Tour and Backstage Stories

KELLY SLATER WINS VOLCOM PIPE PRO IN TRIPLE-OVERHEAD BARRELS

Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater (Florida, USA) has won the Volcom Pipe Pro in epic, triple-overhead barrels with a series of stunning performances that made the win seem inevitable from his first ride. This was Slater’s 66th Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) tour win, his eighth ASP victory at the Banzai Pipeline, and an inspiring start to his 24th season on the world tour. Slater celebrates his 42nd birthday next Tuesday.

Runner-up today, after a late charge in the final, was Brazil’s Wiggolly Dantas, 24. Third place was local boy Mason Ho, 25; and fourth was Adriano De Souza (26, Brazil). 

Slater ended the event with five of the top 10 wave scores of the competition, including a perfect 10 (10, 9.83, 9.77, 9.73 and 9.53). He also owned the top heat score of the event - 19.77 out of 20, posted in the Round of 32 this-morning. As the most decorated surfer at this most famous of all surfing locations, it’s events like these that allow Slater uncrowded “Pipe time” to finesse his performance. Unlike other professional athletes, surfers can never get private time at a competition venue; this is as close as it gets.

"This was some of the best Pipe I’ve ever surfed in my life," said Slater. "There were some really gnarly, intense, kind of vicious waves this morning. It was really doubling up, a new swell, it was a little bit wonky."

Reflecting back on his relationship with Pipeline: “I remember coming here when I was 12 years old, I met Joey Buran on the trail the morning after he won the Pipe Masters in 1984. I think back on that time… I came down here to watch and the first wave I saw just barreled and spat and I felt like this big door… this whole other world just opened up to me on that day. I fell in love with Pipeline that moment and it’s been my favorite wave ever since. And the challenge never ends. There were definitely waves out there today that I wish I had gotten and I couldn’t figure out how to do it.”

Mason Ho said his goal was second place today, apparently resigned to a Slater win. But by heat’s end he was surprised to find himself in with a shot. Slater had opened with a Backdoor beauty that earned him 9.53. Ho answered with a beautiful Backdoor ride of his own for 7.7. Then in the final minute of the heat, the one he’d been looking for arrived. But Backdoor seemed to pinch on him after a long, threading tube that could have turned the tables.
Meanwhile, Wiggolly Dantas logged two committed barrels of his own in the last five minutes that saw him leapfrog the young Hawaiian and steal second. Dantas’ best barrel in the final scored 8.27 and seemed a fitting conclusion to a string of impressive performances today.

Unfortunately for Adriano De Souza, he couldn’t replicate the late charges of earlier in the day and he finished in fourth with only 10.7 points. De Souza only caught the mandatory two rides, late in the heat, and never really got started.

Maui’s Olamana Eleogram looked to be on track for his second consecutive Volcom Pipe Pro final today, posting some of the highest wave scores in the round of 32. Then tragedy struck in the quarters when his cranked a hard bottom turn into a big barrel and got caught by the crashing lip of the wave. His board hit him and broke his leg. He had to be rescued from the water by Hawaiian Water Patrol, carried up the beach and escorted to hospital where he learned he will need surgery and pins.


The Volcom Pipe Pro is an extra special event for the local Hawaiian competitors, being that it is the official Pipe Masters Qualifier. The top eight Hawaiian competitors in the Volcom Pipe Pro will be rewarded with local seeds into the 2014 event, which is part of the Triple Crown series and wraps up the ASP World Tour in December.

GEISELMAN & COFFIN ELIMINATE FLORENCE WITH SPECTACULAR BARRELS AT VOLCOM PIPE PRO

Twenty year-old Floridian Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach) stole the show at the Volcom Pipe Pro today, eliminating defending event champion John John Florence (Hawaii) in solid 10-foot barrels with the highest heat score of the competition. Counting top scores of 9.63 and 8.9, Geiselman’s total of 18.53 out of 20 stands unbeaten. He is now one of 32 surfers remaining as the event prepares for its final day - likely to be either tomorrow or Wednesday. 

Geiselman and California’s Parker Coffin set to work early in their 25-minute, 4-man heat. Both of Geiselman’s waves consisted of critical, late air-drops into deep tubes before being blasted out by the blasting spit of the barrel. Coffin was also impressive with a 9.4 tube ride.

