About: The Cabo Verde contest this year was run in a variety of different conditions from logo high Ponta Preta to knee high “Little Ho’okipa.” The wind was light throughout with the pros using sails up to 5.8m. The conditions at different times could be described as anything from super fun to pretty shitty. These rankings are highly subjective but basically lay out how the riders did at the contest and how they are looking for the rest of the competition season.
1. Kauli Seadi
Kauli is definitely one of the best all around riders out there and that will take you a long way especially in competitions. His style is particularly suited to the conditions they had this year as well with not too big of waves and light offshore winds. He is ultra loose and effortless in conditions like this when many of these so called pros are struggling to do a proper cutback. Even though in bigger waves and stronger wind his style can look a bit too slippy/slidey you got to hand it to him, job well done.
2. Josh Angulo
Seeing as Josh has most likely sailed this spot more than anyone else in the competition he is obviously a favorite. What really sets him apart however is that while many of the other bigger riders were complaining about the light winds he is in his element in them taking apart many of the smaller and more maneuverable riders. One could also make an argument that he sailed the best final as well busting out the most powerful maneuvers, but in the end the judges decided they prefer more turns of lesser quality than a few big hits.
3. Jason Polakow
Jason may not be into competition much these days but he still has the best cutback in the business. You can also count on the fact the he will not back down from any lips. Add these things together and you have arguably the best pure wave rider on the planet without a tour to showcase his skills. Whether its port tack or starboard, you can never count Polakow out of any true wave riding competition as he proved once again this year in Cabo Verde.
4. Robby Swift
I had this guy all but written off after the past couple years plagued by injury and lackluster performances. Only time will tell if this was a one hit wonder or if it is a sign of things to come. Robby does charge some big waves and hits big lips but he just seems to lack that style some have.
5. Thomas Traversa
Thomas brings quite a bit to the table with all the new school tricks and wave riding ability on both tacks. Cabo Verde this year was definitely a good result for him as he often seems to be unable to bring everything together in wave competition. The conditions seemed to really suit him this year as a super light weight. Watch out for him in the future if he ups his contest game because he is as talented as they come.
5. Alex Mussolini
Alex is in the same boat as Thomas Traversa, extremely talented but so far unable to be a real threat to the world championship title. I would go so far as to say that Alex is the best all around starboard tack wave rider out there right now. Like Thomas, Alex also excelled in the light wind small waves of “Little Ho’okipa” and put up a strong result to start off the season, we’ll see what he does with the rest of the season. read more »