The Heavies. Here are the five World Tourers I deem most likely to throw down with power, finesse and calculating precision when taken by the heat of hand-to-hand combat.
No. 5 — Alejo Muniz
WT rookie Alejo Muniz offers some major fighting potential. Born in ’90s – Feb. 22, 1990 – Alejo represents the changing of the guard. Pulled from the slums of Brazil, Alejo has risen to the elite tour at a tender age and shown that he’s there for blood (he made it to the quarterfinals of this week’s Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast). So far, surfing, like global affairs, has been dominated by predominantly white countries – the U.S. and Australia primarily – but the Third World is making a charge. Unlike the world economy, however, the Chinese aren’t the ones breaking down the door; it’s the South Americans. Like Brazil and the rest of the Third World, Alejo has a chip on his shoulder, something to prove, and anyone that gets in his way is sure to leave hurting.
No. 4 — Taylor Knox
Journeyman Taylor Knox cannot be stopped. For years surf pundits have come out saying that this WILL BE Taylor’s last year on the WT. False. You can’t get rid of the Carlsbad Kid. The oldest man on the WT – born May 15, 1971 – Taylor is the little train that could, except he’s not little. This man practically invented the work-out surfer movement. He cross trains out the wazoo doing everything from running to weight-lifting to yoga. And that handlebar mustache he’s been rocking, surefire sign that the man could be a championship grappler and bull-rider.
No. 3 — Bobby Martinez
Bobby likes to box. It’s a well-known fact that this Santa Barbara goofy foot spends 50% or more of his time at home in the gym, the boxing gym. Though friends and travel buddies the Hobgoods claim that Bobby is actually a cool, mellow guy, the industry has labeled this tattooed Mexican descendant as a greedy punk. Concerning his mass sponsor changes a couple years back, I support Bobby’s unwavering backbone. Pay the man, fools! A collected boxer who doesn’t backdown: I’ll put money on him.
No. 2 — Mick Fanning
Two-time world champ Mick Fanning takes the number two spot. Like Rip Curl teammate and number four heavy Taylor Knox, Mick is a tireless athlete. After suffering a potentially career-ending injury, Mick came back stronger than ever with an exercise routine that voms success. He won the WT in 2007 and again in 2009, all the while morphing from the cocky drunkard of his alter ego Eugene into the disciplined victor. Mick’s grown accustomed to winning and knowing when the time is right to strike like lightning (his nickname is White Lightning; oh ya, I’m clever). In a fight, Mick would duck, weave and strike with more grace than a meditating Shaolin monk.
No. 1 — Kelly Slater
Kelly Slater can be nothing less than number one. Ten-time world champ, most WT wins, youngest WT champ, oldest WT champ, greatest competitive surfer of all time. The man just won the Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast signaling his unwavering dominance and drive to crush whatever opponent stands in his way. Born February 11, 1972, Kelly and Taylor are the only remaining members of the Momentum generation. Since joining the tour, Kelly’s defeated Tom Curren, Rob Machado, Shane Beschen, Sunny Garcia, Andy Irons and now the new guard best represented by the Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds amalgamation single identity “Janedy.”
A haze of mystery has and always will surround Kelly. His training is a thing of legend and to this day, experts and analysts can only speculate as to how the old man maintains his freakish physique and cat-like balance. And one cannot overlook Kelly’s ability to adapt. The man has been winning world titles since his freshman year in 1992. Since the year Big Daddy Clinton took office, surfing has mutated into an awesome hyper-freak of a sport, and Kelly has stayed on top every step of the way – barring a brief partial retirement and the three consecutive years of dominance by the late, great Andy Irons.
Just as surfing and fighting bear a number of similarities, so shall Kelly remain the king. Whether in the waves or in the ring, Kelly cannot be stopped.
Keep loading RCS! during those free seconds when you’re bored to discover what ASP World Tour surfers you could make cry “uncle.”