“The Best Pipeline I’ve Ever Seen In Competition”
Day one, capped.
And we’rrrrreeee back.
The Bong Pipe
Masters Pro. Major rebranding dilemma, like being asked the date on New Year’s day.
Will the winner of this year’s event be added to the Pipe Masters Wikipedia page? Not sure. Kinda confusing. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Nobody’s winning the comp on day one, however four people did lose.
Let’s dive in.
First up, highlights: Owen Wright’s morning glory, Wade Tokoro’s magical Pipe blades, Seth Moniz’s dreamy park laps, Jack Robbo’s tube technique, Jordy Lawler’s almost-cigar keg he swooped into in the final three minutes, the re-qualifiers, Shaun White? Also, the waves. Everyone from Ross Williams to Shane Dorian said this was the best Pipeline they’d seen in competition. Heavy claim but we’ll take their word for it.
Lowlights: LOB’s angry foot, traffic, awkward Gerry Lopez interlude, rude cunts, reggaeton.
Let’s dissect the day.
Kicking off proceedings this morning we had the tall people heat featuring CT surfers over the height of 6’1” (sans Frederico Morais). 6’3” Owen Wright, 6’2” Jordy Smith, and 6’2” Zeke Lau. The tallest person won, convincingly.
O-doggy Wright, the 22’ wildcard replacement returned to the spot that almost killed him in 2015, head encased in Gath, and pulled into a sensational cone within the first 20 seconds and got an equally sensational score of a… 7.10. Was really a 9.87. The ensuing passive agressive quarrel between Ross Williams and Richie Porta (WSL Head Judge) was fantastic. Dig your heels in and don’t give an inch, boys.
O-dog backed it up with a 6.17 and skipped merrily on to Round 3, Zeke Lau in tow.
Second heat of the morning featured young blood: Griffin Cola, Matt McGill, Jords Lawler. Jordy only found out he was surfing this morning, and had little to no practice pre-comp. His first wave, a straight-hander, had him looking a little lost. He redeemed himself the following round, after dropping into a Jumbo-sized Alley cathedral in the final few minutes and getting blown into the channel. Didn’t have a backup, thus lost, but it was a valiant first CT appearance no less.
Heat three saw a freshly-Hurley-stickered Connor O’Leary pillage the tube buffet, while Caio and freshly-Redbull-stickered Morgs sniffed around for a wave of sustenance. Huey decided it was time they intermittently fasted. Hungry Morgz into the elimination round, and eventually out. A parched Caio, stumbled into round 3.
Do you call Barron Mamiya a darkhorse? Second place in the Pipe trials, non-official winner of Snapt 4, + homefield advantage? Either way, guy put on a clinic in heat four. Two dandy tubes, an equally dandy heat total of 16.57. My pick for a high-risk, high-return wildcard bet.
Heats 5, 6, 8 were non-remarkable.
Heat 7 however, was awesome. “I’m kind of speechless RN. I had so much fun out there,” said Seth Moniz who got not two, but four incredible backlit Pipe caverns that he rode with aplomb. He also praised Wade Tokoro for making the best pipe boards, which were probably under 30% of the tour’s feet today.
Heat 9 saw JJF vs Jadson vs João. Triple J, if you will. “Jaddy is so sendy,” said Rosy Hodge after Jadson nosedived. But let’s just simmer on that statement for a moment.
Joao Chumbinho, who Mikey C tipped as a Rookie upset, and who another CT surfer described as “taking off on the stupidest waves” post-wipeout con cave, exercised fine judgment today, notching an 8.43, 6.47 for ripping two incredible, densely packed cones. JJF had two uncanny incompletions this morning, before deciding it was time to play seriously and fetched a 17.13 heat total.
Last honorable mention goes to Jack Robbo, who pinned not just young calf, Lucca Mesinas, to the canvas, but also almost-50 goat, Kelly Slater with arguably the best tube-riding skills on the planet. He, John, Kelly, proper nek level in the big stuff.
That’s all folks, swell should be smaller tomorrow, but not measly. The North Shore in winter seldom does measly, and I pray for a day of waves sub scary-height to no avail.
Heat 1: Owen Wright DEF Zeke Lau DEF Jordy Smith
Heat 2: Griffin Cola DEF Matt McGill DEF Jordy Lawler
Heat 3: Connor O’Leary DEF Caio Ibelli DEF Morgan Cibilic
Heat 4: Barron Mamiya DEF Connor Coffin DEF Jake Marshall
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira DEF Callum Robson DEF Miguel Tudela
Heat 6: Felipe Toledo DEF Samuel Pupo DEF Ivan Florence
Heat 7: Seth Moniz DEF Kanoa Igarashi DEF Carlos Muñoz
Heat 8: Jackson Baker DEF Miguel Pupo DEF Frederico Morais
Heat 9: John Florence DEF Joao Chianca DEF Jadson Andre
Heat 10: Jack Robinson DEF Kelly Slater DEF Lucca Messinas
Heat 11: Ethan Ewing DEF Kolohe Andino DEF Imai Kalani Devault
Heat 12: Nat Young DEF Leo Fioravanti DEF Deivid Silva
Heat 1: Ivan Florence DEF Lucca Messinas DEF Morgan Cibilic
Heat 2: Jordy Smith DEF Miguel Tudela DEF Imaikalani Devault
Heat 3: Jake Marshall DEF Frederico Morais DEF Jordy Lawler
Heat 4: Carlos Muñoz DEF Deivid Silva DEF Jadson Andre
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