Shame on Stab.
It seems odd to think that early winter, and its Oahu, North Shore boom season, is already upon us but here we are and here it almost is. As you certainly know, the World Surf League jettisoned the Pipe Masters in order to end its season at thrilling Lower Trestles and now runs the “Pro Pipeline.”
The Masters is held by Vans and, this year, there is a bold re-imagination wherein airs will be scored alongside barrels and something rather else. It is also by invitation only and, days ago, those names dropped.
Per Stab, the men’s draw consists of:
CT Surfers: John John Florence, Filipe Toledo, Jack Robinson, Italo Ferreria, Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater.
Hawaiian Invitees: Billy Kemper, Koa Smith, Mason Ho, John John Florence, Nathan Florence, Ivan Florence, Shayden Pacarro, Eli Hanneman, Makana Pang, Koa Rothman, Eli Olson, Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Jamie O’Brien, Matt Meola, Noah Beschen, Imaikalani deVualt, Jackson Bunch, Kala Grace, and Kaulana Apo.
Blow-Ins: Tosh Tudor, Eimeo Czermak, Kauli Vaast, Balaram Stack, Nic Von Rupp, Joao Chianca, Al Cleland Jr, Crosby Colapinto, and Riaru Ito.
Misfits: Matt Meola, Rio Wada (CT 2023), Craig Anderson, Mikey February, Harry Bryant, Noa Deane, and the Vans Stab High Winner.
Notably missing, big wave stud and Maui flyboy Albee Layer.
The aforementioned, peeved, took to Instagram in order to share his frustrations, writing, “I’ve spent most of the 31 years of my life giving ever fiber of my being to this sport and it still likes passing me (and a few others) over every chance it gets. I never got used to it and I never will.”
He found support below the line from the likes of Kai Lenny, who responded, “Verified. Big Barrels + Big Airs = Albee Slayer,” and Jesse Mendes to added, “I support.”
Unfriendly was Billy Kemper who declared, “Come surf pipe for once before you start another sob story. You still owe @healeywaterops a session out there on (mushroom emoji) (laughing face emoji).”
So maybe friendly after all.
But what do you think?
Do you stand with Albee?
I sure do.
Shame on Stab.
Also, what do you think of the “blow-ins, misfits” categories. Is Rio Wada really a dissenter?
David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed Layer’s omission as well as the potential danger Nathan Florence might soon find himself in. The dreaded porn factory. Be ready for an intervention.