Well, it’s been an interesting year thus far on the CT. Wilko came out of the gates swinging and sported the yellow jersey for most of the season by winning the first two events on tour, which no one could have predicted. Everyone including Mick Fanning made it through J-Bay without encountering any sharks, Mick would even go on to win the event. And as we head into California’s only CT, The Hurley Pro at Trestles, the phenom grom known as double John is on top of the leader board.

While this season has had some less than remarkable waves, making some events a little tedious. Tahiti, while not terrifyingly big, did light up for a few solid days of competition and allowed the world best to shoot it out in perfect left-hand barrels. The contest results reconfirmed two things, one that John John is the best backhand tube rider of his era, and two that Kelly Slater is still the best backhand tube rider of all time. The 44-year-old surfed a perfect heat and also won the event surfing in his final heat against the in form Florence, whom many would claim is currently the best surfer on the planet. Slater who hasn’t finished out of the top 10 since 1991, slotted himself into the number 8 position on the CT rankings heading into Trestles.

HURLEY PRO Trestles 2016 from colorsmag on Vimeo.

With only France, Portugal and Pipe left in the season post Trestles, the 44-year-old 11 time World Champion has put himself in title contention with 3 keeper results in the last 3 events. Trestles is not a beefy barreling wave, however, and as of late King Kelly hasn’t always performed in less than stellar waves, especially in waves that favor progressive surfing like Trestles. It’s not that Slater doesn’t have airs on lock, it’s just that in the past few seasons Kelly hasn’t surfed with much passion in the smaller stuff. However, with Kelly on a hot streak it might spark the 44-year-olds notoriously competitive side, which makes him a killer in any conditions.

The Hurley Pro is anyone's game however, it was a surprise to many that Mick Fanning won last year's event, as the past World Champ was having as season plagued with bad luck and a wave like trestles doesn’t necessarily suit Mick’s very fundamental based surfing. So while it will be hard to predict the outcome of this year's Hurley Pro, these are the five surfers that will likely place well at Southern California’s premier performance wave

1. Filipe Toledo-

Toledo, considered by many to be the world’s best small wave surfer has been having a shocker of a year after missing two events to an injury suffered while surfing in a heat on the Australian leg. Filipe is a competitor through and has been calling San Clemente home for the last few years, making him a contender for the Trestles crown.

2. Julian Wilson-

Oh, Julian, the Brad Pitt of surfing is sitting number 5 in the rankings and is easily one of the most well-rounded surfers on tour. Wilson is as comfortable punting as he is pulling into deep grinding barrels, which makes him a constant threat. Jules is the complete package and almost always wins at least one event on tour, and Trestles could very well be his event this season.

3. John John Florence-

The current  world number 1, JJ is another surfer who can make small ramps look like the megaramp, the boy can boost! John is one of the world premier aerialists, and after an embarrassing second-round loss last year, John John will surely be out for blood. If John can stay patient and nail his wave selection, he's a serious contender.

4. Kolohe Andino-

San Clemente’s prodigal son, Kolohe Andino has had some embarrassing results at his home wave, but one has to think that can’t last forever. Kolohe is due for a good result at Lowers, a wave Andino knows intimately. If Brother can shake the nerves of performing in front of his hometown crowd and the expectations that come with that, he will no doubt be a threat to everyone he surfs against.

5. Gabriel Medina-

Gabby want’s another World Title maybe more than anyone wants anything. He has learned to control his temper in public, but make no mistake Medina hates losing more than anyone on tour. Like Slater in his prime, Gabriel is a competitive hawk and because of that he often rubs his fellow surfers the wrong way. Whether or not you like Medina is irrelevant to the young Champ, as his surfing is lethal and there will more than likely be a large Brazilian crowd cheering Gabby on. Sitting at number 3 in the world there is no way Medina won’t come out firing.