Narrabeen Classic Fantasy Preview
Last updated April 14, 2021 by Balyn McDonald
I don’t know about all of you, but I’m low-key psyched for Narrabeen. I know how consistent it is and I’ve surfed it a bunch, so I’m keen to see the pros amongst it.
We’ve all blown the cobwebs off our fantasy teams (read: I kind of sucked at Newcastle) and now it’s time to get ready for a big result (I’ll probably suck again). Let’s get started.
North Narrabeen* is a very consistent, high quality beach break that provides a lot of opportunity and even some variation for surfers. Don’t just trust me; listen to Ace Buchan:
“Narrabeen is best known for its long reeling lefts, which love an east or northeast swell, but in reality, it has many moods. The Alley Right can get really rippable, and so can the wide right in front of the car park on a more south swell.”
For the purposes of fantasy analysis, we’re mostly looking at beach-break data at venues that offer both lefts and rights.
Last event, we suggested ‘picking surfers who are adaptable to a variety of conditions, demonstrate plenty of energy and catch lots of waves during heats’. I should have just written, ‘Pick Medina and Italo to make the final’. This contest is just a continuation of that theme. Again, if you don’t believe me, listen to a pro (Ryan Callinan this time):
“It will take a total package to win at Narrabeen. There could be rights and lefts, it might be barreling and there are air sections too.”
*It’s worth noting that Dee Why is the official back up venue. I won’t go into too much detail about DY, other than to say it’s a short, behind-the-rocks, right-hand point take-off, with a quick barrel followed by a disappointingly fat wall. I hope they don’t have to use it as a venue.
The initial official forecast is up, but it’s still light on detail at this stage. One big factor is that the most likely swell conditions will be from the south, which will increase the likelihood of right-handers coming into play and decrease the forecast for long, reeling lefts. That said, their is a weak model projection for a possible ESE short range swell. Check again after the update on Wednesday afternoon. EDIT: They still haven’t updated, but Swellnet has a bit more detail here.
Injuries / Wildcards
Dylan Moffat: ranked 8th on the QS and hailing from the northern beaches, Dylan gets his chance to match it with the big guns at his local break. The young natural footer is coming off the back of his first QS win at the Mad Mex Pro at Maroubra a few weeks ago.
Reef Haezelwood: ranked 2nd on the QS after a win at the Great Lakes Pro and some solid finishes at the Vissla (3rd) and Port Stephens (5th) contests. He had a great event at the Gold Coast (DBah) Pro in 2019 with a 9th place (beating Julian twice) and a 17th at Bells.
Mikey Wright: Did sweet FA with his wildcard replacement spot (in for Kelly), but will remain in the draw as first replacement all season whenever a surfer drops out. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for 2018 Mikey to show up again and tear shit down.
Mick Fanning: this young up-and-coming grom from the Gold Coast has a lot of hype around him. Some say he could be then next Mick Fan… wait a minute. Surely you all know who the hell Mick Fanning is; 3x world champ, occasional Eugene, White Lightning, shark puncher extraordinaire. Rip Curl have lured him out of retirement as a sponsor wildcard in place of Kolohe. The top 34 are all shitting themselves.
Kelly Slater: foot/back/who the hell knows. He called in on finals day to chat with the WSL commentators. When asked how his injury was going, he said that he’d surfed for the first time in ages, re-injured his back and couldn’t function for days afterwards. Wait to see the Margies forecast, but he could be out for a while.
Kolohe Andino: high ankle strain. He’s back in the US, and won’t be returning to Australia.
Matt Banting: didn’t make the most of his chance at Newcastle, so the WSL have cast their net elsewhere for this event (read: the next highest QS-ranked surfer).
Jackson Baker: isn’t a local at Narrabeen, so didn’t get a local wildcard spot. Fair enough.
Use the following table to sort through the values you think are important and compare surfers. Remember to also use the built-in surfer comparison features at FSS.
Narrabeen Sortable MetricsKey:
L/R = breaks with waves in both directions
Beach = beachbreaks
win % = win percentage in given condition
AHS = average heat score (2 waves) in given condition
1-4' = smaller wave conditions
4-6' = waves shoulder to slightly overhead
|Surfer name||Current tour rank||Current win %||Current AHS||L/R win %||Beach win %||4-6' win%||L/R AHS||Beach AHS||1-4' AHS||4-6' AHS|
|John John Florence||3||87.5||13.9||69.85||66.67||67.32||14.09||13.99||11.5||14.72|
|Adriano de Souza||13||42.86||8.39||56.36||57.33||55.29||12.82||12.97||9.65||13.11|
Italo Ferreira – does anyone dare pick against him? He has been on a tear, can surf any conditions, and has more energy that my 3-year-old at 5am. He’s not the best-favoured surfer in my metrics, but he has too much momentum to ignore.
Mick Fanning – are you kidding me? $300000 for Mick on your team? Even if he falls at the R16, he’s paid for himself. Unless you’re into contrary picks that deviate from the common fantasy selections, Mick virtually picks himself.
Adriano de Souza – he’s doing a retirement victory lap, and his metrics has been dropping these past few years, BUT ADS still has enough data to support a punt. His much-improved seed should make his match-ups reasonably palatable too.
Jack Robinson – Jack’s results in Newcastle didn’t improve his metrics for Narrabeen. Leave him off your team, hope that he drops even lower in price, and then pick him up for Margies.
Alex Ribeiro – the data hates him. He was near the bottom of nearly every valuable metric.
Matthew McGillivray – another data-driven recommendation. It’s easy to leave him out because he’s cheap and there are better cheap options.
Here’s the thing about data-driven fantasy selections: they almost always guarantee you a safe, bankable score. What they don’t earn you is a winning score, a score that risks rising above the pack with an against-the odds darkhorse. For that, you need to back yourself with a solid sleeper pick.
John John – I know he doesn’t seem like much of a sleeper, but Italo, Gabe and Filipe will have a lot of the beach break fantasy momentum. John’s data for this event is AT LEAST comparable to those 3, if not better in places.
Jack Freestone – he’s so under the radar, I had to check the draw to check he was still in it. Some of Jack’s best results have been in beach breaks (Rio, Portugal, France), and he’s not a bad option for a sleeper pick.
Reef Haezlewood – Anyone remember him at DBah? Or those airs he threw down in Hawaii that winter previous? I just dig the kid’s style and flair, and I think most teams will be looking at Mick for their cheap option and Reef will make fewer teams this time round.
While you’re here reading, don’t forget to check out all of the features that have been added to the FSS fantasy game.
Prizes – most fantasy games (WSL, FS) ask you to play for fun with no hope of prizes, while others (BeachGrit) ask you to pay for the chance to win. NOT US. Play for free, with a superior game, and still get a chance to win. Crazy, huh? Here are our latest winners.
Clubs – make sure you join one or start your own. Surfing Life Mag has created one, so maybe, just maybe, you can win some sweet print journalism prizes.
Data – each surfer’s image can be clicked to get a pop-up screen of historical data. PLUS, there’s the new ‘compare stats for multiple surfers’ feature on the team selection page, where you can compare the data and surfers that you see as relevant.
Substitutes – if the past 14 months has taught us anything, it’s that plans go awry. Make sure you utilize the emergency sub feature for your team (at no cost to your team budget).
Homepage – with scrolling updates of twitter news and a customisable surf forecast (defaulted to Narrabeen at the moment), you can check any updates at a glance.
All that’s left to do is choose your team, and enjoy the return of professional surfing.
– Balyn (surf-stats)