Softtops, 11am Tins, Last Minute Heroics & Much Leaderboard Shuffling - Stab Mag

Live Now: Episode 3 Of Stab In The Dark With Kolohe Andino

Can't argue with that. Pipe specialist and Hawaiian underground heavy, Kaulana Apo caught two waves of the best waves in the last heat of the men's today to secure his finals spot.

Softtops, 11am Tins, Last Minute Heroics & Much Leaderboard Shuffling

36 heads get axed on day two of the Vans Pipe Masters.

news // Dec 18, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 5 minutes


  • Eithan wears 46” boardies, channels Andy and summons Backdoor nug
  • Harry Bryant muscles first Backdoor pit, on the tins at 11am
  • Top 4 shuffles and swaps just about every heat
  • Wave of the day: Carissa Moore’s late-drop Backdoor drainer (29.5/30)
  • Laura Enever’s wipeout reel (& $1000 cash bonus)
  • JOB rode a catchsurf soft-top log and caught the best wave of his heat with a GoPro in his mouth
  • Kaulana Apo’s last second jump to first place in R2H10
  • Heaps of brown bags of cash getting around – very hood, I like it

Chart oracle and contest director Nate Fletcher called it this morning. “My prediction is that we’re in for an outstanding day of surfing”. He was bang on. Despite the odd slow heat, the day was packed with big performances and insightful commentary from the booth. 

Harry Bryant woke twenty minutes before the first heat of the morning, grabbed his 6’5” Tokoro, hobbled down to Banzai on a newly-reconditioned ankle, and packed his first proper Backdoor pit. “Was good to shake the monkey off my back and get a proper Backdoor wave,” he remarked in his post-heat interview, before washing down his W with an 11am Pale Ale. 

Eddie Rothman’s mid-sentence transition from explaining the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout format to his live sketch of Eithan’s Backdoor drainer is the kind of off-the-cuff unbleeped froth we need more of on the broadcast. “Ho, look at dis wave, lesgo. Ho, comin out, fuck yeah… that was a good wave”.

In heat two Billy Kemper and Eimeo Czermak both found combos that momentarily had them in the top four. Neither would stay there. Billy looked to be enjoying no-priority, finding three or four waves compared to everyone else’s one or two. Interestingly, Eimeo Czermak said he chose to be in a heat with Billy, and that Pipe is an easier wave than Teahupo’o. Two sizzling hot takes. Heat ended with Billy snapping his leash and a shaving cut on the chin courtesy of the Banzai barber.

Craig Anderson was nudged off a double up by Noah Beschen in heat three. Not sure who was technically “deeper” here but party waves should be encouraged IMO. Imaikalani Devault channeled his inner Johnny Boy Gomes to climb into the top 4, Yago backed him up in the next heat with the first proper tube-to-air combo of the event. 2/4 surfers in the final are from Volcom. Who said stones don’t emit magical powers?

Riss Moore, the most highly paid Red Bull surfer of all time courtesy of sweet performance bonuses (see HSGP ep 4), kicked off womens round one with a Backdoor clinic. Banked a mid-size tube followed by two turns early, then with a minute left, airdropped into a deep long Backdoor cavern and got blown to the shoulder. A 29.5/30 and one of the most memorable waves at Backdoor surfed by a female in competition. Red Bull accountant working Xmas day again…

Ladybird Bela Nalu burning Tati was also notable.

Bettylou and Caity traded off perfect mid-size tubes in heat three with much panache. Will be very interesting to see how these two fare in the Pipe Pro come Jan with all this early-season practice. Riss, Caity, Betty and Moana all winners of round one.

Kaulana Apo was the biggest upset of the day, moving from way down the rankings to first in the last minute of the last heat of the day with two staunch meat and potatoes Pipe bombs. 


Peak performance: Carissa Moore (R1H1), Joao Chianca R2H9, Kaulana Apo R2H10

Hit replay: Men’s H1R1, Yago jetski floater R2H4

Monster maneuvers:  

  • Eithan and Harry’s Backdoor waves
  • Yago tube to air-rev combo
  • Carissa Moore Backdoor tube
  • Laura Enever in the lip
  • Makana Pang 
  • Kaulana Apo

One-liners: “If you were smart, you wouldn’t be out there, you’d be watching the show” – Mason Ho

Laura Enever talks incredibly well for someone who subjects herself to so much head trauma. Threw herself off the top-ropes on multiple occasions in heat two. “Sorry Mum!” she caveated her post-heat interview with. Copped a $1000 cash bonus in a brown paper bag for her masochism that she’ll put towards her ‘prang with a Tacoma earlier in the week’.

