Jordy Smith and Kelly Slater are neck and neck inthe 2010 ASP world title race for surfing. Taj Burrow, Dane Reynolds, Adriano De Souza and Mick Fanning aren’t far behind. Even 3-time world champion Andy Irons is back in the hunt after his victory in Tahiti at the Billiabong Pro. Jordy and Dane represent the newest school, Slater represents the old school, as Fanning and Burrow come in somewhere inbetween. Some fans wonder if the new judging criteria will play out for Reynolds and Smith, but who could discount the 9-time world champion, Kelly Slater who always seems to be able to pull a rabbit out of his hat when he needs to. Just ask Andy Irons, Rob Machado if Kelly Slater knows how to come from behind to win world titles. Regardless of the outcome, this year will likely remember as year when great talent emerged. Will this be a year for a changing of the guards? Or will the greatest competitive surfer of all-time add another trophy to his mantle?
Kelly Slater Highlights
In past years, the Hurley Pro has marked a turning point for ASP title races for Fanning and Slater. There seems to be some new energy circulating the tour and the second half of the tour promises to be exciting and dramatic. This year’s event appears to be destined for another classic surfing show-down.
Predictions for 2010 ASP World Title:
1. Kelly Slater…. Put your money on the 9-time champion who drinks from the fountain of youth. Unlike anyone before him, Slater takes the “killer instinct to new heights.
2. Jordy Smith… He seems to thrive with new judging format and certainly could hold one to his current lead.
3. Dane Reynolds… If he tightens his game face, look out. 2010 may be too soon for Dane, but expect him to become ASP champion soother rather than later.
4. Mick Fanning… If Fanning wins the Hurley Pro again, all bets may be off as this Aussie understands how to parlay momentum in to championships. In an odd way he reminds me of Kobe Bryant.
5. Taj Burrow…. Many insiders still believe this is T.B.’s year. He remains close to Smith and Slater in the ratings and usually does well at Trestles. If he can place high in Europe, anything is possible.