While we haven’t even come close to the world title this year, with a tight wad of points intertwined in the top five, allow us to look forward to possibilities in the following year, and then the next. So, in no particular order, our top 6 possibilities for world title 2020.
He is a surfer who is going to win multiple world titles, so 2020 might as well be on our wish list for the young Brazilian natural-footer. He definitely has the air of a champion about him, and his natural talent and propensity for sticking the most ridiculous aerial turns in clutch-moments are what will see him through to a crown. He just needs to up his game in the bigger lefts of the Championship Tour, but seen as there is only Teahupo’o and Pipeline probably in the mix for 2020 it’s really not going to hold him back much.
The man is set on another world title, and he has the skills and the brawn to take on the big lefts as well, feeling at home as massive Teahupo’o as he is in Rio dribble. He is also a fiery competitor and is ruthless in free surfs wherever he is around the world. The fact that he has a world title under the belt (2014) and has tasted that level of success and how it changes ones’ life, he is hungry for another title and the accolades that accompany it.
A surprise this year to the top five (placed fourth after the Surf Ranch Pro) Ferreira has proven over and again that he has what it takes to be a world champion. Incredibly adept in the air, and amazingly imaginative on his backhand, he also has all the hooks and power turns along with tube riding skills to take a world title from under the noses of more experienced people. A nice guy to boot, Ferreira would be a popular title-holder should he get a chance to get in the front and stay there. By 2020 he will have enough experience to be able to surf the entire tour with confidence.
John John Florence
The rumours abound surrounding the man’s health and his recurring injuries, but the truth is that if his body strengthens enough for him to return to full time competitive surfing next year as well as in 2020 then he will take the title with very little competition. He has the new version of the Kelly Slater Ninja approach, and no one can get near him when he’s on his game. The only weakness he has shown thus far, apart from being a bit injury prone, is that he buckled under pressure when Zeke Lau from Hawaii went crazy with intimidation and blocking tactics in round three of this year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
The kid is red-hot and has so much potential, he just needs the run of a couple of good heats, leading into a couple of consistently good event placings, and he could get on a roll that will be impossible to stop. His speed and intensity have to be seen to be believed, and he too knows no boundaries to the imagination when it comes to aerial surfing and above-the-lip turns. He also seems a quirky kind of guy, not really intimidated by any of the other surfers, and poised to take it all head-on. Currently placed 15th on the Jeep Leaderboard (post Lemoore) there are great things in store for the young natural-footer.
He will be on the CT by 2020 somehow, either by a wild-card luck like Mikey Wright received this year, or possibly by a good run of QS competitions next year. It’s common knowledge that when he gets onto the Championship Tour he is going to make some serious damage and will easily eclipse surfers with way more experience than him in any waves of consequence. He is adept at the Margaret Rive/Box/North Point zone, kills it at Pipe where he has won events, and is similarly fearless at Teahupo’o. He just needs to get onto the tour to do the damage. He will need to break free of his current entourage if he wants to get his head around the QS, but he is a surfer of CT ilk, as well as that of a world champion.