Stab Magazine | This Afternoon, Pipeline Was The Best It's Been All Year

This Afternoon, Pipeline Was The Best It’s Been All Year

“In a matter of ten minutes the wind switched and the waves turned on,” photog Brian Bielmann tells Stab.

full frame // Jan 11, 2018
Words by Morgan Williamson
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

As the clock struck four, necks at the Weedmaps Pipe house (perched above Backdoor) turned from the couch to the sea. The wind, which had been massaging the surf into an unruly pulp, switched direction. Waves began to feather on the outer reefs. Lips squared up. They spray painted the horizon. Rhetorical statements bounced from mouth to mouth.

Is it getting good right now?

I think it’s starting to get good right now.

It was. After a half hour, to the annoyance of the few heads on it early, the lineup swarmed with surfers and half as many photographers. Drones lined the sky. Machines, Gaff helmets, and watertight housings battled for position.

“Today started out less exciting than we’d hoped, it wasn’t as big as we thought,” lensman Brian Bielmann tells Stab. “Some people were saying the swell had already peaked. During the contest [The Da Hui Backdoor Shootout], there were some good waves in the morning then the wind came in screwed it all up. It was so bad they had to call the contest off.

Everyone left and started to do their own thing. The beach emptied. And, about three hours later, without any warning, the wind started to blow offshore. Within ten minutes the waves turned on. It was about twice the size as it was earlier in the day. Koa Rothman, Makua Rothman, Jamie O’Brien, Ulu Boi, Kai ‘Mana’ Henry, Mikey Bruno, Torrey Meister, Tyler Newton, Kalani Chapman, and Reef Mcintosh [all pictured above] were the stars of the show. And, just around dark Kelly Slater made his way into the lineup.”

“It was awesome,” continues Brian. “Easily the best Pipe session of the year.”


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

The Post-COVID Surf Tourism Boom In The Mentawais

Three business owners detail pandemic struggles and what it's like to be back in full…

Aug 18, 2022

“Airlines Hate Me:” Bad Boy RyRy’s Guide To Surf Travel

Want to get pampered at the pointy end of the plane for free?

Aug 17, 2022

Yes And Welcome Back: The First Day Of Female CT Competition At Teahupo’o Since Melanie Redman-Carr Was Taking Scalps In ’06

Carissa Moore is now two heats away from her 6th World Title, btw.

Aug 17, 2022


What Happens When You Borrow A Pro’s Board?

Joyride: The Shrizz from PANDA surfboards.

Aug 16, 2022


Mick Fanning Samples California’s Finest Local Produce

Mayhem at Lowers.

Aug 16, 2022

Mountains Died So You Could Surf

The value of sand.

Aug 15, 2022


UPDATE: People Are Still Surfing ‘La Jetee’ in Reunion Island

Returning to the best & sharkiest air wave in the world, as seen in Mod…

Aug 14, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Female) Surfers

What the Stab reader survey teaches us about taste.

Aug 14, 2022


Kelly and Local Gal to Win Teahupo’o?

Local insights and a firing forecast.

Aug 13, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Male) Surfers

Insights from the 2022 Stab Reader survey.

Aug 13, 2022


Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex

Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.

Aug 13, 2022

Tahiti Preview: The End Of The Road For 72% Of The CT

And hello there, blob of swell.

Aug 12, 2022


While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay

...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.

Aug 11, 2022


Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?

Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.

Aug 11, 2022

Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers 

An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.

Aug 11, 2022

PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua

Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.

Aug 11, 2022

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022