Can No One Beat Billy Kemper Or Paige Alms At Jaws?
History says mostly yes!
Billy Kemper is in a league of his own. With wave heights topping 50 feet, he has claimed his fourth Jaws title. The trophy is nice, the payday even better, but it’s how Billy did it that speak volumes about the big-wave surfer he has evolved into.
Billy’s been rattling cages all winter. Like a fuse, he began the slow burn at Haleiwa, where he put together sound heats. At the Pipe Invitational he continued to heat up, and on the opening day of the Pipe Masters the blood really started to flow. He paced it absolutely perfect. By the time he got to Jaws he was hot.
Russell Bierke made the opening statement to start the day at Jaws, hoisting an 8.33 on one of the first waves ridden. After his last video drop, could this be Bierke’s time on the big-time stage?
It certainly wasn’t Jamie Mitchell’s turn. He spent the heat falling from the sky and getting smoked in the opening heat. It took some contemplation in the channel post heat to settle the nerves.
Kemper snuck through his opening heat in the third position. During the heat Albee Layer went down hard, resulting in a severe concussion.
“I got a very bad concussion from the lip or second bounce after I’m not sure,” explained Layer on Insta later in the day. “My vest zipper broke and opened up underwater which made it pretty hard to swim up but luckily I got it inflated first. I spent about 10 minutes throwing up then borrowed a vest from Sean Lopez and went out to try one more but after paddling hard over a wave I started seeing stars again and began puking more. Figured it was time to call it. I’m still gagging on and off but feel a little better after an ice bath. My left hip is pretty messed up but feels just like pulled muscles.”
With the swell pulsing on and off, and periodic 30-knot winds, it was as serious a day at Jaws as any. While Nathan Florence was letting his mullet fly, playing it cool in Round 2, Kemper conserved energy and slid through in second place.
Then it was the women’s turn to hit the lineup. Felicity Palmateer was the star of Round 1. After getting blown up by one wave, she pulled the ripcord of her vest and had to spend some time in the channel swapping out gear—which proved to be a good thing as a huge set rolled through and mowed down all the other ladies in her heat.
But like the hard-charging, Jaws loc dog that she is, Paige Alms was the star of the final. Taking the lead on an early six-point ride, she never looked back. Palmateer gave it a hell of a run, but ultimately had to settle for second. She’s now won the comp three times.
The men’s final was a heated affair. Kemper threw down the gauntlet in the opening minutes with the highest scoring wave of the heat, a 7.83. It could have ended there, game, set, match.
Ian Walsh responded with a couple of well-ridden bombs of his own, but unable to get deep into the barrel, he found himself a point behind Kemper when it was done and dusted. Nathan Florence rolled into third and Kai Lenny was competitive in fourth.
The duo of Kemper and Alms have cemented themselves as the best of the best at Jaws. To win the contest once is one thing, to win it twice is special, but to take three and four titles out there, it’s next level good.
Watch: ‘Vacation’ Presented By Monster Energy
Stab Highway winners visit Kandui Resort.
The Stab Interview: Shaun Manners
On signing with Former, landing the cover of Surfing World and TSJ, his Cult of…
Why You Should Never Not Paddle Out
How an impromptu 30 minute session made a Jamaican surfer $1,000 richer.
Rio Waida Has Been Surfing Onshore, Oversized Bells Alone
...and he might not go home all year.
John Florence Releases Long-Form Piece On The 243km Great Ocean Squiggle
Tourism Victoria going, ‘he just did our job for us’.
Japanese Rice Farmer Enjoys Frightening Sumatran West Bowls
Kaito Ohashi is on his best behavior.
Watch: When People Like This Speak, We Listen
Raw, extended conversations with Clyde Aikau and Eddie Aikau winner Luke Shepardson.
Diamond Tail = Diamond Hands?
We'll explain everything in the Rusty D-Min Joyride.
Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*
May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.
An Unordinary Life Structured Around A Tidal Bore
Long Read: The life and times of Pete Beachy.
Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band
What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6
An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer
Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game
…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.
Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing
But will surf final CT event at Bells.
Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.
Already a member? Sign In
Want to join? Sign Up