We have to pat ourselves on the back after the conclusion of the 2023 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event. Our sleeper pick Ethan Ewing won the event against our longshot pick Ryan Callinan who also made the Finals. Meanwhile, our favorite John John Florence Florence made the semifinals. Furthermore, we pegged Filipe Toledo and Griffin Colapinto to go far, which they did with a 3rd and 5th place, respectively. Now it’s time to turn attention to Western Australia for our 2023 Margaret River Pro odds and predictions. With the midyear cut looming, concern is not just on who will win the event, but who will get chopped off of the WSL World Championship Tour (WCT) for the remainder of the 2023 season. Have a look below and make your Margaret River Pro predictions accordingly.
Betting Preview for the WSL WCT Margaret River Pro Men’s Surfing Competition Running from April 20-30 2023
Where: Margaret River, Western Australia
When: Waiting period runs from April 20-30, 2023
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.7
John John is in a weird place right now. He’s injury-free (contrary to the last few years) and is surfing as well as ever, yet he hasn’t been able to close heats as event brackets wind down to their conclusions. JJF losing to Ryan Callinan in the semifinals at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is a perfect example of that. That being said, this is Margaret River we’re talking about. Florence has two recent event wins here (2019 and 2017) and can manhandle the event’s primary Main Break or the Box and North Point as required by conditions. His only equal here is Jack Robinson (below). It’s crunch time for John John to position himself into the WCT Top 5 so that he has a favorable seeding at the WSL Finals in September. A win at the 2023 Margaret River Pro is not only a prime directive, it’s imperative to his World Title campaign. Will JJF rise to the occasion? It’s a safe bet.
Jack Robinson: 5/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.2
Margaret River is the literal home of World No.2 Jack Robinson and he’d normally be a shoe-in to at least make the semifinals. Some say a win is a foregone conclusion as the young Aussie did claim victory at the event in 2022. However, despite early success this season, Robinson may be showing signs of exhaustion and the pressure to perform at home may be too much to bear. Furthermore, his prior Margaret River Pro results as a rookie and a wild-card are not as impressive as many think. He has a 17th from 2021, a 9th from 2019, a 13th from 2018, and a 25th in 2016. These results are not dissimilar to John John Florence’s results at his own turf (Pipeline) early in his career. It’s impossible to not call Robinson a favorite at the Margaret Rover Pro, but we don’t like his chances as much as we do for JJF.
Ethan Ewing: 5/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.4
“Australian Ethan Ewing is a powerful surfer with loads of potential, and is a serious contender to make the Top 5 once again at year’s end. But to make his campaign to do so known, he needs to make a statement at Bells.”
The quote about Ethan Ewing is from our recent Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach prediction. Ewing delivered big time and took down some big names in the process, earning him status as a favorite to win the 2023 Margaret River Pro. His short track record here is solid, coming in 3rd in 2022 after losing to eventual event winner Jack Robinson. The tall and powerful regular footer has what it takes to win at any of Margaret River’s contest breaks, and if he does so this April he could shoot up to the top spot of the 2023 WSL WCT rankings. Armed with the talent and eerily calm demeanor we would not be surprised to see that happen.
Jordy Smith: 12/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.15
We like what we saw from Jordy Smith at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event. He could have advanced beyond a 9th place finish if opponent Filipe Toledo hadn’t pulled off some last minute heroics to turn the heat. Moreover, the veteran South African did well with a 5th place finish to begin the year at Pipeline and has shown us that there is still some gas left in the tank in his storied career. Speaking of storied, let’s have a look at his stats at Margaret River:
- 5th (2022)
- 2nd (2021)
- 5th (2019)
- 5th (2018)
- 5th (2017)
- 9th (2016)
- 13th (2015)
- 5th (2014)
Jordy-Saffa can clearly perform at Margaret River and he must be tired of coming close to taking the win. He’s a solid sleeper pick to take the 2023 edition, before he retires.
Griffin Colapinto: 15/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.5
California kid, Colapinto, consistently hovers around the Top 5 mark on the WCT. Although this season, there seems to be more of a spark in his contest surfing which has us predicting that he will make the Final 5 in time for the Trestles finale in September. Rival Kanoa Igarashi (who stole his 5th place in 2022) may not even make the midyear cut this time around. To avoid a close call on that goal, Griffin needs a podium finish at the Margaret River Pro. He came in 5th at the event last season, and 3rd in 2021. He can pull it off.
Kelly Slater: 20/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.26
Never count out Kelly Slater, no matter how tempted you (we) may be. To escape the midyear cut and avoid concluding his competitive legacy with an embarrassing footnote Slater needs to make the podium at the 2023 Margaret River Pro. His surfing in waves of consequence remains brilliant and according to Magic Seaweed (at press) wave heights appear to pickup towards the beginning go the contest period. If the wind behaves Slater can make the semifinals. Since we’re going that far with our prediction, let’s just call the GOAT a reasonable long shot to win the whole event.
Barron Mimiya: 25/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.26
Tied with Slater in the 26th position on the WCT and in danger of falling off the tour, Baron Mamiya needs to rise to the occasion in Western Australia. If he doesn’t, he will return home to Hawaii to live out his days surfing epic waves. We really don’t see him re-qualifying through the Challenger Series now that Haleiwa has been removed from the schedule. The thing is, the regular-footed Hawaiian’s style of surfing suits Margaret River extremely well. He also excels in large chaotic conditions that windy days at Margaret River are known for. While he is an underdog as far as betting odds are concerned, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Mamiya hoist the trophy.
2023 WSL MARGARET RIVER PRO MEN’S WINNER PREDICTION
John John Florence gets his long-awaited first win of the 2023 season and his third Margaret River Pro title. Watch out as he attempts to win his third WCT World Title in September.