Can An Uncompetitive Air Guy Who Doesn't Surf Pipeline Win The Vans Pipe Masters? - Stab Mag

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Can An Uncompetitive Air Guy Who Doesn’t Surf Pipeline Win The Vans Pipe Masters?

Matt Meola could spin his way to the top.

cinema // Nov 12, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: < 1 minute

If it weren’t for the leaderboard, Matt Meola wouldn’t be here. 

As Matt made explained in episode two of Vans Stab High Indonesia, he’s not a fan of conventional competitive surfing. Nor does he dabble at (crowded) Pipeline. But when he heard about the non-elimination leaderboard format for the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, and a new scoring criteria that rewards rides above and below the lip, even a self-proclaimed noncompetitive aerialist who grew up surfing “crap” couldn’t turn down the invite. 

Along with Rio Waida, Craig Anderson, Mikey February, Harry Bryant, Noa Deane, and the Vans Stab High Winner (TBD), Matt and the rest of the Vans Pipe Masters Misfits are essentially wildcards who could either run rampant up the leaderboard or burn out in a foamball of glory. 

Matt’s skillset makes him an intriguing competitor. His ability to launch into the flats with alarming regularity is unquestioned. But he’s also astute enough to know that there are plenty of guys on (and off) the list who have dedicated their lives to this wave. Will he be able to figure out Pipeline’s lineup? Or will others take advantage of his lack of experience?

Either way, we’ll be watching. Sometime between December 8 and 20, Matt will break his Pipeline celibacy and attempt to land something loony on that oft-ignored end section. Hit play above for some candid insights from Matt, including how surfing crappy waves in his youth helped him land whatever the hell tries today, why the Pipeline crowd ain’t for him, and how taking off where most guys kick out could help him win $100K. 


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