Day 1 Highlights from the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro

Teenagers dominated the opening day of the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro in firing conditions, led by Kauai’s Ryder Guest and Sammy Grey with Eala Stewart earning the day’s best 8.93

The Volcom Pipe Pro fired off on opening day of the holding period to deliver pristine conditions at both Pipeline and Backdoor for the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 5,000 event. Ryder Guest (HAW), 19, led the pack of young guns as they took control of the lineup today, signaling a changing of the guard as over thirty percent of the 144-man field is under 20 years old.

Guest tied two others, Nathan Florence (HAW) and Sammy Gray (HAW), for the second highest single wave score of the day, a 7.33 (out of a possible 10) during Round 1 for a steep Pipeline left that saw him stand tall in the first barrel section and then gain speed to make it out of the second section successfully. He went on to advance in first place again out of his Round 2 heat after finding a 6.67 under priority at Pipe and backing this up with a 5.43.

“The waves are pretty much my favorite conditions at Pipeline, eight-feet, couple bigger ones, west direction, super nice conditions and a beautiful sunny day, so it’s a dream come true to surf out here with only three other guys out,” said Guest. “It’s been really good this year, there’s been a lot of good days, but it’s really different when all the big boys are out and you’re kind of just getting scraps from them, paying your dues, which is how you do it. It’s a really, really big opportunity to surf in this event in these conditions, I can’t wait to surf against the big boys, I’m excited.”

Ryder Guest on his way to a double Pipe barrel. – photo: Keoki

The goofy-footer from Kauai is best known for his barrel-riding prowess and is one of the leading up-and-coming Pipe surfers in his age range. However, he remains humble and is staying focused on his ultimate goal of year-end qualification into the Pipe Invitational and hunting the best swells around the world. He will go against a stacked Round 3 heat once competition resumes, competing alongside Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Torrey Meister (HAW) and Mason Ho (HAW) in Heat 7.

Meanwhile, Florence advanced out of two rounds today and set the standard for scores in the first heat of the event. He earned a 7.33 for a frontside Backdoor barrel and went on to nail a buzzer-beater in Round 2 Heat 1 after dropping into another right-handed tube with less than thirty seconds remaining in the 25-minute heat.

“I was the first heat of the morning, there was a little morning sickness early on but as always, as soon as the sun came up over the mountain and groomed everything out, it ended up being as clean and glassy and as good at Pipe gets,” said Florence. “We’ve had a couple bad years in the first round so to start like this and with the forecast throughout the next week, it’s looking like it’s going to be one of the best Volcom’s yet.”

Florence, along with Derek Ho (HAW) who competed in Round 1 Heat 3, have perhaps the most experience at this wave of any of today’s competitors and demonstrated this with expert positioning and barrel-riding technique. Despite clocking in countless hours of time in the lineup, Florence still talked about the rare advantage that the Volcom Pipe Pro offers local athletes, and the excitement that this event brings.

“We surf Pipeline all year long so we have a lot of time out there, but it’s always with 50 other guys and it’s such rarity to get it with three other guys out,” said Florence. “We have our own priority systems but the way the crowd sits in the lineup, it puts people in the way and gives you other things to think about versus just where you want to position yourself on the wave. So you’re out there in a heat all of sudden, just four guys, and you can literally sit wherever you want, no one’s going to be in your way. That feeling is what we look forward to all year long.”

Derek Ho, timeless. – photo: Heff

Coming up against third-generation dynasty surfer Mason Ho (HAW) in Round 2 Heat 8, Eala Stewart (HAW) put on an excellent performance after finding the wave of the day for an extremely long, deep Pipeline barrel that judges awarded an 8.93. Not only did Stewart collect the highest single wave score of the event, he also clocked in the best heat total as well, a 16.10 (out of a possible 20).

“I’m over the moon right now, I’m really stoked that wave came to me,” said Stewart. “I was surfing with one of my good friends, Mason Ho, and the waves just turned on, I knew we were going to have a fun heat. Thanks Liam (McNamara) for helping me learn Pipeline and all the advice you give me. That’s where Liam likes to sit, we call it the Wakita Peak, really deep. I was thinking, ‘this is the moment to sit right there.’ That wave came, I was pretty deep when I pumped into it, it had a long wall and I was just going and going. I hit a foam ball; I usually get bucked off right there, but everything worked out and I came flying out of the barrel and I had to claim it, sorry guys.”

Eala Stewart earned the highest single wave score of the day with this Pipe wave, a 8.93. – photo: Bielmann

Stewart honed his positioning today, which he credits to mentor Liam McNamara (HAW), and with seemingly effortless style pulled into two of the best waves of the day on a 7’0 Arakawa board, which came from Liam’s son, Makai McNamara (HAW).

“Being goofy-foot I like to ride bigger boards and sit a little farther out and deeper, but I just like big boards for stability in the barrel and just for the paddling, you can get in easy,” Stewart continued. “Liam definitely helped me with that one. This is a 7’0 Pipe gun, it’s Makai McNamara’s old board. He got a 10 in the Semifinals when he had an interference here a few years ago and so he’s dialed down his Pipe boards and I’m just learning, watching and getting in on the benefits.”

Sammy Gray (HAW), 17, found a rare high-scoring gem in the afternoon after dropping in late from the air, then engaging the fins to fly through a deep Backdoor barrel. He went for a frontside turn to finish off the wave but all the work had already been done and judges awarded the ride a 7.33 for the tube alone. Gray surfed through two Rounds today and won both heats, opening the door on another coveted opportunity to surf Pipe with only three others out.

16-year-old Jackson Bunch (HAW) dropped into one of the best barrels of his life at Pipeline with just ten seconds left in Round 1 Heat 7 for first-advancing position ahead of Luke Swanson (HAW), 15. The two teenagers took down Pipeline legends Ezra Sitt (HAW) and Takayuki Wakita (HAW) by staying busy in the water and taking advantage of the double-up opportunities on the inside.

“That was kind of my strategy (staying on the inside), but I wanted to go outside and get a little bigger of a wave,” said Bunch. “The two waves I got the scores on were more of insider double-ups that hit the sandbar better, so I’m stoked to get those two waves but I had to really adapt in that heat.”

Bunch echoed the sentiment of every surfer today, expressing that this event allows the rare occasion for local, non-Championship Tour (CT) surfers to enjoy Pipeline with only a few others in the lineup.

“It’s pretty awesome surfing with only three other guys out because the crowd is just next level,” Bunch continued. “It’s pretty unbelievable to get such good waves, I surfed this contest last year and Round 1 wasn’t any good, but this is pretty much as good as it gets so I’m super stoked. It’s pretty exciting, I just can’t wait to get more days at Pipe and get better out here, at Sunset, Haleiwa, just everywhere.”

The Volcom Pipe Pro completed one of four days today and is targeting tomorrow, Thursday, January 30, to resume competition. The Surfline forecast sees an easing WNW swell which will maintain fairly solid size all day and a good mix of Pipe and Backdoor waves but still favoring Pipe, with light and variable wind in the morning trending to light NE in the afternoon. Contest organizers will reconvene in the morning to assess conditions and make a decision whether to call the competition back on or decide a lay day. Check out WorldSurfLeague.com for the official call tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST).

When Gray competes again, he will match up against Skip McCullough (USA), Gavin Gillette (HAW) and Shion Crawford (HAW) in Round 3 Heat 3.

Mikey Redd, Mason Ho, Riley Morgan & Cristolbal de Col. – photos: Bielmann. Rantell hard off the bottom. – photo: Heff. Jamie O’Brien in his backyard. – photo: Keoki

Day 4 (Finals Day) Highlights from the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro

Wiggolly Dantas Becomes First Brazilian to Win Volcom Pipe Pro

After three flawless days of surf at Pipeline, the Volcom Pipe Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 5,000, saw Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) win in powerful and challenging conditions on the fourth and final day to join the list of illustrious winners and take home his very first Pipeline victory. The Brazilian representation was strong as Dantas went against Joao Chianca (BRA) and Yago Dora (BRA) in the Final, who earned runner up and third place respectively, and Hawaiian, Seth Moniz (HAW).

Dantas’ road to glory began back in 2014 when he earned runner up to 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and became fixated on a win at the world-famous wave. The Brazilian has competed in the event nine times and has been traveling to the North Shore for over twenty years.

“I feel amazing, I feel tired at the same time, but I feel amazing,” said Dantas. “That’s my goal for many years, to win an event at Pipeline. This wave for me is a special wave in my life and it’s such a pleasure to be here and compete with the boys and get good barrels and get good turns and win an event here. It’s my goal for many years and I’m super stoked to start the year.”

The judges were loving Wiggolly Dantas’ backhand attack. – photo: Heff

It was his lethal backhand attack that earned him today’s win, as conditions turned from dreamy to difficult on Day 4. In the Final, he scored an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10) after throwing hammers for vertical backside snaps, making a statement to fellow finalists and judges that turns were going to dominate the heat.

