2023 Sunset Beach Pro champ Fil Toledo in action.
2023 Sunset Beach Pro champ Fil Toledo in action.

As “historic” Pipeline final’s day recedes, eyes turn toward Sunset and incoming XXXL swell!

Big big.

The suds are not yet dry on the singlets but there is no rest for championship tour professional surfers, as the saying goes, save most of every heat, all those lay-days and that weird four months between the end of one season and the start of another.

Yes, Pipeline was historic yesterday and a full rundown from top-tier analysts JP Currie and Jen See will be available shortly but the aforementioned CT pros have no time for reflection for the countdown timer for the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach is officially under 24 hours and shrinking fast.

The forecast for the early hours is not favorable, though, and according to the World Surf League’s official witchcraft partner Surfline, a XXXL swell arrives Thursday that will pack enough punch to quake booties.

35 – 50ft the subscription service declares.

Big big.

Will the World Surf League run, is the first question, after turning down a Pipeline day last week for being “too big and good.” Who will the conditions favor, if they do, is the second.

Eyes turn toward the Rocky Point rental home of sitting Sunset Beach, and world, champion Filipe Toledo. BeachGrit’s many citizen-surf-journalists have reported, daily, on the timid tiger’s comings and goings since he shamefully bowed out of the Pipe Pro, refusing to give effort in bigger conditions then feigning food sickness. He remained a story throughout the event, thrust back onto center stage yesterday as the women put on a show for the ages. It was formalized, in the famed Open Thread: Comment Live section that there are now, officially, five women braver and better than the lilting lion in waves of consequence.

Caity Simmers, Molly Picklum, Carissa Moore, BettyLou Sakura Johnson, Moana Jones Wong.

Toledo, it has been noted by those citizen-surf-journalists, exclusively surfed Rocky Point after bowing out of Pipe and claiming he didn’t need to prove anything to anyone, making good on that claim and not proving anything to anyone.

Was he saving all that gas for maxing Sunset? Forcing all surf journalists, citizen and non, to eat lukewarm crow?


Barron Mamiya on top of his world.
Barron Mamiya on top of his world.

Barron Mamiya bags perfect 10, deposes John John Florence in “changing of guard” Lexus Pipe Pro win!

Hawaii ruling all.

The World Surf League tried its damndest but could not destroy surfing today. The much ballyhooed swell arrived, as predicted, and treated those watching to a feast of barrels and barrels and barrels with a few sides of tasty turns. Fine winds, mostly, and inane jibber jabber from the booth.

It will all be wrapped expertly by JP Currie but let us rush, quickly, to the final where to local human beings surfing in their backyard met after mowing through their various sides of the draw.

Mssrs. Barron Mamiya and John John Florence.

Sitting World Surf League champion Filipe Toledo, surprisingly, sitting in the kiddie pool out front his Rocky Point rental.

Turpel and crew could not stop talking about the Deoxyribonucleic acid connection between the two and their ancestor Jamie O’Brien.

More on that later.

The last heat started quick, Mamiya and Florence trading initial waves then Pipeline nuggets. Florence, critical drop though not deep, netted an 8.00.

Mamiya’s, crazy, won him a Yeti cooler.


The heat was over then, in terms of hype and excitement for team Mamiya. A cooler, or eskie, can be stuffed with all sorts of cold foods and remain so during the course of a few hours. In the belly of a Yeti, though, they will stay absolutely frozen for a week. The whole world could shut down tomorrow and Clan Mamiya will survive a week longer than you or me. Or, actually, than you. I have a Yeti.

In any case, the battle continued because, per the bylaws, it had to.

Though didn’t need to.

Mamiya’s 10.00 held and he noted to Strider, in the channel, that he didn’t think he would make it an that’s that and we are one event into the final World Surf League season.

Hawaii on top.

Pip on bottom.

I am 80% more stupid after listening to eight ours of Turpel and Jesse Mendes.



You’ll pay for it.

Get ready for duuuuuuuumb dumb.

More as the story develops.

More questions than answers.

Ow my balls.


Caity Simmers wins Lexus Pipe Pro
"Pipeline for the fucking girls," said Caity Simmers, now rated #1 in the world.

