Surfing Soapbox: Fanning now the one to watch in the race

With the Billabong Pro set to run from Monday to Oct. 17 (yes, this event does boast the longest waiting period on tour), the race for this year’s world title is looking more and more like a two-man race. Mick Fanning (2007 world champion) claimed his second victory — the Quiksilver pro in the south of France — in a row on the ASP world tour.

In an Australian final it was Fanning who bested fellow countryman Bede Durbidge, rocketing into second place in the ratings.

Joel Parkinson, the current ratings leader, finished a disappointing equal 17th for the second event in a row and has seen he is overall ratings lead shrink, to only a couple hundred points over Fanning. Durbidge, making his final of the year, has moved into the fourth position.

Now on the heels of the Billabong Pro, to be in Mundaka, Spain, the world title race is heating up, to say the least. No. 3 CJ Hobgood has got to be feeling good about his chances of winning the Billabong Pro, as the long peeling lefts perfectly suit his surfing style.


Others surfers to watch include Bobby Martinez and under dog: Adrian “Ace” Buchan.

While the long lefts of Mundaka certainly are better suited for the goofy footers, I still like Kelly Slater’s chances of winning here. He was an unlucky loser in the quarter finals in France, posting just over 17 points, which would have won him any other quarter final match up. Other regular footers with a chance include Parkinson and of coarse the hottest surfer on tour right now — Fanning.

The current top five rankings are as follows:

1. Joel Parkinson


2. Mick Fanning

3. CJ Hobgood

4. Bede Durbidge

5. Kelly Slater

But my two picks for this event are CJ Hobgood and Kelly Slater.

Until next time: Stay healthy, keep surfing.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha