5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters
Who’s out, who’s in?
With the event window for the Vans Pipe Masters less than a week away, and the population of the North Shore rapidly swelling, we’re getting pretty damn excited for the return of top tier competitive surfing.
With a unique (and half-Hawaiian) field of invitees, a no-priority leaderboard format, and an equal emphasis on tubes, turns and airs, the VPM will be the first event of its kind. And even if you’re uncertain about the new format, you know you’re gonna watch for the unorthodox list of invitees. People like Craig Anderson, Harry Bryant, Matt Meola, and Rasta Rob facing off against Pipeline regulars and regulators will be a surfing spectacle to behold — especially with $100,000 on the line.
As often happens, a handful of surfers have pulled out from the competition for a variety of reasons. Below are the surfers who’ve withdrawn and their exciting new replacements.
On the men’s side of the draw, Filipe Toledo, Gabriel Medina, and Italo Ferreira have all pulled out due to injury.
Fortunately, their replacements leave little to be desired. Griffin Colapinto, Yago Dora, and Mikey Wright will be filling their spots. Essentially, three guys you wouldn’t want in your heat got replaced by three guys you also wouldn’t want in your heat.
The possibility of a Griff v. Crosby no-priority heat certainly piques our interest, as does the thought of watching Mikey Wright swing on the darkest Backdoor mutant of the day. Or maybe he’ll look left and spin to oblivion.
Meanwhile, Yago Dora surfs Pipe like a modern-day Gerry Lopez. All style in the tube, with eyes fixed on the end section. Prediction: he’ll stick the biggest air of the comp.
Just two women have pulled out of the event, both due to scheduling conflicts. Malia Manuel and Stephanie Gilmore won’t be surfing in the Vans Pipe Masters, and they’ll be replaced by youngsters Gabriela Bryan and Molly Picklum.
A comeuppance of the new generation, if you will.
It’s never too early to start putting in the time at Pipeline, especially for Molly and Gabriela, who are just beginning their CT careers. As Parker Coffin showed us this January, an hour-thirty at empty Pipe is worth an entire winter with a packed lineup. Better make it count!
Below is the full updated list of invitees:
Carissa Moore, Moana Jones-Wong, Coco Ho, Zoe McDougall, Betty Lou Sakura Johnson, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Pua DeSoto, Bethany Hamilton, Aelan Vaast, Caity Simmers, Sierra Kerr, Tyler Wright, Bella Nalu, Vahine Fierro, Maluhia Kinimaka, Luana Silva, Sophie Bell, and Laura Enever, Gabriela Bryan, Molly Picklum.
Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Griffin Colapinto, Mikey Wright, Yago Dora, Billy Kemper, Koa Smith, Mason Ho, Nathan Florence, Ivan Florence, Shayden Pacarro, Eli Hanneman, Makana Pang, Koa Rothman, Eli Olson, Jamie O’Brien, Matt Meola, Noah Beschen, Imaikalani deVualt, Jackson Bunch, Kala Grace, Kaulana Apo, Tosh Tudor, Eimeo Czermak, Kauli Vaast, Balaram Stack, Nic Von Rupp, Joao Chianca, Al Cleland Jr, Shane Sykes, Crosby Colapinto, Riaru Ito, Matt Meola, Rio Wada, Craig Anderson, Mikey February, Harry Bryant, Noa Deane, and Rasta Rob.
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