10 Predictions For The 2014 WCT

1) Mitch Crews wins rookie of the year. He’s lively, this Mitchell. Watch for him to surf with pizazz and bring the ruckus to the ratings. On top of that, he’ll be giving us the most feverishly honest post-heat interviews since Jordy Smith circa 2010 — because why filter your thoughts? Photo: Jimmicane

2) Jadson Andre lands an air reverse. Jadson’s back and we’re guessing that he’s better than ever. Look for him to swing that patented tail-high hoist this year, maybe even with a slob grab this time. And you can expect more airs from everyone else this year too. Think about this: Even Kieren Perrow was doing airs in 2013. One can only imagine what ’14 will bring, and the only way to go is up. Photo: Sebastian Rojas

3) Kelly Slater wins the 2014 world title. And if not, maybe he quits. Or maybe he quits either way. Or he never quits at all and stays on tour till he’s 84. Regardless, we’ve got a hunch that this is Kelly’s year. Sorry he’s not sorry, everybody under 40. Photo: Steve Sherman

 4) Nat Young for goofyfooter of the year. Kai Otton was the king of the goofs in 2013 and Owen Wright is back in commission and contention this year, but Nat’s gonna reign supreme. Since it’s his sophomore year, Nat is bound to lose the wow points that come along with being a new face to the judges, but he’s going into 2014 with a lot more confidence. Regularfooters be warned. Photo: Corey Wilson

5) Matt Wilkinson gets more normal. And consequently better. Wilko’s always good for a laugh, but he’s rarely good for a final. He’s serious this year though — training and all! Expect him to surf with an extra edge, and possibly even wear a wetsuit that isn’t designed to look like teletubby in doing so. Photo: Corey Wilson

6) John John Florence will stun you, again. Just like at the Oakley Pro Bali in 2013, John John is going to land something that makes you spit out your coffee. Or spring out of your desk and while making a tribal shriek at work. Or maybe even startle your sleeping wife during one of those late night webcasts. You might get fired, divorced or lose some of your precious coffee, but it’ll be worth it. Won’t it John? Photo: Duncan Macfarlane

 7) Dion Atkinson impresses you. But probably not with airs. Dion will become the tour’s working-class hero. The guy you feel like you can relate to. The guy who wins heats with nothing but good ol’ grit and rail work. The guy who you’d never emulate, yet you respect just the same. Yeah, that guy. Dion… Photo: Corey Wilson

8) Filipe Toledo wins an event. We’ve called him a werewolf. We’ve called him a jumping bean. And this year, we will call him a champion. Filipe made the semis in France last year and with spins like his, there is no reason to believe he won’t win those two extra heats in 2014. H Photo: Steve Sherman

9) Gabriel Medina finishes top 5. Remember those airs Gabriel was landing in mediocre France? Cool. Now do you remember the waves he was getting at bombing Pipe? Point is, the kid has no flaws. He’s dangerous at every single stop on tour. Lethal even. Anything outside of the top 5 for Gabe this year is a falter. Photo: Corey Wilson

 10) Surfing goes viral. The ASP’s deal with ZoSea was all about eyeballs. This year, professional surfing is going to reach more people than ever before. It’s going to be all over YouTube. And Facebook. And ESPN. And, most importantly, surfingmagazine.com. We’ll be packaging all the goods from each event and putting our own little ribbon on it. It’s a gift, really. Photo: Corey Wilson

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