Caity Simmers and Molly Picklum create history at Pipeline with “greatest performances by women ever”

"Pipeline for the fucking girls," said Caity Simmers. "I respect everyone who wants a part of it and I respect anyone who doesn't want a part of it."

Teenager Caity Simmers and Australian Molly Picklum have delivered the best performance ever by women at Pipeline, with Caity Simmers beating hall-of-fame performer Picklum in a final marked by good, but diminishing, four-to-six-foot surf. 

The waves peaked, fine, offshore glass, in Molly Picklum’s semi-final with Hawaiian Bettylou Sakura Johnson. And, Picklum, who is twenty-one, rode a wave that shattered the belief that only men or women raised at the infamous left could expertly ride a set wave there. 

Taking off on a six-foot peak, Molly Picklum rode with the sorta form usually characterised by a John John Florence or a Jamie O’Brien, scoring unanimous tens from the panel of judges. 

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Caity Simmers wasn’t far behind in her ability to wrangle Pipeline, although preferring the Backdoor. The dimunitive, befreckled surfer from San Clemente, who held a three-zero head-to-head lead over Molly Picklum prior to the final, was always in the game, almost matching Picklum’s 9.27 with a long Backdoor tube. 

The difference between the pair would, ultimately, be each surfer’s second wave score, Picklum holding onto a 1.37 and Caity a 3.83. 

“Pipeline for the fucking girls,” said Caity Simmers, now rated #1 in the world. “I respect everyone who wants a part of it and I respect anyone who doesn’t want a part of it.”

Darrick Doerner, cancer.
Jeff Hornbaker's iconic shot of Darrick Doerner from an equally iconic Nick Carroll profile in Surfing and, inset, Darrick and son Tiger in California, pre-op.

Legendary North Shore lifeguard Darrick Doerner “in good spirits” after cancer surgery

"Competition brings out the wrong feelings. People get aggressive, they get into fights. It's like, try another sport if it comes to that." 

One of the titans of surfing, the North Shore lifeguard and tow-surf pioneer Darrick Doerner is reportedly in “good spirits” after an operation at a California hospital following his diagnosis with prostate cancer.

Doerner, who turns sixty-seven in one week, is recovering after a prostatectomy at the famed Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, a “heavy-hitter” reportedly brought in to operate on the much-loved waterman.

The legend of Darrick Doerner, born in Fresno to a French mama and who began surfing in France in 1962, was cemented when he rode a thirty-footer on Super Bowl Sunday, January 21, 1988.

From a 1990 profile on Darrick Doerner by Bruce Jenkins,

The surf was 3′ in the morning and 15′ at 1:00 in the afternoon. By 4:00 PM, Doerner, Bradshaw and Little were paddling over 25’+ sets. The whole affair had a strong out-of-control feel, with far too many closeout waves moving through—but Doerner positioned himself in the vortex of a wave pushing 30′. “Kenny was around there somewhere,” says Doerner. “He said he could’ve had it, but realized I’d picked it up outside. And when I went over the edge, they all wrote me off. They all said, ‘That’s it for Darrick.’”

But Doerner handled it. Caught some air on the way down, but reconnected, hit bottom, turned the corner and finally got blasted by a closeout section. Peter Cole later said it was “the most impressive ride I’ve seen in the past 10 years.”
Four years later, and along with pals Laird Hamilton and Buzzy Kerbox, Doerner co-founded tow surfing.

From Warshaw,

In 1992, along with Laird Hamilton and Buzzy Kerbox, the steely-voiced Darrick Doerner became a cofounder of tow surfing, a revolutionary approach to big-wave riding where the surfer holds on to a towline attached to a personal watercraft and is pulled into waves that are too big to catch by paddling. In early 1996, at a Maui big-wave break named Jaws, Doerner slotted himself in the hollows of a massive barrel, setting a new standard for big-wave tuberiding.

Darrick Doerner placed sixth in both the 1986 and 1990 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contests at Waimea Bay, but was ambivalent about competitive surfing.

“It brings out the wrong feelings,” Darrick Doerner once said. “People get aggressive, they get upset, they get into fights. It’s like, try another sport if it comes to that.”

Open Thread: Comment Live on Final’s Day of the Lexus Pipe Pro!

This is the end, my only friend.