Let’s be honest, G-Land’s return to the WSL World Championship Tour (WCT) was a big disappointment. The waves showed up before and after the event, but not for the event itself. Competitors were left to fight over scraps which zapped the excitement out of what was supposed to be the most exciting half of the WCT schedule. As a result, favorites like Slater, Florence, and Ferreira fell early. That said, the other heavyweight Gabriel Medina looked as if he would reclaim this throne as the best competitor on tour after taking a six-month sabbatical. However, he was robbed in the semifinal seconds by Robbo (Jack Robinson). The judges blew the score on that last exchange and ushered the young Australian straight into the final to take down Filipe Toledo. The judging also pillaged us (and you) of nailing yet another WSL betting pick as we had Medina to be the one to hoist the trophy. Coming into the event we picked the winner for the Bells Beach event and named the two finalists as favorites for the Margaret River Pro. Of course, Medina making the semifinals still gives WSL bettors confidence that we are the one-stop resource for making WSL WCT picks. And with pro-surfing’s elite heading off to another new locale you need as much insight as you can get. Let’s have a look at our Surf City El Salvador Pro odds and predictions.
Betting Preview for the WSL WCT Surf City El Salvador Pro Men’s Surfing Competition Running from June 12 to 20 2022
Where: Punta Roca, La Libertad, El Salvador
When: Waiting period runs from June 12-20, 2022
Betting Lines: View WSL betting odds
Streaming Broadcast: WSL website / WSL YouTube
Sponsor: Presented by Corona
Online Commentary: BeachGrit
Filipe Toledo: 4/6 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.1
In true WSL event form, the waves look like garbage (2-3 feet) for the beginning of the Surf City El Salvador Pro. This makes your World No.1 the odds-on-favorite. In waves of little consequence Toledo is the man, and he plans to maintain his top spot on the tour in advance of the 2022 WSL Finals in September. In doing so, he will only have to surf a maximum of three heats to win his first World Title. The bullet-dodger will conjure everything he has to win the Surf City El Salvador Pro. With the forecast as it is, he is a likely victor.
Admittedly, naming Toledo the favorite at a right-handed wave in crap conditions is a backhanded complement. However, we also look to the other side of the coin. With a medium south swell the rocky-bottomed Punta Roca can awake to become a powerful wave that offers a long and hollow tube. Subsequently it has been dubbed the J-Bay of Latin America. The Jeffery’s Bay comparison favors Toledo given that he has won South Africa’s WCT event twice. In the off-chance that conditions improve Filipe can also pull off a win.
Gabriel Medina: 5/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: 23
The beginning of the event period looks dismal, but if the waves at Punta Roca pick up then watch out for Gabriel Medina. He tasted blood with a semifinal appearance (and ultimate robbery) at G-Land and is not one to crumble when the chips are stacked against him. In fact, when backed into a corner there is no one as dangerous as the 3X World Champion. With just 3 events left (after this one) before the WSL Finals you’d be wise to bet on Medina for the win at the Surf City El Salvador Pro.
Kanoa Igarashi: 8/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.4
Igarashi knows it’s time to make his move if he hopes to crack the Top 5. We were reticent to give him solid odds to win an event this year, but with three 5ths, a 2nd, and two throwaway results this season he may be due for the second trophy of his WSL WCT career. Igarashi also knows this wave. He won silver at Punta Roca for 2021 ISA World Surfing Games in El Salvador. But there’s another reason to consider the Japanese-American surfer at this particular contest – Igarashi performs well at Corona sponsored events! He received a 3rd at the Corona J-Bay Open in 2018 (similar wave to Punta Roca) and won the Corona Bali Protected in 2019. Whether you bet based on traditional data or you’re a bit superstitious there’s enough to back Igarashi as a pick to win the El Salvador Pro.
John John Florence: 10/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.3
In what world do we name John John Florence a sleeper pick (not a favorite) to win an event? What planet are we on when we give Igarashi better odds to win the same contest? No, we’re not in Huntington Beach – we’re in the thick of the 2022 WSL WCT season – and it’s not going great for John John.
While JJF sits 3rd on the World Championship Tour, it’s not a comfortable position for the Hawaiian. We’re sliding him into sleeper status not just because of his inability to close big heats this season, but the fact that he was wearing a knee-brace at G-Land. That accessory sent shockwaves across surf media. Have his persistent injuries returned? If so, we could be seeing the end of his competitive career as we know it. We’d be idiots to write him off completely, but calling him a favorite to win at El Salvador would be a disservice to WSL bettors. Wager on a JJF win at El Salvador if you want to hedge your bets, but don’t put too much stock in JJF for the remainder of the season until after this event.
Jordy Smith: 20/1 Odds
WCT Ranking: No.13
We still have some faith in Jordy Smith, although it’s getting harder and harder to justify it. Calling him a long shot winner rests solely on whether or not that medium south swell hits the right-handed point break. It the “Latin American J-Bay” indeed turns on you’ll witness the powerful 6’3 SAFFA step up to launch his campaign to make it into the Top 5. For the 2022 WSL season Smith boasts an average heat score of 12.02, which is sadly a solid number for the year.
2022 WSL SURF CITY EL SALVADOR PRO MEN’S WINNER PREDICTION
The odds favor Filipe Toledo on all angles. The Brazilian wins the event to lock in the No.1 position on the Top 5 for the WSL Finals.