"I got that first one and I saw that it sparked everyone’s eyes," said Geiselman. "Then (Parker) got his and we just kind of put the pressure on John, and not having priority… it’s tough."

In the heat prior, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater (41, Florida) would have suffered the same fate as Florence had it not been for a late double barrel ride at Backdoor that he ultimately didn’t make. Fortunately, the first half of the ride earned enough points to edge him through with a total of only 10.6 points - uncharacteristically low for Slater at Pipe where he is regarded a “master”. He advanced in second behind an in-form Chris Ward (California).

RESULTS: 
Top 2 advance from each heat. All surfers from Hawaii unless noted otherwise.

Round of 64: (heats 13 of 16 held.)
H1: Olamana Eleogram; Fred Patacchia; Bino Lopes (BRA); Dege O’Connell.
H2: Tanner Gudauskas (USA); Brent Dorrington (AUS); Jesse Mendes (BRA); Joel Centeio.
H3: David Do Carmo (BRA); Dusty Payne; Adrien Toyon (FRA); Cristobal De Col (PER)
H4: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS); Leandro Usuna (ARG); Keanu Asing; Ian Gentil.
H5: Nathan Yeomans (USA); Kalani David; Lucas Silveira (BRA); Sidney Guimaraes (BRA)
H6: Charles Martin (GLP); Conner Coffin (USA); Dylan Goodale; Alex Smith.
H7: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA); Krystian Kymerson (BRA); Makai McNamara; Thiago Camarao (BRA)
H8: Chris Ward (USA); Kelly Slater (USA); Alex Gray (USA); Luke Davis (USA)
H9: Evan Geiselman (USA); Parker Coffin (USA); Michael February (ZAF); John John Florence.
H10: Kaito Kino; Maxime Huscenot (FRA); Billy Kemper; Tim Reyes (USA)
H11: Damien Hogbood (USA); Torrey Meister; Joan Duru (FRA); Mikey Bruneau.
H12: Kaito Ohashi (JPN); Brian Toth (PRico); Jean Da Silva (BRA); Makuakai Rothman.
H13: Jamie O’Brien; Guillermo Satt (CHL); Ezekiel Lau; Dale Staples (ZAF)

Remainder Round of 96 from last week:
H11: Torrey Meister; Makuakai Rothman; Matt-Lewis Hewitt (NZL); Sean Moody.
H12: Kaito Ohashi (JPN); Mikey Bruneau; Shun Murakami (JPN); Ian Walsh.
H13: Jamie O’Brien; Ian Gouveia (BRA); Kekoa Bacalso; Hairil Anwar (IND).
H14: Kai Barger; Guillermo Satt (CHL); Miguel Tudela (PER); Tanner Hendrickson.
H15: Hank Gaskell; Cory Arrambide (USA); Sunny Garcia; Kahea Hart.
H16: Reef McIntosh; David Van Zyl (ZAF); Gony Zubizarreta (ESP); Vasco Ribeiro (PORT)

VOLCOM PIPE PRO 2014

image

VOLCOM PIPE PRO WAITING PERIOD STARTS JANUARY 26TH, 2014!

The fifth annual Volcom Pipe Pro, an ASP 5-Star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, is setting up for another exciting showdown at the Banzai Pipeline. The contest waiting period will be from January 26th to February 7th, and with less than a week to go, the 112 warriors are getting ready to battle at one of the most dangerous waves on the planet. They will be fighting for $130,000 USD in prize money and valuable ratings points to kick off the 2014 season.

The Volcom Pipe Pro is an extra special event for the local Hawaiian competitors, being that it is a chance for non-World Tour surfers to gain entry in to the prestigious Pipe Masters. The top eight Hawaiian competitors in the Volcom Pipe Pro will be rewarded with local seeds in to the 2014 event, which is part of the Triple Crown series and wraps up the tour for the year.

Go to the official 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro website to watch the live HD webcast of the event.

SLATER WINS 7th BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS TITLE FANNING WINS 3rd ASP WORLD TITLE FLORENCE WINS 2nd VANS TRIPLE CROWN TITLE

Kelly Slater (USA), 41, has won his 7th Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons after a day of incredible 15-foot (four metre) waves at Pipeline today. Slater defeated John John Florence (HAW), 21, in a hard-fought, 35-minute Final that ended with less than half a point separating the two. The runner-up finish for Florence saw him crowned 2013 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion.

