Power Rankings: Morgan Maassen's Pipeline Prize Ponies
"Like that old Jeff Goldblum film, 'The Fly,' if you took Bobby Martinez and Justin Bieber and put them in a teleportation machine, would you get Gabby?"
Let me reverse my Mercedes Benz over a dead horse a bit more and state, on the record, that I sold my soul to the world beyond the surf industry a couple years ago…
But boy, do I love to follow it through my Corona-tinted glasses!
Do I have anything to lose, ruminating publicly on Stab, what I normally grumble in the confines of my office? We’ll see next week how fast I can run down the bike path as Rico Jiminez chases, fuming about a Poi joke I made in confidentiality with Dooma at Surfer The Bar.
Oh, Kelly, that fire! Photo by Morgan Maassen
29. Kelly Slater
The King, the GOAT, Kelly Slater. I think that, if the sky is sunny, the swell overhead, the reef and sand shapely at Backdoor, we might see his return with a favorable heat draw. Kelly has gone full Elon Musk on us and is growing like a black-hole, not just building brands but building the second coming of surfing.
For him to grace Surfer Poll, have a couple fun surfs at Pupukea, it's a petty venture, but as a creature of habit he will be there…
17. Kala Alexander
The WSL has now almost completely descended on the North Shore, and I have not heard of anything happening after the Kala-led rally at Haleiwa last month, calling for more Hawaiian wildcards. I’ve been busy the last several weeks and have not followed up on who did what to broker any sort of deal, so I am holding my breath that some drama goes down and surfing stays real, laying the framework for the farmers of Lemoore to rally for more wildcards in 2018.
11. Brent Beilmann
Not only a talented photographer who can sit deep on the bowl at Pipeline, but quite possibly the hottest eligible bachelor in the surf world now that Julian is married. Have you seen the photos he’s been posting of himself on-top that mountain peak? This guy is going to get Hurley buyouts of John John all day, and have his pick of the litter any and every night on the 7-mile miracle. Color me jealous.
9. Filipe Toledo
My favorite surfer and the least adept to win this contest. But, by the grace of our divine Deus, may he grant us the conditions of Bede’s win in 2007 to usher Filipe on to the stage. Sadistically, I would almost love for a full-rotation into the flats to win the Pipe Masters, because you couldn’t script this.
4. Stephanie Gilmore
In the Triple Crown, there will be winners, there will be losers, there will be people who are welcomed to the tour and those that fall off. But Stephanie circumnavigates all of that, enjoying a couple weeks of luxury after her Honolua win, ukulele in one hand, mai tai in another. Her rating jumps even higher if Pupukea sees fun-sized swell and she brought her DHD twinny, because that entails us to some goddamn good surfing.
3. Jordy Smith
While Filipe is my favorite to watch, Jordy is just… the end all. I don’t know how to explain it otherwise; there is just no one I want to see succeed more. His power is captivating, and when he surfs in real waves, nothing comes close. His turn at 22:09 at Periscopes in Modern Collective still freaks me out, almost a decade later. I feel the same way watching him now as I did a young teen watching Andy surf on the shoddy webcasts, and Tom Curren before that in the Search videos or in person at Rincon. The true pinnacle of surfing. I want the waves to be big and nasty and I want Jordy to go out there and surf like his life depends on it.
2. Gabriel Medina
Like that old Jeff Goldblum film, The Fly, if you took Bobby Martinez and Justin Bieber and put them in a teleportation machine, would you get Gabby? I know he is the proverbial punching bag of the US/Australian internet commenter alliance, but when he is on, he is on. He has a shot at the title and will be the freak to beat in any conditions Pipeline throws at us. I am as excited for him to surf amazingly (by his own standards) as I am worried my South African stallion won’t clinch the title.
1. Bad Boy Ry Ry
The real winner of this winter in Hawaii will be Ryan Miller. Up at 5 am and emailing until midnight, this guy puts all of us to shame. Julian sneaking a barrel on a stormy evening at Off The Wall? Australia Surfing Life cover. John John riding down the bike path? Hurley sandal ad. Filipe’s air at waist high Rocky’s? Double page spread in Revista Hardcore. It is never-ending. He only flies first class, Kai Borg is his personal trainer, and his supplemental income from a seasonal ice cream store makes even the salaries of Quiksilver’s top brass look laughable. All the while rocking a rainbow banana hammock and a glass of Foodland’s finest Cabernet.