There was a buzz around Jordy Smith last year on the world tour. The South African is without doubt one of the very best surfers on the planet, but contest wise he has always looked in danger of falling into that category of being one of the best surfers never to have won a title.
But in 2013 he showed signs of more ruthlessness in competition, finishing fourth overall and for three quarters of the season was a genuine contender. So this first leg of the tour, and especially here on the Gold Coast where he has done well in the past is vital.
He has a pretty good draw up against resurgent Hawaiian Fred Patachia and Californian Brett Simpson. Realistically he should win this and get straight to round three, what happens next will show us which Jordy Smith is on tour this year, the consistent world title contender, or the explosive free surfer.