Just as quickly as Pipeline spits out its last competitor from the Billabong Pro the WSL World Championship Tour rolls into Sunset Beach. The newly sponsored Hurley event starts on February 11th. Competitors competing in-fear of the new mid-year cutoff will give everything they’ve got to get a big result at stop number-two. WSL bettors are equally anxious, hoping to parlay their Pipeline winnings (or make up for losses). To help, we have put together our picks and predictions, including favorites, a sleeper, and long shots. Hedge your bets accordingly.
Note: The Action Sports Betting (ASB) crew will be on-site at Sunset Beach Park to cover the Hurley Pro. That means we will be in the middle of the action, and will be updating this article in real-time as we gain insight into who’s hot, who’s not, who may be injured, and who may have partied a little too hard the night before their heat/s. Check back often for updates!
Betting Preview for the WSL WCT Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Men’s Surfing Competition Running from February 11-23 2022
Where: Sunset Beach Park, Oahu
When: Waiting period runs from February 11-23, 2022
Betting Lines: View WSL betting odds
Streaming Broadcast: WSL website / WSL YouTube
Online Commentary: BeachGrit
Surfing Podcast for Post-Event Recap: SurfSplendor
John John Florence: 4/6 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.11
After an incredible winter (thus far) on the North Shore, not naming John John Florence as the favorite to win at Sunset Beach would be a disservice to our readers. JJF won the 2021 Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa in December, then went on to dominate the HIC Pro at Pipeline a few days later. He put together a mind-blowing performance at the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout and at press, is about to pocket another virtual VANS Triple Crown win. He is also favorited to win the fist event of the season – the 2022 Billabong Pro Pipeline. The Hawaiian flag waving Goldielocks is a lock as far as most bettors are concerned. But Sunset is a fickle wave and while JJF rides its rumbling face with the best of them, there are others who are equally impressive on its walls when conditions are prime.
Jack Robinson: 4/6 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.12
Jack Robinson was actually our pick to win the 2022 Billabong Pro Pipeline, which some were surprised with. But no one would consider a Robinson prediction to win at Sunset Beach to be a stretch. The wave is tailor-made for the Australian who charges similar conditions in Western Oz. Everyone remembers Robinson’s controversial win at the VANS World Cup at Sunset Beach in 2019, where judges blew it by not making an interference call against Robinson who impeded upon a Zeke Lau ride. Asterisk aside, it was a well earned victory. It’s hard to bet against this guy at Sunset, so you may as well wager a little something on Robinson.
Ezekial Lau: 8/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.22
Zeke should have won at the VANS World Cup at Sunset Beach in 2019 if it weren’t for the above-mentioned Jack Robinson interference. He knows it, and he’s hungry to prove it. He has the frame and strength to manage the wave even when it’s at its heaviest. Zeke also knows that to make the midseason WSL cut-off he needs to perform well during the Hawaiian leg of the WSL season. He has shown that he can rise to the occasion through 2021, not because of winning ABC’s Ultimate Surfer, but because he backed that “result” up by coming in 2nd on the WSL Challenger Series. The latter allowed him to earn his spot for the season ahead. Lau will come out guns-blazing at Sunset so that he can pocket a strong result, if not an outright win, before leaving Hawaii for the MEO Portugal Pro.
Jordy Smith: 10/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.7
Many experts are stating this and we concur – 2022 is Jordy Smith’s final shot at winning a world title. He’s tired of falling short, and we’re all tired of seeing it happen too. The big South African got a 5th at Sunset Beach at the 2019 VANS World Cup (lost to Zeke Lau) but won the event back in 2016.
Kelly Slater: 12/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.18
It seems strange to call Slater a sleeper for any event, but Sunset Beach has been his achilles heel. In fact (or because of his lack of results) he had been a critic of the WSL’s inclusion of Sunset Beach for the VANS Triple Crown and is surely no fan of it being added to the 2022 tour. That said, he nabbed a 5th at the VANS World Cup in 2016. Look, this is Kelly Slater we’re talking about. And 2022 is his swan song prior to retirement. Seeing as he may not make the Australian leg of this year’s tour (he won’t be vaccinated) he will throw everything he’s got into Hawaii. He just needs to pick the right equipment. If he pulls out an Akila Aipa (who he recently partnered with) board from his quiver to compete at Sunset the GOAT will be a threat.
Jadsen Andre: 20/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.19
If a comet ever slams into Earth you can count on Jadsen Andre being one of the sole survivors. He just won’t go away. Jadsen magically reappears on the WCT when you’d swear he’d already gone off into the Brazilian sunset. The journeyman received a 7th at Sunset in 2018 and 2016, so he can string together enough heat wins at this wave to make things interesting.
Owen Wright: 30/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.25
Owen Wright’s best Sunset Beach result was at the VANS World Cup where he came in 17th in 2018. Not great, but the 6’3 Aussie has the stature and power to pull off a win. If the there’s a light east to south-southeast wind Wright may right his path back on the tour with a Sunset victory. It’s a long shot, but that’s what makes betting so fun. Put a little money on Owen Wright.
2022 WSL HURLEY PRO SUNSET BEACH MEN’S WINNER PREDICTION
You heard it here – Kelly Slater yanks the monkey off his back with his first ever win at Sunset Beach. Bet on it!