Hawaii’s legendary ‘Pipe‘ delivers the biggest contest swell ever! When the sun came up today . . . surfers on the North Shore were welcomed with a 15-foot swell with 18-foot sets. To paddle out in this type of swell you have to be fully committed on every paddle or you could be looking at serious injury.
The Andy Irons dedicated Pipeline Masters contest and last stop on the WCT for 2011 got underway with fireworks, barrels, wipeouts, broken boards and busted shoulders. 2nd reef Pipeline was definitely breaking and some of the local Hawaiians were charging it during their heats.
Local standouts John Florence (the artist formerly known as John John), Marcus Hickman, Evan Valiere, Ian Walsh, Mason Ho and Jamie O’Brien took the lineup by storm showing surreal calm in the exploding madness that was the Pipeline lineup today.
Florence and Marcus were two of the standouts among the top performers today along with Valiere who had the highest heat total of the day with a two-wave total of 18.16. Florence scored a perfect 10 with a fearless style on a bomb wave. He took down fellow Hawaiian Kai Barger with a two-wave total of 18.07.
Tanner Gaudaskas got the Iron Man of the day award (made up) by breaking two boards and a leash in his first round heat. 3 paddle outs and 3 boards busted up in these conditions is pushing the limits of human endurance. That is what happens when you get caught with an outside set breaking in front of you . . . you can’t dive deep enough.
The contest will resume with conditions in the ‘epic realm’ and it will be great to see the WCT guys take on the Pipe specialists. This contest is wide open with this type of swell. It is gut check time. How bad do you want it!?
Round 3 is kicking off next . . .stay tuned.
“Surfing a wave is like getting kissed by God . . .” ANDY IRONS
~P. Franklin / GUERRILLA SURF