Featuring epic waves and gnarly performances by Rooks, and wizardry from the Bald One, the year’s first contest at The Pipeline was a great one!
Now, quickly, before the next one starts (in less than 40 hours), it’s time to take care of some bookkeeping.
As always, what follows is gospel and must be taken 100% seriously, lest you just decide to be normal.
36. Jadson Andre
Spaz pumping his way to a last place finish. Penalized for losing in a heat with Deivid and Carlos and for Sunset being next.
35. Liam O’Brien
Breaking his leg surfing at Pipe before the event and out for four months (at least), Liam can say “slán” to the Tour. It was fun while it lasted (or didn’t). We’ll always have Rottnest…
34. Ryan Callinan
Another victim of injury, Ryan, who would be looking down slim odds to earn an Injury Wildcard next year, what with Yago and Gabe (more important) out, has decided to surf at Sunset. Hopefully the new wrist plate holds up.
33. Morgan Cibilic
Horribly embarrassing result for Morgs. Is this too harsh? Sure, as harsh as any arbitrary list that has no meaning whatsoever… so not.
32. Jake Marshall
Pipe was truly abysmal for poor old Revolutionary-War-Soldier-Peyton-Manning-Ass looking Jake, with multiple heats (two) with totals below 2.5. Able to pull into barrels, yet somehow never really even being close to exiting, he was able to make good Pipe look like a shitty closeout beachbreak. Truly atrocious.
31. Carlos Muñoz
Surfing admirably, paddling out for his Round of 16 heat after obliterating his shoulder, Carlos’s requalification chances by the cut are virtually nil. Already pulling out of Sunset and Portugal, he’d have to do exceedingly well at Bells and Margs to have a chance. Not likely.
30. Connor O’Leary
Another poor performance for the Cronulla Kid. In his Round of 32 heat it seemed like he kept almost falling on takeoff. Pro tip: get your boards figured out.
29. Nat Young
Looking pretty good in his Round 1 heat, he just couldn’t put it together against Super Mario in the Round of 32, not for a lack of trying (he caught eight waves). Perhaps he used his extra time to apply some dwarf elder water to his face.
28. Jackson Baker
Mr. Freida Kahlo’s ‘Stache is still out there at Pipe perfecting his shiko-dachi tube stance.
27. Deivid Silva
Everyone’s favorite goofy-footed cachorro-do-mato, Deivid surfed his way to a well deserv… a lucky 17th, scoring just 17.76 total points across three rounds (average of 5.92). Why is he rated here then? Because I forgot about him (not an unlikely thing to happen).
26. Owen Wright
As Abraham Lincoln said, “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.” Truth suggests I was Wright.
25. Imaikalani deVault
Dreadful result for him at the Pipeline. Going to need to avoid stinkers going forward so we can watch him light somewhere up.
24. Callum Robson
Impressive performance by the unheralded Aussie. So impressive that in his Round 1 heat, Kaipo, in a display of his signature pure vegetable brain, asked if Callum could be this year’s Morgan Cibilic. No, probably not.
23. Ethan Ewing
Things could get pretty dicey for Billabong, as more people start to demand refunds for their tickets on the Ewing Hype Train once they realize they had been dropped off in Aussie Journeymanstown instead of Titleberg.
22. Zeke Lau
Got beat by Seth. Sunset should be good for him. That’s it.
21. Yago Dora
Didn’t even know he was injured before Pipe. Oh well, no problem… for me, at least. His call ins to the booth, especially the Elimination Round Heat 2 one, were classic.
20. Matthew McGillivray
To shove in/improve/adjust/mangle a quote from Mel Brooks: “Surfing is like linguini. Even when it’s competently good, it’s pretty bad.”
19. Lucca Mesinas
A surprise quarterfinalist, aided by an undeserved win against K-Hole in the Round of 32 and a walkthrough due to Carlos Munoz’s mutilated shoulder, Lucca’s performance wasn’t as impressive as maybe it should’ve been. Still the QF result is a boost.
18. Leonardo Fioravanti
A ninth? A ma-ma Mia!
17. Samuel Pupo
Nice quarterfinal finish for the young Pupo. A highlight for him was destroying Jordan in the Round of 16. Hopefully once he emerges from his cocoon to begin his imago stage he will start bending his knees during pigdogs instead of simply bending over at the waist to grab rail.
16. Frederico Morais
Perfect embodiment of the fact that there are too many fucking guys on Tour. So many fucking wasted words above… he could do well at Sunset.
