If it were any other year Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina would have the WSL world title sewn up by now. But, it’s not any other year. The new WSL format is keeping the dream (and excitement) alive with the top five men and women going to battle at Trestles this week for the coveted 2021 World Title.
Aussies will be cheering surprise men’s contender Morgan Cibilic, along with veterans Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitz on the women’s side. Brazilians have four surfers in the running. Americans have two. All of Europe’s hopes rest on French surfer Johanne Defay’s worthy shoulders.
We asked Trestles local and Creature’s team rider Griffin Colapinto for his insight into who he thinks will take the crown at his home break. Here’s what Griff said:
"On the women’s side I’m going with Steph to take it all the way through from the first heat. With the swell coming, she’ll sit patiently on the rights and know exactly which of the sets to take that link all the way through without any flat sections. She’s incredible on her forehand."
"For the mens, I have to go with Gabby. I think Conner will surprise early and win the first couple of heats, but then fall short against Italo, who’s just a beast. In the final surf offs though, I think Gabby will click into a quick left for a big score straight away, and then his highest score will come on the right. No airs or anything, just a bunch of perfectly linked turns with spray flying for days. High nines for sure."
So, in short, Griffin thinks Steph for title number 8 and Gabby for title number 3.
From Creatures’ end, we’re obviously going for our two family members - Italo Ferreira and Steph Gilmore.
Italo pops the top off in the Maldives. To see what equipment Italo will be using in his title chase head here. Photo: Henrique Pinguim
Italo is defending world champ and has had an incredible year already with his historic first-ever gold medal for surfing at the Olympics. He’s been training harder than anyone else and is looking chiselled from marble right now. His six pack could have it’s own Instagram feed. If Italo takes the title, he’ll take a rightful place among surfing’s true icons.
Steph is going for her 8th world title this year, looking to put herself in the record books as the undisputed greatest female surfer of all time. She’s on a hot streak after beating Carissa in good waves in Mexico on a board that’s like liquid silk under her feet. If the swell pulses on the rights like Griffin thinks, she’ll be the one to watch for sure, surfing from 4th on the rankings to claim an incredibly popular Cinderella finish.
Steph lays it down on a Lowers-like right. To see what equipment Steph will be using in her title chase head here. Photo: Swilly