2013 Billabong Pro Tahiti preview
2013 Billabong Pro Tahiti
Bonjour! Welcome to Tahiti and the Billabong Pro at Teahupo'o, the most beautifully terrifying place in the world. We're looking at the back half of the ASP 2013 year, and this dangerous reef is going to make and break some seasons (in between rainbows, of course).
If you're one to go with the odds, Fanning has everything going in his direction. He is No. 1 in the world and the reigning Billabong Pro Teahupo'o champ. Can't argue with the facts.
At age 41, Slater has two tour victories this year (Fiji and the Gold Coast). As he hunts an incredible 12th world title, we all just want to know how far he can take it.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti title still eludes Parkinson. He made the finals in Tahiti in 2012 and has dedicated himself to heavy lefts, but he has yet to crack this one. Can he smooth over Teahupo'o?
The rookie surprise of the year has been the kid from Santa Cruz. Enjoying a fantastic year with a final berth at the Rip Curl Bells and the semis of the Oakley Pro in Bali, he is the highest rated goofy-footer right now.
Kerr needs a huge result here. He's typically unreal in the first half of the season but seems to drop on the tail end. That said, he could easily go dark horse and win at Teahupo'o.
This year, Smith seems to be realizing his full potential with the win in Brazil and holding down the No. 4 slot. A breakthrough in Tahiti would mean a lot to the big bloke.
John John Florence
In his second full year on tour and all recovered from an ankle injury, look for a big result for Florence to put him back up top where he belongs.
As the only Tahitian on Tour, you have to mention Bourez every year when the Billabong Pro Tahiti comes around. But this year it's not just paying respects. Coming off a fifth-place finish at the Vans U.S. Open and a finals berth at the Oakley Pro Bali, he's more than just a token mention.
We spoke with Hobgood earlier this year about his relationship with heavy lefts. The guy comes alive at Cloudbreak, Pipe and Teahupo'o. He won here in 2004 and has more experience with this reef than almost anyone on tour.
Because of injury, Wright's No. 37 ranking doesn't paint an accurate picture, but you can't talk about Teahupo'o without mentioning his performance in the historic swell of 2011 and his clash with Slater in the final.
Burrow refuses to drop out of world title contention. As the level of competition rises each year, so does Burrow. Like his entire career, this year he has a few semi results and fifths to keep him in the top five.