The talent is there, and 2014 might just be the year of the big South African on the ASP World Tour.
Jordy Smith has experienced success at every level of professional surfing. First as a young South African man-child, leaving guys like Andy Irons and Joel Parkinson singing his praises before he’d even hit puberty. Next as a wildly talented teenager, winning the ASP World Junior Title back when that used to mean something. Then as a freesurfing freak, the subject of a bidding war, a photogenic madman, the star of a biopic, so on and so forth. But even with all of these accolades to that quirky old name of his, something is missing: an ASP World Title.
Nobody in his or her right mind would question whether or not Jordy has enough talent to claim a crown — there is literally nothing that a guy like 3X World Champ Mick Fanning can do that Jordy cannot. It’s merely been a matter of maturity for Jords and now, at 27 years old and with a wife-to-be, it’s safe to say the kid’s all grown up. So where do we go from here?
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to the title, just ask Mick. The fact remains that Jordy has only won one event, the Billabong Rio Pro, outside of his back-to-back conquests at J-Bay in his native South Africa. In 2014, the most important thing Jordy Smith can do is become a master of momentum. That goes for momentum within heats, momentum within events, and even momentum within an entire season. He’ll need to build off of every good thing he does and to match that volatile talent of his with calculated tactics. Most importantly, Jordy Smith will have to surf smart.
And that, dear readers, is how the title may wind up in the hands of a man under 30 for the first time in years.