Stab Magazine | That shifty devil we call Backdoor

That shifty devil we call Backdoor

Forecasts barely made good on their promises of a solid North Shore swell today. The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons ran a dual-heat format to get through the first two rounds of competition in slowly-deteriorating Backdoor/Gums. It was a far cry from the classic, 12-foot west-swell Pipe that the event’s been famously […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Forecasts barely made good on their promises of a solid North Shore swell today. The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons ran a dual-heat format to get through the first two rounds of competition in slowly-deteriorating Backdoor/Gums. It was a far cry from the classic, 12-foot west-swell Pipe that the event’s been famously treated to in the past

Today was owned by the young guns and rookies, with Matty Wilkinson, Dusty Payne and John Florence being some of the main stand-outs. Wilko took down Hawaiian Clay Marzo in round one, then formulated some strong backside combos against an unlucky Brett Simpson, who snapped two boards during the heat. Wilko will face defending Pipe Master Taj Burrow in the first heat of round three. Dusty Payne defeated wildcard Kiron Jabour in round one, before snagging a rogue tunnel at Gums (which he thanked Andy Irons for sending him) to oust Tiago Pires. John Florence asserted his local knowledge of the iconic break, defeating Australian tour-veterans Kai Otton and Dean Morrison. Shane Dorian (who brought some well-needed knowledge and assertion to the commentator’s box), joked that Dingo would be more comfortable if there were 100 guys out, as he grew up surfing packed Gold-Coast line-ups. John Florence’s good fortune may meet a cul-de-sac tomorrow when he faces Kelly Slater.


Joel Parkinson, 29, also put in a strong performance today to remain in the lead of the Vans Triple Crown. In his first world tour event back since injury, Parko spent 40 minutes paddling, catching waves out of necessity to beat the rip: “I had to get a lot of waves to get out of the current. It was like a 40-minute paddling treadmill. I just caught waves to stay out of the current.”

Parko is thrilled to be back in competition after spending so much time on the couch with a healing foot: “To get back in the water at Haleiwa, I was just stoked to be surfing. I kept saying to myself, regardless of the outcome, win lose or draw I’ll have a smile on my face because I just want to surf heats.”

The results of today’s competition will mean that Raoni Monteiro, Josh Kerr, Alejo Muniz and Julian Wilson have all secured their spots on next year’s dream tour.

Stab caught up with Luke Egan, who answered the phone at the Billabong house and summed-up his impressions of the day:

“The waves weren’t very good. Apart from the odd one, it was pretty average. In the earlier heats there were some pretty good barrels. I’m just watching the last heat now (Dan Ross vs. Adam Melling), it’s actually moved up to Gums, it’s not even out at Backdoor. But yeah, there wasn’t a whole lot going on this afternoon. Joel surfed well… there was nothing really special, everyone just did what they needed to do to get through. Today there were a lot of low scores. Everyone’s in the same boat with the swell. It’s always a bummer when it’s not 10-12 foot west. It’s not so much worrying, just a bit of a let-down that there’s not a big swell coming.
“The swell’s coming up from the north, which is the worst swell for Pipe that you can possibly have. Especially with the amount of sand there is. The beach is massive right now, there’s heaps of sand so it’s pretty spread-out. But it was a beautiful day and there was a big crowd. There’s ‘sposed to be some really radical weather tomorrow. It’s meant to be pouring rain, so if it’s really wet and the same surf conditions as this afternoon I’d say they’ll hold off, especially with two rounds completed. The technology’s great so everyone knows what conditions are coming, everyone understands. I didn’t hear one guy whinge about the swell today.”


For the live webcast click here.

Heat 1:
 Adam Melling (AUS) 14.50 def. Kamalei Alexander (HAW) 11.66
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.50 def. Clay Marzo (HAW) 4.23
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 14.50 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 12.20
Heat 4: Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.10 def. Kiron Jabour (HAW) 9.30
Heat 5: Ian Walsh (HAW) 13.24 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 7.50
Heat 6: Danny Fuller (HAW) 8.57 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 7.36
Heat 7: Dave Wassell (HAW) 12.17 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 3.63
Heat 8: Luke Munro (AUS) 13.50 def. Shane Dorian (HAW) 13.33
Heat 9: Gabe Kling (USA) 11.10 def. Kalani Chapman (HAW) 5.40
Heat 10: Rob Machado (USA) 11.37 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 9.66
Heat 11: Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.46 def. Joel Centeio (HAW) 8.14
Heat 12: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 13.83 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 3.33

Heat 1: 
John John Florence (HAW) 10.00 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 3.03
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.70 def. Ian Walsh (HAW) 9.83
Heat 3: Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.00 def. Danny Fuller (HAW) 3.76
Heat 4: Dave Wassell (HAW) 9.33 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 5.40
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.67 def. Rob Machado (USA) 10.57
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.83 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 5.84
Heat 7: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.40 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 8.53
Heat 8: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.27 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 4.87
Heat 9: Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.94 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 8.83
Heat 10: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.16 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 2.70
Heat 11: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.47 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 2.90
Heat 12: Adam Melling (AUS) 11.67 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 8.94

Heat 1: 
Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 5: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. David Wassell (HAW)
Heat 10: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)


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