the scale properly with their 9s and 10s.

The good thing is that with JJF currently climbing back up the rankings this should not happen again, at least not in the early rounds.

Other than his perfect tube technique, I love his frontside Andy full rail carves off the top, and the fact that he's been putting fun, power, versatility and pure stoke back on tour; just like Wilko a couple of years ago, but with way more consistency. Can't wait to see him no grabbing at pumping Teahupoo.

Could still give Nat Young a run for the Rookie of the Year title should Teahupoo, Hossegor, Supertubos and Pipe go bananas.

#4 Mick FANNING - BALI #5th - ASP #1

Mick is exactly where he planned to be at the half-way mark: N°1. With the most consistent run of results for the first part of the season (nothing worse than a 5th), his throwaways are his opponents' keepers right now.

Still no win though, in Bali he surfed with his usual sharpness and control, but lacked real flair in his surfing (apart from his really faintly-judged 7,77pts in the quarters).

The only time he showed he was really committing to a win and not acting like a freaking surfing droid was when Freddie P pushed him into the dying seconds of their Rd5 bout. Mick has it all, he just needs to add some extra sparkle to his waves to win his heat with more than the unusual 13,11pts heat average.

#3 Jordy SMITH - BALI 13th - ASP #4

Only Top 8 to lose in Rd 3, Jordy suffered an early exit at an event where he could have shone and displayed all his awesomeness.

Relaxed and dominant in Rd1, the perfect aerial conditions leant themselves to Jordy's video game technique, just missing an insane stalefish grab on an already lofty reverse 270°. His Rd 3 encounter was quite different, and for the first time since the beginning of the season he chose not to wisely build a foundation with medium scores. Instead, he just opted to shoot elusive air sections that never came materialized.

Visibly more frustrated by the fact he couldn't enjoy a good aerial session than a possible bad result, Keramas was the first out-of-focus event for him. Jordy got his first 13th at Snapper, losing to an onfire Travis Logie, but suffered his second here in Bali just because he had his priorities wrong and woke up too late in an easy heat.

Let's see if he get his shit back together in Tahiti and once again showcase the worldclass backside barrel technique he demonstrated in Fiji.

#2 John John FLORENCE - BALI 9th - ASP #14

With a heat average of 18.06 points from four heats, that's quite a statement and the most exciting and humble surfer on Tour should have won his heat versus Parko.

Surfing-wise, Double John out-surfed everybody, KS and Michel included. Best in the air, best in the barrel, incredible on the open face (check the armpits-waxing-submarine-carving turn in Rd3)... nevertheless the kid continues to make serious tactical mistakes in (too) many of his heats.

Often confused with heat priority and wave selection when he has it, he pretty much gave Parko his second 10. Yes the ankle is strapped and solid, yes it was a sick alley-oop (although way less technical than a counter-rotating stalefish grab in my books).

John is building momentum, will reach the finals in Tahiti, and will climb another set of ranking points to reach the top 5 because YES he is that awesome.

#1 Kelly SLATER - BALI #9th - ASP #2

To quote the 1980's World famous disco philosopher Anita Pointer: "I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it I'm about to lose control and I think I like it".

Well this was pretty much Kelly's mindset in Bali, he was just frothing too much and wanted to do too much, overwhelmed by the limitless possibilities of this cartoonish wave.

Uncharacteristically shaky, falling or getting stuck too many times, he was often slightly off balance (although still scoring a 15,41 heat average). Of course a 9th is not THAT bad, but for Kelly it has to be a throwaway at year's end.

The King still had some ridonculous moments, from insane barrel rides to one-of-a-kind carving off the tops-to-tail release; and if you still have any doubt on why he is still number one (you fool), just watch how fired up he was during his already-legendary Rd4 versus Kerrzy and Double John, and see how stupidly good old baldy is.

Get ready for a 5th win at Teahupoo.

- Julian 'Vico' Hamel