2014 ASP Fiji Pro Preview
Kelly Slater has won the Fiji Pro the past two years, and now that he's in control of the ASP World Title race, he's going to lean on the venue to vault him towards his record-setting 12th title. Slater's been visiting Tavarua for over 20 years and knows the wave better than anybody on tour, but that's not going to stop the guys from taking a shot at him.
Sitting second in the world after the Rio Pro, once again Taj Burrow is in contention to win a world title. If this year's going to be different than any other, he's going to have to do something special at Cloudbreak.
Sliding from first to fifth on the ASP ratings, Gabriel Medina will be hungry to make the final in Fiji. Renowned for his air game, he's proved he's equally dangerous in heavy, barreling lefts. He lost to Slater in the final two years ago, so he'd love to go one better this time around.
Adriano De Souza
A win at Bells Beach appeared to put Mick Fanning back on track, then he stumbled in Round 2 of the Rio Pro. It's anybody's guess how he'll go in Fiji, but to be sure, he'll make the most out of opportunities like this at Restaurants.
John John Florence
Last year John John Florence got a perfect 10 for this wave. He'd like to make a similar statement this year. Everybody's been waiting for the young Hawaiian to break out, and if Cloudbreak and Restaurants turn on, there's no reason to think he won't at the Fiji Pro.
Claim it like you mean it! Year in and year out, CJ Hobgood is one of the most dominant surfers at Cloudbreak. Don't be surprised if he takes out some big names this year.
In 2012 Cloudbreak got hit by a monster swell, and while the contest was called off until the surf dropped and most of the ASP's surfers opted out of playing chicken with fate, Joel Parkinson was one of the few that reveled in the conditions. He loves Tavarua and is dangerous in any conditions, but especially when it pushes over 10 or 12 feet.
Adriano De Souza
Once again expect Adriano De Souza to be a thorn in everybody's side. But don't expect him to win the Fiji Pro. He'll make a few heats, but the chances of him taking out the event are slim, especially if Slater has a chance to put him in his place.
With two wins this season Michel Bourez has positioned himself to be in the world title hunt, but he'll be the first to tell you he's struggled at Tavarua. In fact, the Tahitian's never made a heat there. He'd like to change that this time around.
The most successful Californian on tour, Nat Young sits ninth in the world. Surfing on his forehand in Fiji, he'll be dangerous if the waves are a little smaller and more tricky to weave through. A smart competitor, he could sneak away with a pretty good result.
This was supposed to be Jordy Smith's year for a big world title push. So far, not so much. Sitting 10th in the world right now, he'll have to make a big push throughout the second half of the season if he wants to contend. A result in Fiji will go a long way.
Coming off of the best result of his career, a second place in Rio, Kolohe Andino has his work cut out for him in Fiji. His prowess in bigger, more powerful surf continues to improve, which makes this a telling test.
Nobody's been more dominant in Fiji than Kelly Slater. He's owned the event the last two years, and now leading the ASP ratings, is looking to advance his case for a 12th world title.