Stab Magazine | Mason Ho downs De Souza as Italo sticks a dagger in Seabass
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Mason Ho downs De Souza as Italo sticks a dagger in Seabass

A day to remember for Oahu’s finest. 

news // Mar 28, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hawaiian wildcard, Mason Ho had a day to remember at Bells Beach, eliminating Jeremy Flores and reigning world champ, Adriano De Souza in rounds two and three respectively. The latter coming in  a high-pressure last second exchange, which Mason got the better of, flowing a couple arcs into a smooth end-section floater for an 8.17 and the win. 

“From everyone I hear the number two (second wave). It’s the same at Backdoor and a couple of places. That first one came and I’m like, oh, I’m was last in line. I was like, I’ll take this one, one or two, what do you want Adriano? Adriano went for one and I was like, cooooome on two, cooooome on two, and then I came over and there was two, and then I was thinking, come on whitewater and there was no white water, and then I don’t really remember the wave,” he says. 

Mason

Wildcard Mason Ho with nothing to lose

Photography

WSL

Requiring an excellent score on the buzzer, he could have been forgiven for caving into the pressure but Ho wasn’t feeling it.   

“The bigger the pressure the more I can pssssh turn it into nothing, just cause I grew up with pressure all my life with my dad and my uncle Derek, so I’ve always learned tricks to the pressure.”

“I remember when I was kid getting beat up by it, almost, in my head but then I got so many cool people around me that it never did. It made me so much stronger, and then I learned little pressure tricks, so these (contests) are fun, there’s really nothing to lose. And then you’re gonna put me against the best guys and it’s like, okay, so I’ve really got nothing to lose,” he said. 

DeSouza

The World Champ, beaten on the buzzer.

Photography

WSL

Brazilian Italo Ferreira also dropped a 9.33 on the last wave of his round three heat eliminating Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz. On a day of maxing, testing conditions big scores were handed out for quick reactions to oncoming sections and the ability to maste the treacherous end section. Ferreira’s high scoring ride was no exception, opening with a big hook out the back and a miracle floater to close. Fellow goofy foot and the man in the yellow jersey, Matt Wilkinson continued his remarkable winning streak in 2016, this time over rookie Kanoa Igarashi. Impeccable timing combined with the devastating backside blasts we’ve come to expect proved the magic recipe.

“Timing at Bells is pretty much everything. The sections go flat then pop up steep so quick. If you get in a rhythm of going straight up and down you end up going up to hit flat sections or big white washes. I think if you stand at the bottom and really hold your speed and wait and wait, and then when it perks up for you get up there and hit it. If you go up to early you get smoked by the whitewash. It’s all about timing,” he said, also pointing to the danger of the notorious end-section here.

Italo

Italo Ferreira dropped a 9.3 on his last wave.

Photography

WSL

“It’s really tough to finish and there’s so much going on on that end section. It’s super flat as you’re coming in and jacks up really quick but sometimes backs off and there’s backwash, and side wash, and all kinds of stuff going on, and a rock platform to be scared of.”

“A lot of people have been going up super early and doing a real safe turn. A few people have connected perfectly and a lot of people have gone up late and gotten absolutely flogged. So I was trying to get the best of both worlds and still hit it and not get too smoked. I fell on a couple and made a couple,” he said.

Wilko

More backhand attack from Matt Wilkinson.

Photography

WSL

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