In an attempt to redeem Pipeline’s reputation, Seth Moniz, the sole Hawaiian pulled into multiple barrels throughout the 35-minute Final but was only awarded a 2.67 and 2.50 despite his valiant efforts. He wove through double-up throaty tubes on his backhand and wrestled foam balls for long rides but was unable to complete them successfully and ultimately took fourth place out of the 144-man field.

“My strategy was to get barreled, even if there wasn’t that much potential. I wasn’t going to try and do turns and win this contest,” said Moniz. “I wanted to go and try to get barreled and go for the win and do it properly at Pipe. It’s bittersweet to me. I made the Finals so I’m happy about that, but I definitely was going for the win.

Yago Dora ramping out in the Semi Finals. – photo: Scott Sullivan

Yago Dora was a standout throughout the competition and instigated an air show on Day 3 after pulling an air reverse in Round 4 Heat 1. In today’s Final, he cracked a few beautiful turns on his forehand in an attempt to manufacture scores but settled for third place behind Joao Chianca, who displayed lightning-fast surfing.

Chianca scored an excellent 8.17 in the second Semifinal after free-falling into a Backdoor barrel and sticking the fins for a successful ride out. In the Final, he posted a 4.00 and 3.83 for the runner up postition to demonstrate his versatility and adaptability at Pipeline.

Joao found this short Backdoor wedge for a solid score to advance into the finals. – photo: Scott Sullivan

Billy Kemper (HAW) stood alongside finalists today as he received his own prestigious honor, the Hard Charger Award in memory of Todd Chesser, for his commitment to pushing himself over the ledge and charging throughout the entire event. Kemper’s performance throughout the Volcom Pipe Pro was reminiscent of Chesser’s, as he powered through multiple rounds and ended up with the second-highest single wave score of the event, a near-perfect 9.00 on Day 3.

The Volcom Pipe Pro is known as one of the most community-oriented events of the year, with its Hawaii Giveback Program donating over $500,000 to non-profits including the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii and the Live Like Sion Foundation. Volcom’s CMO, Ryan Immegart, awarded two checks in the amount of $45,000 to both organizations, both of which are close to heart for Volcom.

The Finalists, Billy Kemper accepting the Todd Chesser ‘Hard Charger’ Award, Sion Milosky Foundation & Boys and Girls Club Hawaii – photos: Keoki

 

One of the most choice events on the Men’s QS circuit, the Volcom Pipe Pro is known for its world-class competitors and all-time waves, thanks to its peak-season holding window from January 29 – February 10. Dantas now joins the list of notorious names who have received the warrior trophy, including Slater, two-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW), and Pipeline mavens Jack Robinson (AUS) and Jamie O’Brien (HAW).

Soli Bailey, Noa Deane, Finn Mcgill, Evan Geiselman & Cristobal de Col – photos: Heff

Day 3 Highlights from the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro

The Contest Sees Its First Perfect 10 Plus Past Winners Robinson, Moniz, Bailey Poised for Final Day at Volcom Pipe Pro

The Volcom Pipe Pro was all systems go today as Day 3 pumped more beautiful barrels into the lineup for the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 5,000 event. Rounds 3 and 4 were completed today with athlete standouts including Conner Coffin (USA), who scored the first perfect 10 of the event, Billy Kemper (HAW), who was the first to crack into the 9-point range on the scoreboard, defending event winner Jack Robinson (HAW) and 2017 Volcom Pipe Pro winner Soli Bailey (AUS).

With machine-like consistency, Pipeline seemed to take on the description as Eighth Wonder in the World. Both Backdoor and Pipe continued to build and produce waves in the eight-to-ten-foot-plus range with winds staying uncharacteristically light and offshore, all day.

Coffin ended the day with fireworks as he posted a perfect 10 for unbelievable tube riding on his backhand that saw him power through a critical drop and technical Pipe barrel. His impressive performance continued as he wove through a Backdoor gem for a 7.17 to maintain the margin throughout the 25-minute heat.

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Fellow advancing athlete, Joh Azuchi (JPN) scored the second-best result of the heat, an 8.33 for a Backdoor barrel that he narrowly escaped. He and Coffin eliminated former Championship Tour (CT) surfer, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and Sunset Open finalist Koa Smith (HAW) en route to Round 5.

It keeps getting better for North Shore’s Kemper, as he came into the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro already holding a win from the recent Sunset Open and scoring the wave of his life at Pe‘ahi on Maui a few days prior. Riding a high, Kemper opened Round 4 Heat 10 with a near-perfect 9.00 for an incredibly long, deep Backdoor barrel that saw him pump through multiple sections. A fierce competitor, Kemper has made his intentions known; he wants to win it all.

