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

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