Overhead and offshore at the Volcom Pipe Pro
All photos by the WSL / Tony Heff After one lay day, the Volcom Pipe Pro kicked off. The event tends to be one of the more exciting stops on the QS… because it’s Pipe and it features the Pipe specialists we don’t get to see on the CT. Also guys like John John Florence and Kelly Slater […]
All photos by the WSL / Tony Heff
After one lay day, the Volcom Pipe Pro kicked off. The event tends to be one of the more exciting stops on the QS… because it’s Pipe and it features the Pipe specialists we don’t get to see on the CT. Also guys like John John Florence and Kelly Slater make their way into the competition. As the morning got underway the tunnels kept on coming. The surf was clean eight to ten foot and light offshore winds kissing the lips of Pipe and Backdoor.
Kai Mana Henry, the recently crowned champ of the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout surfed his way into round three in heat five with an 8.93 and a 1. Throughout the first round the heat scores were generally pretty low. The most common case was one big score backed by a little one. The waves were open at takeoff but many were clamping towards the channel, making finding a good one a challenge.
Kai Mana Henry sliding into a proper one for a big score.
Koa Smith put up two back to back 9’s for the highest heat score of the day, a 18.67 in round two and breezed into round three. Gavin Beschen and Balaram Stack are the two set wildcards. Mr Stack’s faced up against John John in the third round. The other wildcard slot had to be battled for in the six man qualifier heat. Tom Dosland, Kawai Lindo, JD Irons, Dave Wassel, Derek Ho and Koa Rothman fought for the remaining wildcard position. Koa Rothman found a deep tunnel for an 8.33 and will be continue competing in the event.
Bruce Irons will forever be one the best ever at Pipe.
Round two heat four was exciting, although the heat totals all remained below a total of ten. Makua Rothman and Seth Moniz held the lead for the majority of the heat. Then in the dying seconds Torrey Meister and Bruce Irons split a peak, Bruce knifed one for a 7.17 and Torrey picked up a 5.27. It was enough to get them into the first and second spots.
Italy’s Leo Fioravanti, who broke his back during last year’s event breezed through his heat with two decent scores. The kid’s healed up and has been surfing better than ever. He’ll be one to watch as the season carries on.
There’s solid swell in the forecast and it looks like we’ll be seeing more action as the weekend progresses.
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