Pua DeSoto Will Have A Pipeline Trial By Combat - Stab Mag

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A tough draw, but Nathan Fletcher picked Pua DeSoto for a reason.

Pua DeSoto Will Have A Pipeline Trial By Combat

The westside champ heads north.

cinema // Nov 10, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: < 1 minute

From the sound of the first horn, Pua DeStoto will have her work cut out for her at the Vans Pipe Masters.

When Nathan Fletcher handpicked the 17-year-old Hawaiian to be in the event’s first heat, it meant she’d share three 30-minute-long bouts with Tatiana Weston-Webb, Moana Jones-Wong and Tyler Wright. That’s two former Pipeline champs and one of the best goofs on the CT when waves get square. With the new leaderboard format, Pua doesn’t need two scores to advance past her competitors, but she will have to battle (with no priority) for the best waves across multiple heats over the event window (December 8-20).

“I feel like she’s coming into her own,” Nathan said. “And I want to be on the beach with her family cheering for her.”

Pua, who co-hosted The Pick Up last winter, has spent a lot of time learning Pipeline’s nuances (and being humbled by them) over the last several seasons. A few months ago, she was kind enough to show Stab and Vans around her Makaha home on the Oahu’s West Side. Watch above as she discusses her family’s role in preserving and legalizing the Hawaiian language, dissects the growing women’s scene at Pipeline, and dusts off more than a handful of NSSA trophies.

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