“At this point, it’s just trying to win everything I can,” said Kemper. “I truly am addicted to that feeling, that adrenaline of overcoming adversity and just winning. It’s something I get off on, I truly love that feeling, I’ve been chasing it my whole life. I’ve struggled for years and years and years and after figuring it out, it’s just something I love doing, I’m a competitor at heart.”

Billy Kemper on his way to the first 9 of the contest! – photo: Keoki

Defending event winner Robinson scored back-to-back 5-point rides out of the gates during his Round 4 heat, which featured an international mixup including Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Keijiro Nishi (JPN) and Alvaro Malpartida (PER). The shifting conditions saw the scale lower as competitors worked to get a rhythm in the lineup.

Last year, Robinson commanded the competition with a 9.43 in Round 4, a 10 and 9.57 in Round 5, and heat wins from start to finish. He earned 3,000 points to start off 2019 and then sealed his maiden run on the 2020 Championship Tour (CT) with a 10,000-point win at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach. Now he competes pressure-free ahead of the first CT event of the year in March.

Aranburu took cues from Kemper and sat at Backdoor, eventually finding his own excellent 8.37 for a beastly barrel that he maneuvered with finesse. His backup score was a 1.93 which gave Robinson the heat win after the Australian posted a 6.23 and 5.83.

2017 Volcom Pipe Pro winner Bailey scored two keeper waves, an 8.53 and 8.00, in the first few minutes of Heat 3 and locked into the lead early on. The new NW swell continued to build all morning and seemed to jump feet during the heat to deliver clean barrels that pushed wave face heights into the 15-plus-foot range.

Yago Dora on his way to a Round 4 heat win! – photo: Keoki

Eli Hanneman (HAW), 17, owned his heat with a breakthrough backhand performance in Round 4, advancing in second with a 13.17 heat total to Bailey’s 16.53. One of the younger athletes in the draw, Hanneman came into the event with the intent to score good Pipe.

“I just wanted to surf, I had no pressure,” said Hanneman about going against a stacked heat. “These guys probably had more pressure than I did, I was just the underdog wanting to get waves out at Pipe, but it worked out in my favor. Somehow I got three good waves in a row.”

Hanneman’s youth has nothing on his status along the North Shore as he is becoming a household name through skilled surfing and strong competitive results. Earlier this week, the Maui athlete finaled at the Sunset Open Men’s QS 1,000 alongside veterans Koa Smith (HAW) and Kemper, and Tahiti’s best up-and-comer Kauli Vaast (PYF).

Nathan Florence trying to make it a party wave. – photo: Keoki

Drama filled the lineup as Round 4 kicked off with an interference call after Nathan Florence (HAW) unintentionally dropped in on Makai McNamara’s (HAW) Backdoor barrel that could have given McNamara the score he needed to advance. Both athletes fell out of the competition while Yago Dora (BRA) and Finn McGill (HAW) punched their ticket into Round 5, with Dora earning an excellent 8.00 for a lengthy barrel ride at Pipe that saw him completely disappear from view.

Contest organizers will be scrutinizing conditions as the NW swell is forecast to hold and slowly shift to the NNW direction. The run of light offshore winds that graced Pipeline is predicted to change tomorrow, with moderate ENE trades in the morning becoming moderate to breezy in the afternoon. A call will be made around 7:00 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST) and when the competition is called back on, Dora, Marco Giorgi (URY), Hanneman and Callum Robson (AUS) will be first in the water for Round 5 Heat 1.

Deane, Murakami, Moniz, Tudela, Mcgill, Smith & Cristobal De Col – photos: Keoki

Day 2 Highlights from the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro

Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) Claims Best Heat Total of Event while Kalani Chapman (HAW) Wins Wildcard into Round 3 in All Day Perfection for 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro

The Volcom Pipe Pro continued today and not a drop of water appeared out of place as iconic Pipeline delivered clean, six-to-eight-foot surf with wave face heights reaching ten-foot for the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 5,000 event.

Scores have yet to hit the 9-point range this year, but Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) got dramatically close during Round 3 Heat 5. The perennial North Shore charger opened up his 2020 competitive year with an excellent 8.33 at Backdoor then wrapped the heat with an 8.93 – the best single wave score of the competition so far – after a late drop into another right-handed barrel.

Vargas stalled in the pit, perfectly positioned, and powered out a bottom turn to pull under the lip of the wave and navigate a heavy section. He kept traveling in the tube and finally emerged with calm confidence in the channel to the cheers of beach fans.

Jeronimo Vargas now has the best single wave score of the competition, 8.93! – photo: Heff

The Brazilian has been out of the water for six months due to a chest injury but was determined to come to Hawaii for the winter season after spending the last fifteen years on the North Shore. This is Vargas’ fifth time competing in the Volcom Pipe Pro and he is now only one of four Brazilians remaining in the 144-man draw.