The final day of the Billabong Pipe Masters capped off the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season in fine style, with epic conditions providing the ideal backdrop for the crowning of Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, as the ASP World Champion. It also finalized the ASP Top 34 roster for 2014. Fanning finished third overall, defeated by Florence in their semi-final.

"It was a strange Final," Slater said, who pocketed $75,000 for the win. "John John (Florence) and I both waited for a while and neither of us really got a score until late in the match. I knew it was going to be a sprint and it was probably a little advantageous not to have priority in the Final as I was able to go for a lot of waves instead of wait for those that took a while to eventuate."

With tens of thousands packing the beach at Pipeline, and the gravitas of Slater’s 56th elite tour victory apparent, the greatest athlete the sport has ever produced was emotional on the final day of 2013.

"The crowd today is the biggest I have ever seen at Pipe," Slater said. "It’s unbelievable. I woke up in the dark and my friend Ross Williams was at my house saying he couldn’t even get his bike on the road to ride over here. We’re so excited to be here at Pipe, especially when the waves are good. All the people on the beach and online and watching on television make it that much more exciting."

Speculation surrounding Slater’s eventual departure from the ‘Sport of Kings’ has been present at the season-ending event for the past several years, often supported by questions regarding motivation, legacy and physicality. The iconic American addressed these rumors unprompted today while on stage collecting his seventh Billabong Pipe Masters trophy.

"Last year, someone asked me what excited me in the end years of my career and I said I would like to surf a Final at Pipe against John John (Florence) so that’s pretty special today," Slater said. "To win is even better. I want to surf against the best surfers at the best waves - that’s why I’m on tour. I was obviously emotional today, especially after Mick (Fanning) clinched the title in the Quarters. I don’t know what happens for me in 2014 but I think that has pissed me off just enough to come back."

"Today was one of the most special days in my life," Slater continued. "It’s a day I have dreamed about since I was a little kid - big, perfect, West-angled Pipeline and a showdown at the Pipe Masters. If I had stepped away from the sport five years ago, I wouldn’t have had today. I want more days like this so I’m definitely back next year."

Fanning’s road to the 2013 ASP World Title was nothing short of spectacular on the final day of competition. Finding himself behind during both his Round 5 and Quarterfinals bouts, the iron-nerved Australian nailed huge Pipeline scores in both occasions to take the heat wins and his third world surfing crown.

"I’ve never put myself in the same circles as Tom Curren and Andy Irons," Fanning said. "Tom (Curren) is such an enigma and was so instrumental to injecting style into our sport. Andy (Irons)…what hasn’t been said about Andy? He was such a legend and he was such a good friend. I’m honored to be a part of this group. I was happy with one title and I was overwhelmed with two. With three? I don’t have words for that."

This marked John John Florence’s second Vans Triple Crown Title, but forces him to hang on to his life-long dream of one day hoisting the Pipe Masters trophy. The youngster, who lives right here at Pipe, battled Slater with a series of exciting exchanges during the final 10 minutes, coming painfully close. He won $30,000 for his 2nd place, and $10,000 bonus for this Vans Triple Crown series title.

"This is my second Triple Crown but it feels pretty special," Florence said. "The first year, I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was young and just having fun. This year, I came into the Triple Crown wanting to win it, but I honestly didn’t think I had a chance until we got to the final day at Pipe. This result has me motivated for next year. It’s eating my inside how close I was, but I’m still stoked."

Brazil’s Gabriel Medina was awarded the Hawaiian Airlines AirShow Award - 250,000 Miles - for an incredible tube ride that he punctuated with a high-flying alley-oop.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 32, defending Billabong Pipe Masters Champion, took a Quarterfinals victory over Brazilian Miguel Pupo (BRA), 22, but fell to Kelly Slater in the Semifinals. Parkinson posted two solid scores of his own in the bombing Pipeline conditions, but was unable to put a stop to a near-perfect heat from Slater.

"I would have liked to make it to the final just to surf more perfect waves," Parkinson said. "Kelly was always in the right place and no matter where he paddled waves were coming to him. I never ruled myself out, because I knew if I could find a 10, then it’d be game on again. It was one of those ones where the two best surfers of the whole event ended up in the final together."

