Stab Magazine | Seth Moniz Talks Us Through That Dirty Pipe Air Section
399 Views

Seth Moniz Talks Us Through That Dirty Pipe Air Section

Seth’s backside full rote got him past Owen Wright in last year’s Pipe Masters. Are the scoring standards changing?

vtcs // Mar 3, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

With supporting quotes from John Florence, Kelly Slater, and Noa Deane, we used our Vans Pick-Up platform to declare Pipe and Backdoor as nouveau “air waves”. 

“There’s just unlimited power,” said Noa Deane. “The best airs are the ones on the biggest sections.”

“It’s got amplitude and occasionally the perfect wind to hold your board and create the perfect section,” Slater added. 

“It will put you so high,” Florence concluded. “It will put you in places you never wanted to be.”

Then the 2018/19 North Shore season came around, and we got to see what they were talking about first-hand. 

Barron Mamiya nearly stomped a massive full-roter after a classic Pipe tube (you’ll see that below). Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina both attempted (and stuck) punts in the 2018 Pipe Masters final (also below). And Seth Moniz used a barrel-air combo to get past Owen Wright in his first-ever CT appearance. 

We decided to catch up with Seth, and hear how that one punchy section might change the future of Pipeline surfing. 

Stab: In thinking about Pipe as an air section, we can’t get your Pipe Masters wave out of our minds. Would you tell us a little bit about that?
Seth Moniz: That morning at the Pipe Masters, the waves weren’t that good, but there were a few tubes around. I had that heat with Owen Wright, and it was actually pretty slow. That was the first wave I got and there was only like 12 minutes left. So I got the barrel – it was an alright barrel, I just wanted to make sure I made it out – and then I thought, “Oh, should I kick out?” Everybody kicks out after a Pipe barrel to get back out to the lineup. So it was pretty much kick-out or try an air, and I decided to try an air. 

I think that’s the future of Pipe surfing – just finishing off with a big air. Some people think it’s unnatural to do an air at Pipe, especially since you’re on a bigger board, but to me it’s exciting. Pipe will always be about the barrel, but there’s no reason you can’t add some progression to the mix… especially when it’s only like six feet.

And how big was the board you did that on?
I was riding a 6’2. 

Do you feel pretty comfortable trying airs on bigger boards?
No, actually. A lot of people came up to me after and were like, “You must try those all the time, you looked so natural,” but I rarely try airs on bigger boards. I feel like in contests, stuff like that just comes out of you. Look at what Griffin did at Haleiwa a few years back. If that was a freesurf, no way he was going for that. Or I don’t know, maybe he would have [laughs]. 

But I was riding a pretty small board for that day too. I think normally guys are on 6’4s and 6’6s when Pipe’s that size. I’m a lot smaller than most of the other guys too. Especially Owen. I like to ride shorter boards, though, I think that’s the new school way of riding Pipe. I think Barron’s been on 6’2s when it’s maxed-out Pipe (see below). I don’t know how he does it. When it’s maxed-out I’ll be riding my 6’6. But it’s all about that paddling power. If you have good paddling power, I guess you can ride a 6’2 out there. 

Yeah, and then when you get a good end section, you must feel way more comfortable on a smaller board. 
Yeah exactly. John’s riding tiny boards too, it seems like. And you’ve seen what he can do out there (see video above). But yeah, if you’re on a smaller board, the wind on the North Shore is perfect for airs on the lefts. That’s why John and Barron are both so good at backside punts.

And what about the ramp itself at Pipe? It seems like once it goes into that sandbar section it gets really steep and sick. 
Yeah, you just come flying out of the barrel with so much speed, and you just get hooked into a crazy wedge. Sometimes it’s too gnarly, like just a sucking-up barrel coming at you from Ehukai, but my wave it was kinda just a perfect launch pad with a nice landing. And you’ll get those cushion landings sometimes. I think Balaram a few years back did a pretty sick combo – he got a roll-in tube then straight into an air reverse. Pretty sick. 

And then on Kona wind days, Backdoor looks pretty mental for airs too. 
Oh yeah. Backdoor, when the wind is good – that’s one of the best air waves in the world. I think John’s done of his big airs in his movies out there. It’s basically a wave that wants to barrel, but when it gets the Kona winds it offers this perfect, steep ramp. It’s really good for flips and alleyoops. 

Do you ever paddle out at Pipe on smaller days just to do airs?
When the swell is super north, a lot of guys will go out to surf Backdoor and do some turns, but the left actually has a really sick ramp. I don’t go out there too much when it’s like that, but the ramps are definitely there if you want them.  

We saw Gabriel and Julian both doing airs in the Pipe Masters final this year. Julian landed a full-rotation, but it wasn’t enough to get past Medina’s Backdoor tubes. Do you think airs should be taken more seriously in “barrel” competitions, or are they fairly judged at the moment?
It just depends on the day. If it’s bombing Pipe, I don’t really think airs should be scored super high. It’s a hard decision, because you get those guys that are getting blown out of 10-foot barrels, and then how do you compare that to a sick air on the end bowl? The barrel will always be the precedent at Pipe, but I think airs can add to that. Excellent surfing is excellent surfing, and I think that definitely includes airs.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hDABgdpVJUE

 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On An Oscar Lungburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022

Where You Should Be In Europe Right Now

An overview of the region's greatest hits.

Sep 25, 2022

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022

5:27

Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022
Advertisement