After riding maybe the best Pipe wave... ever!
First and foremost, let’s take a moment of silence for Koa Rothman’s Pipe bomb.
This ride disrupts every notion I had about tuberiding. When you pull into a wave that deep, the internal shockwave rips out the floor and brings every ounce of flesh and fiberglass along with it. That Koa somehow rode through or above that turbulence defies all laws of surfing.
The only conceivable explanation is that he got slightly airborne off the initial foamball bounce, allowing him to more or less levitate over the explosions (see 2:23 on the video below for a channel-view). I don’t know, it doesn’t make sense. No point trying to intellectualize a fluke.
Now to the event. The Da Hui Backdoor Shootout has no website, nor can I locate any concrete info on the format or scoring system across a host of surf sites. I did watch it for an hour on a random Youtube link, and here’s what I gathered:
Brands buy into the event and present a four-man team in order to compete. Those four guys surf empty Pipe together for an indeterminate number of rounds, trying to accumulate as many great rides as possible. Waves are judged on a 12-point(?) scale, and at the end of all the rounds the team scores are accumulated and a winner is decided.
This year Weedmaps captured the team win with a crew of Bruce Irons, Tyler Newton, Mason Ho and Nate Fletcher. Dirt Nasty had to miss the event for “personal reasons”.
Meanwhile, Koa Rothman nabbed the individual title and a forty-thousand dollar bank coupon. Im still unsure whether that’s based off a cumulative event score or the singular ride, but if the latter, then he’s gonna end up pocketing close to $75k for one over-sized wedge.
There’s the $40k winner’s check, the $25k Wave of the Winter prize that he’s bound to win, plus whatever sponsor kickbacks he’ll receive for editorial coverage. That would make it not only one of the best-ever Pipe rides, but maybe the most valuable single wave ever ridden.
Click below for final day highlights. It was big and west, just how Pipe should be but rarely is.