Kelly Slater may retire from the ASP World Tour after Pipeline

The 11-time world surfing champion has left a heavy statement, only a couple of days before entering the decisive heats of the 2013 surfing season.

At 41, Kelly Slater says it’s make or break. The Pipe Masters 2013 may put an exclamation mark in his long professional career.

"I would be real comfortable to retire if I won this contest. If I won this contest and I won the title together. That would be really the pinnacle of my career", says Slater.

"I am not going to say it’s not fun anymore, but if it’s going to be harder or impossible to beat a certain experience then maybe let go for other ones. That would be the dream result for me".

ASP WORLD TITLE HEATS UP AT BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS Florence Takes Vans Triple Crown Lead

The 2013 Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons resumed today in six foot (2 metre) barrels and there was no shortage of drama in the ASP World Title race between Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, and Kelly Slater (USA), 41. The Billabong Pipe Masters represents the pinnacle of the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour, deciding the ASP World Title, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and final slots for 2014 ASP WCT qualification.

Mick Fanning, two-time ASP World Champion and current No. 1, dominated his Round 3 clash with wildcard Kaimana Jaquias (HAW), 20, but unexpectedly erred in his three-man Round 4 heat against John John Florence (HAW), 21, and Nat Young (USA), 22. A last minute paddle battle with heat leader Florence in the closing seconds of the match took Fanning from second to third and now pits him against one of the best Pipeline surfers in the world: C.J. Hobgood (USA), 34, in Round 5. Meanwhile, Slater skips Round 5 and heads straight to the Quarterfinals after his Round 4 win.

Clearly disappointed with his misstep, Fanning couldn’t leave the beach fast enough. He wasn’t prepared to talk about how this affects his approach to the final day of competition, which looks like taking place on either Friday or Saturday in the largest swell of the period.

Kelly Slater was electric in his bid for an historic 12th ASP World Title, earning the highest heat-totals of both Round 3 and 4. Slater tore past Mitch Crews (AUS), 23, with a 17.66 out of 20 heat total for incredible Pipeline and Backdoor barrels and backed up the performance with a 17.50 out of 20 in Round 4.


"I was worried this-morning about the conditions," Slater said. "John John (Florence) and I were out trying to catch a couple of waves and I kind of thought ‘maybe we shouldn’t run, maybe we should wait and hour or two until it gets better.’ It seemed like it turned on during my heat and some kind of energy came through for me. I knew I had to make that heat, you can’t let those things escape your mind, that was the reality of the situation, but it’s not going to change how you go out there and perform. I had to go out there focused."

Florence, took an incredible come-from-behind victory in Round 3 against an on-fire Brazilian Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19. In need of an excellent ride in the dying minutes of the heat, he drove through an unbelievable Backdoor barrel, earning a near-perfect 9.83 for the ride to advance to Round 4.


"I was nervous when I found out Gabriel (Medina) was in my heat," Florence said. "I watched his heat yesterday and he was getting 8s on every wave and doing huge airs, so I was kind of freaked out. Days like this, you can’t be picky and I think I caught about 10 waves before I made one. I hit the bottom and was rattled until the end. That last backdoor wave was really perfect and once I came through the section it was just perfect and easy from there."

Florence used his momentum in Round 4 for another win and now takes the lead on the Vans Triple Crown Rankings - something that seemed an impossibility when he lost first heat back at the start of the series at Haleiwa.

"Last year I had a lot of pressure on me and I feel a lot more relieved this year," Florence said. "That heat came up against Gabe and I started feeling that pressure again, but now I’m just happy to have a little jump-start going. I’m just going to go out there and try and surf and get waves."

Yadin Nicol (AUS), 28, claimed two heat victories today, topping fellow Western Australian Taj Burrow (AUS), 35, in a close heat in Round 3 and would earn the second perfect 10 of Billabong Pipe Masters in Round 4. Nicol took off deep on a Pipe set wave and survived a critical drop followed by a perfect tube-ride to earn the flawless score and move on to the Quarterfinals.


Joel Parkinson (AUS), 32, reigning ASP World Champion and defending Billabong Pipe Masters champion, moved one step closer to a repeat victory today with a slow Round 3 heat win. Parkinson’s victory was bitter-sweet, however, as his victory dashed close friend Dusty Payne’s chances of requalification for the 2014 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT).