Speaking of them brown paper bags – how gangster. Was kind of Makua to remind recipients to “keep them on the downlow” when getting around the several mile miracle.

That’ll pay for two visits to Foodland

Sophie Bell is a boss. One of the most low-profile competitors coming into this event who proved to be an absolute maniac with a magnetism on camera. Radiates good vibes and received a $500 cash prize for her savagery. “The rent in South Africa sucks, so this is a lot for me”.

Joao Chianca, Balaram Stack, Kaulana Apo and Griffin Colapinto through to the finals. Yes! Not the usual suspects and no one is complaining (lol jks). 


Caught behind: Craig Anderson, Mikey Feb (just)

Caught Inside: Billy Kemper – R2H2, Laura Enever, Sophie Bell

Say what? “Me and my gf thinking of starting an OnlyFans” – Koa Rothman on the livestream YT feed

Craig Anderson’s wave count is a let down. Would’ve loved to have seen some more of his fangs and ‘compete’ for some more quality waves. Then again, it’s probably why you’d much prefer to do an Indo trip with him than most other competitors. 

In a similar vein, seeing Mikey February momentarily crack the final cutline against a bunch of Pipe specialists was a super exciting prospect. Good to periodically remind yourself he’s surfed 15 CT events with his best result coming at Teahupo’o. Having said that, how else you gonna score Kaulana Apo’s postcard Pipe bombing?


What Next?

The next call for the VPM is tomorrow morning at 8 HST beginning with Round 2 of the women’s, then into the finals (all finals heats are one hour).


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Checking The Mail With Our SSOTY Winners

Gallery: "And the wooden block goes to..."

Feb 21, 2024

Why Did Sawyer Lindblad Get A Paddling Interference Today At Sunset, If Jack Robbo Didn’t In 2019?

A critical analysis of WSL judging past and present. 

Feb 21, 2024

Brisa Hennessy Has The Best Sunset Rizz, Caity + BLSJ Sample New Sticks

Day three recap of the Hurley Pro.

Feb 21, 2024

Stab In The Dark With Kolohe Andino, Episode 3

Four boards face off for two Finals spots and Jon Pyzel infiltrates the set to…

Feb 21, 2024

Can We Reverse Engineer The 100-Foot Wave?  

We calculated the buoy reading for the surf to reach triple digits.

Feb 20, 2024

Stab High Site + World Surfing Reserve Playa Hermosa Is Under Threat

What’s happening in Costa Rica?

Feb 20, 2024

Brazil + San Clemente Crumble, Florence Puts The Mandoline To Work

Ewing, Slater and Medina sliced on day two of the Hurley Pro @ Sunset.

Feb 19, 2024

Soupy Sunset Skewers Three Wildcards, Jordy Smith Nicks Top Score Donning A Single Bootie

Day one recap of the Hurley Pro.

Feb 18, 2024

The D-Bah Session Heard Around The Internet

Cue the arrival of Dane Henry.

Feb 17, 2024

What The Super Bowl Taught Us About Filipe, Carissa, And Steph

And how the WSL Finals may cost us even more champions.

Feb 16, 2024

Nathan Florence, Matt Meola, Rob Machado Start All-American Light Beer Company

"It's cheap, it's light, and you can drink it all day if you want. We’re…

Feb 16, 2024

Stab Edit Of The Year 2024: Sierra Kerr In “Pre-Kerrsor”

Plus, we ask Sierra if World Titles belong exclusively to Gen Z now.

Feb 16, 2024

Watch: The Emphatic Progression Of A 21-Year-Old Australian Surf/Skate Talent

Oscar Berry floats lofty rotations, compares boardsports, and reflects on the Melbourne wavepool contest.

Feb 15, 2024

A Pipe Hangover, A Mega-Swell, And An Old Guard Desperate For Validation

This is your 2024 Hurley Pro Sunset preview.

Feb 15, 2024

Full Frame: Two Nearby Spectators Ended Up On Kook Slams Shortly After This

James McKean tail taps Shippies’ bottom stair, image by Paul Hoelen. 

Feb 14, 2024

Post-Pipe Predictions: Millennial Women Won’t Win Another World Title + If It Swells (XXL) The Woz Is Riding It

The Stab team waxes prophetic.

Feb 13, 2024

Breaking: Filipe Toledo Withdraws From 2024 CT

“Competing at the highest level for the past decade has taken a toll on me,…

Feb 11, 2024

“Pipeline’s For The Fucking Girls” — Caity Simmers And Barron Mamiya Win First CT Event Of 2024

In undeniably top-tier Pipe/Backdoor.

Feb 11, 2024