Pressure y’think from the WSL or a sort of malaise at the idea of spending two weeks before Christmas riding empty Pipe?
Surf fans delivered new thunderbolt as John John Florence and Kelly Slater withdraw from upcoming Vans Pipe Masters, one day after bedevilled contest lost world champs Toledo, Medina, Ferreira and Gilmore!
After suffering a horror blow to its lineup of invitees, losing current world champ Filipe Toledo, greatest female surfer of all time Stephanie Gilmore, three-time champ Gabriel Medina and 2019 world champ Italo Ferreira, the Vans Pipe Masters will now proceed without John John Florence and Kelly Slater.
The Vans Pipe Masters, which will pivot away from only scoring barrels and apply an equal weight to turns and aerials, is an invite-only event which runs from December 8 to 20 and is not to be confused with the WSL’s Billabong Pro Pipe, which’ll open the 2023 Championship Tour on January 29.
Medina, Toledo and Ferreira have all cited injuries for not taking their invitations, while Gilmore, eight times world champion, pulled due to a “scheduling conflict”.
Today’s bombshell, no John John Florence, the two-time world champ, four-time winner of the Volcom Pipe Pro and 2021 Pipeline Master, nor Kelly Slater, eleven times world champ, seven times Pipe Master and winner of this year’s Billabong Pipe Pro.
Helluva lot of WSL drawcards suddenly pulling out of the event.
Pressure y’think from above or a sort of malaise at the idea of spending two weeks before Christmas riding empty Pipe?
Also out is Jackie Robinson, former Volcom Pipe Pro champ, due to appendicitis.
The invite-list now is,
Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Griffin Colapinto, Mikey Wright, Yago Dora, Billy Kemper, Koa Smith, Mason Ho, Nathan Florence, Ivan Florence, Shayden Pacarro, Eli Hanneman, Makana Pang, Koa Rothman, Eli Olson, Jamie O’Brien, Matt Meola, Noah Beschen, Imaikalani deVualt, Jackson Bunch, Kala Grace, Kaulana Apo, Tosh Tudor, Eimeo Czermak, Kauli Vaast, Balaram Stack, Nic Von Rupp, Joao Chianca, Al Cleland Jr, Crosby Colapinto, Riaru Ito, Rio Wada, Eithan Osborne, Josh Moniz, Shane Sykes, Craig Anderson, Mikey February, Harry Bryant, Noa Deane, and Rasta Rob
Carissa Moore, Moana Jones-Wong, Coco Ho, Zoe McDougall, Betty Lou Sakura Johnson, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Pua DeSoto, Bethany Hamilton, Aelan Vaast, Caity Simmers, Sierra Kerr, Tyler Wright, Bella Nalu, Vahine Fierro, Maluhia Kinimaka, Luana Silva, Sophie Bell, and Laura Enever, Gabriela Bryan, Molly Picklum.