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.66 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.66
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.33 def. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 7.13
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.97 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.33
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 14.97 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.40
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 16.23 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.00
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.63 def. Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 6.27
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.76
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.77 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.17
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.66 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 3.30
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.33 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 10.96
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.10 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.67
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.56 def. Dusty Payne (AUS) 7.33

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 14.83, Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.96, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.84
Heat 2:John John Florence (HAW) 16.37, Nat Young (USA) 14.00, Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.51
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.56, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.17
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.77, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.57, Kai Otton (AUS) 7.60

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 5 MATCH UPS:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)

Current Vans Triple Crown Top 5:
1 - John John Florence (HAW) 10,600 points
2 - Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10,400 points
3 - Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10,100 points
4 - Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9,300 points
5 - Mick Fanning (AUS) 8,400 points

2013 SURFER POLL AWARDS RESULTS ARE IN Slater Wins His 19th SURFER Poll; John Florence Dominates Movie Categories

Last night the 44th Annual Surfer Poll Awards at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of O’ahu gathered the best surfers, filmmakers, and surf legends under one roof to honor the best films and performances of the year, as well as the Top 10 Men and Top 5 Women of the year, as voted by the readers of SURFER Magazine.

Each year the SURFER staff pores through all of the full-length films and web shorts produced that year, narrowing down hundreds of great rides and notable cinematographic moments to just a handful of nominees.  This year there was one surfer/co-director who dominated the movie categories: John John Florence. 


For the Men’s reader poll, it came as no surprise that once again Kelly Slater who took the No. 1 slot, making this his 19th Surfer Poll win since he first topped the list in 1993.

On the women’s side of the poll, it was Alana Blanchard who was voted into the top slot over current World Champion Carissa Moore (Women’s No. 3) and five-time World Champion Steph Gilmore (Women’s No 5). This is her first time winning the Women’s No. 1 award, up from No. 2 in 2012.

See below for the rest of the 2013 Surfer Poll winners.

SURFER Poll Men’s Top 10
  1.  Kelly Slater
  2.  John John Florence
  3.  Mick Fanning
  4.  Julian Wilson
  5.  Dane Reynolds
  6.  Jordy Smith
  7.  Joel Parkinson
  8.  Taj Burrow
  9.  Gabriel Medina
 10. Andy Irons

SURFER Poll Women’s Top 5
  1.  Alana Blanchard
  2.  Sally Fitzgibbons
  3.  Carissa Moore
  4.  Coco Ho
  5.  Stephanie Gilmore

A.I. Breakthrough Performer
Nat Young

Best Barrel
Didier Tinhin, from Tropically Yours

Worst Wipeout
Peter Craig, from Hallow Week

Heavy Water
Shawn Dollar

Best Documentary
Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, directed by Sam George

Best Short
Begin Again, directed by Blake Kueny and John John Florence

Best Performance
John John Florence in Done

Movie of the Year
Done, directed by Blake Kueny and John John Florence

EZEKIEL LAU WINS VANS WORLD CUP OF SURFING

Hawaii’s own Ezekiel Lau, 20, posted the largest victory of his young career today by winning the prestigious 39th annual VANS World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach.

Lau’s win earned him $40,000 and sees him close the year at 35th position on the ASP world rankings. While that doesn’t qualify him for next year’s elite World Championship Tour, it does guarantee him an excellent seed. He also holds a shared lead on the coveted Vans Triple Crown series rankings with Michel Bourez (Tahiti) heading into the third and final event of the series - the Billabong Pipe Masters, where he is a local wildard entry.

Lau made a late tube-riding charge from behind to turn the tables on Damien Hobgood (Fl., USA) and Raoni Monteiro (Brazil) in the latter half of the 30-minute final. Fourth place was Frederico Morais, 21 (Portugal), who was announced the JN Chevrolet Rookie of the 2013 Vans Triple Crown. Lau went on the hunt and found his way onto the biggest waves of the final that also offered high-scoring tube riding potential. His final scoreline was 15.5 points out of 20 (8.67 and 6.83 point rides). Hobgood was second on 14.3; Monteiro third with 12.33, and Morais on 7.16.