TOP 10 MEN
1. KELLY SLATER
With 11 world titles to his name it would seem the greatest competition surfer in history has nothing left to accomplish. However in 2012 another potential agenda bodes ominously for his competitors – Kelly turns 40 this year and given his appetite for statistical achievements could quite easily fall in love with the idea of winning a world title in his fourth decade on the planet.
2. JOEL PARKINSON
With his physical preparation near perfect and a savvy coach in Luke Egan by his side the powerful and supremely stylish natural footer needs to be more ruthless in his early round heats to go one better in 2012.
3. OWEN WRIGHT
Nothing other than a World Title will satisfy Owen Wright in 2012. Owen’s arsenal includes the full combination of aerials and power turns and last year was the only surfer with a repertoire on par with Kelly’s, in a contest setting.
4. TAJ BURROW
At his best Taj is a light-speed blur of dynamic manoeuvres with a contemporary tweak. One of the best to never win a world Title, any suggestions he is getting too old have been rendered irrelevant courtesy of Slater’s world title victory at 39.
5. JOSH KERR
Watch him fly, watch him spin, and witness him re-write the manoeuvre dictionary. Given his repertoire of gymnastics tricks and ability to perform them almost at will, Josh is one of the most exciting surfers to watch on the tour.
6. MICK FANNING
With two world titles to his name, Mick goes into each year as a contender for the crown. He would be disappointed with his finish outside the top 10 in 2011 and will be hell-bent on ensuring that he is in the running for 2012.
7. DAMIAN HOBGOOD
Damo can sleep well at night knowing he surfs like a 911 Porsche on rails. His smooth and powerful surfing is the envy of tens of thousands of surfers the world over – and more importantly much appreciated by the ASP judges too.
8. KIERAN PERROW
In thick, pitching waves KP possesses both a physicist’s propensity for calculation and a kamikaze pilot’s disdain for self-preservation. It was this combination which saw him emerge as the deserved winner of 2012 Pipeline Masters.
9. ADRIAN BUCHAN
Gifted with the high achieving nickname “Ace” and a lightening fast backhand reo, Adrian Buchan fl ashed his way to multiple world junior victories. He collected his fi rst career victory at the Quiksilver Pro France, putting ASP World Champ Kelly Slater’s victory champagne back on ice for at least another year.
TOP 10 WOMEN
1. STEPHANIE GILMORE
2012 is going to be a new experience for Steph – she is not the world champion, for what feels like the first time ever. After being attacked out the front of her home before the start of 2011, Steph lost her way until the final event of the season in France where she took the win. Can she take ‘her’ title back from Carissa this year?
2. SOFIA MULANOVICH
The first South America to win a world title, Sofia is a hero in Peru, bringing hope to millions of women who live in poverty as a true ambassador for surfing worldwide. An experienced competitor, Sof made the final in Sydney in 2011 and will look for a few more trophies in 2012.
3. COURTNEY CONLOGUE
A true Southern Californian girl, Courtney believes in hard work and trains even harder – rumour has it will run until she throws up, trains in MMA and surfs pwards of six hours a day. All that training shows though, with Courtney dominating the Star Series in 2010 with three event wins including the 2011 Telstra Drug Aware Pro.
4. PAULINE ADO
The most successful European female surfer ever, “Popo” won the ASP World Junior Title and never looked back. With a 3rd place in France in 2011, Pauline is very strong competitively and has a strong fan base as a well.
5. LAURA ENEVER
Laura is one of the next generation of strong competitors from North Narrabeen – with one important difference: you are just as likely to see her at New York Fashion week as in the lineup.
6. PAIGE HAREB
The lone New Zealander on tour, Paige requalified of the Star Series and will be looking to recapture her form on the World Tour. As the only goofy footer on tour, watch for Paige to make an impact as soon as the tour goes to a left.
7. REBECCA WOODS
Now one of the veterans on tour, Rebecca is one of the most technically perfect surfers on tour, having trained with super coach Martin Dunn for most of her life, she’ll be looking to make a final in 2012.
8. JACQUELINE SILVA
Silva is considered a pioneer in women’s surfing in her home country, beginning at a time when there were no female categories in the Brazilian surfing championships. She has competed on the world circuit for more than a decade, notching up victories in the Billabong Pro Maui in 2002 and the Roxy Pro Gold Coast in 2004.
9. MALIA MANUEL
Malia win two events back to back on the Star Series and will be looking to bring that form onto the World Tour. Extremely competitive, the girl from Kauai will be giving her all to take down the top five.
10. LAKEY PETERSON
Part of the new generation progressive female surfers, Lakey is most often seen above the lip. Born into a competitive bloodline, her mother was an Olympic swimmer and Lakey gets her love of the water from her. 2011 US Open runner up last year as a wildcard and one to watch in 2012.