15. Conner Coffin
Maybe he was too preoccupied with California while out at Pipe, so he failed… no matter, he is the 805… or something.
14. Caio Ibelli
Always mildly surprised when I watch him how competently he surfs, in a variety of conditions no less. Will need to rack up the points as an injury replacement before Gabe comes back so he doesn’t have to suffer the Challenger Series come the northern hemi fall.
13. Jack Robinson
Disappointing result for Robbo. Would’ve been great to see someone of his immense, prodigious talent get his chance to perform at big, great Pipe like how it was later in the comp. Unfortunately for us, those with his talent can usually overcome their shit heats and grind a couple out. Well…
12. Miguel Pupo
An equal third was Miggy’s best result at Pipe so far in his long, winding(ish) career. Always nice to see him do well… and his sweet grill.
11. K-Hole Andino
Absolutely ripped off in his Round of 32 heat against Lucca, so I’m not going to penalize him. Even though he’s a little too chattery on the face for my tastes (thanks, Fatt), I think he’ll do better at Sunset (a theme among all regular foots, apparently).
10. Griffin Colapinto
Bad start for Griff. He surfed decently in his loss to Caio. Unfortunately for him he didn’t make it out his first wave that heat, as the wave closed out. Still talented enough to keep at bay the thoughts about his future career stocking shelves at Home Depot. Could get it going against an easy opening draw at Sunset (Jackson Baker and Deivid Silva in Round 1).
9. Kanoa Igarashi
Still owes me a face punch claim.
8. Italo Ferreira
Missed opportunity by Italo to light things up and make people forget about Gabe’s absence. To remedy the situation, please more workout videos on Instagram.
7. Jordan Michael Smith
Did well enough to keep his hopes alive for a potential Top 5 finish, and possible Lifetime Achievement Title. Like all the regular-footed guys already listed, probably better at Sunset, which leads to a question: if everyone is supposed to do better at Sunset, doesn’t everyone’s standing stay the same?
6. João Chianca
Prior to the event, I had no idea who he was. Now, as everyone now is aware, too, this guy is a straight up baller. He absolutely killed it out there, dropping into and threading deep Pipe pits. Only problem for young João was running into John John in the Round of 16. His 2.9 in the losing heat was one of the sickest closeouts I’ve witnessed in a comp (granted, once a comp finishes, I don’t really remember anything that happened). Ranking might be a little high, but the level of excitement he brought to the comp was high.
5. Seth Moniz
Well-deserved first loser finish for Seth, a standout all comp, taking down Zeke, Fil, JJF, and Caio in successive elimination heats, the most impressive being JJF in the QF (JJF was probably underscored and Seth overscored, but who cares!). It’s amazing what getting some good waves can do for someone. Results at Bells and non-The Box Margs the only potential impediment to a dream year.
4. John John Florence
Kind of a clunker result, considering how great he is at Pipe. No matter, he surfed wonderfully, even in defeat. Hopefully we get to see him shred on the waves and not, knock on wood, his knees.
3. Filipe Toledo
Holds serve on his way to the 2022 World Championship at Trestles. Dropped a couple spots due to thoughts about the next two guys.
2. Gabriel Medina
The absence of Gabe threatened to overshadow the entire event. Upon the announcement of his withdrawal, I couldn’t help but wonder how would we view the winner’s victory without the Pipe destroyer/overwhelming World Title favorite in the field? Luckily, because the next guy won, that question is just silly and unworthy of asking. Saying that, I can’t help but think things would’ve been different had he participated in the comp, spelunking through Backdoor caverns and flushing out mainline Pipe on his way to a near certain win.
1. Kelly Slater
What can I say about the result for our dear Mr. Robert Kelly Slater, M.D., surfing’s biggest, most beloved and, simultaneously, mocked competitor? Only that it was a most perfect display of almost everything that makes up the Slater Experience: a social media dustup (inserting himself into Joe Rogan Spotify stuff), last-second heroics (Round 16 against Barron Mamiya), personal scorekeeping (speaking after beating Kanoa), killer competitive hijinks (precipitating a Pupo interference), shit talking/shade throwing (stiffing Caio in his after semi interview and interview before the women’s final about everyone but Moana), peaking in a Final to absolutely destroy his opponent (Seth), culminating in being non-committal about a subsequent comp (Sunset). At the head of the pack.
Oh, and happy fiftieth birthday, Jimmy!