The Volcom Last Chance Qualifier Heat saw a mashup of eight Volcom team riders go head-to-head in a no-priority heat with North Shore fixture Kalani Chapman (HAW) earning the final wildcard spot into the Round of 96 (Round 3) after scoring the best ride. He went against Mikey Bruneau (HAW), Tom Dosland (HAW), Jonah Morgan (HAW), Jesse Johnson (HAW), Kai Mana Henry (HAW), Ryan Burch (USA) and Mauro Diaz (PRI) and found two good waves in the 40-minute heat.

Chapman took the lead after pulling into a big, open frontside barrel at Pipeline in the first few minutes, then solidified the win after being spit out of another left-handed tube. A goofy-footer, Chapman was looking for the standout lefts and positioned himself for deep takeoffs, a true professional when it comes to Pipe.

Mikey Bruno, Mauro Diaz & Kalani Chapman in the Volcom Last Chance Qualifier. – photos: Scott Sullivan

 

“It was a difficult heat, there were seven of my friends and they’re all Pipeline specialists,” said Chapman. “Some of the guys had really good rides and if they would have made them, it’s very possible it could have gone their way. But I’m lucky that it went my way, I’m really happy.”

Chapman took a competitive hiatus after suffering a severe head injury in January 2017 here at Pipeline, but today he felt enthusiastic to be back in a jersey. Eager to test himself again in Round 3, Chapman will surf against Shun Murakami (JPN), Alvaro Malpartida (PER) and Keito Matsuoka (JPN) once the Volcom Pipe Pro is called back on in the first heat on Day 3.

Kalani Chapman took the Volcom Last Chance Qualifier win and earns the wildcard into the round of 96! – photo: Heff

Makai McNamara (HAW) was the first to bring scores into the excellent range today during Round 3 as he and Roi Kanazawa (JPN) advanced ahead of Nick Marshall (USA) and Dusty Payne (HAW) in the opening heat. McNamara scored two beautiful rides, the first one a deep barrel on his backhand that earned an 8.60, then followed up with an 8.17 for a Backdoor barrel. He now holds the second-highest two-wave heat total of the event thus far behind Vargas.

“My first one was a perfect Pipe wave and I just knew that I had to pump to get through it,” said McNamara. “A lot of times I won’t pump and you get caught right at the end so I had to make sure to get over that foam ball. And then a right came out of nowhere, just a big teepee, it was a late drop and it had a dramatic foam ball on it so that’s how I got my other eight.”

Goofy-footer from San Clemente, Max Beach (USA) showed great technique and form in his Round 3 heat and dropped a 6.67 for a set wave on his frontside that stood out against competitors’ rides. He exalted the wave, and yesterday’s epic barrels, as his best ever at Pipe and will be looking to secure his best result in a QS event of this magnitude. Meanwhile, Eli Hanneman (HAW) got the score he needed within the last ten seconds of the heat to move into Round 4 behind Beach.

Contest organizers are eyeing the fresh push of North West swell for tomorrow to resume the Volcom Pipe Pro Top-seeded athletes will take to the water, including two-time World Champion and four-time Volcom Pipe Pro winner John John Florence (HAW) in Round 4 Heat 8 and defending event winner Jack Robinson (AUS) in Round 4 Heat 13.

Gavin Gillette, Eala Stewart, Sheldon Pasihon & a view of Volcom Pipe House from the water. – photos: Heff

Jack Robinson Wins 2019 Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach & Clinches 2020 WSL Championship Tour Spot

Jack Robinson Wins the 2019 Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach and qualifies for the 2020 WSL Championship Tour

Wow, what a crazy day and massive accomplishment for Jack Robinson, with his win at Sunset, Jack secured his place on the 2020 WSL Championship Tour (CT). Going into the contest at Sunset, Jack had to make the finals in order to have a chance of finishing in the top 10 on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) in order to qualify for the 2020 CT.

Jack absolutely ripped Sunset apart. He surfed six rounds to the final, winning every single heat and propelling him into the 5th position overall on the QS.

Watch Jack’s Finals Heat in the 2019 Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach

Not only did Jack make the CT with his win, his final point total of 19.07 out of a possible 20 in the final round was the highest final total in the history of the World Cup at Sunset.

Root for Jack (@jackrobinson_official on IG) in Pipe Masters Invitational beginning this Sunday December 8th, where Jack will enter the contest as a wildcard thanks his #3 rating in the Vans Triple Crown rankings.

Huge congrats, let’s go Jack!

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Jack Robinson’s 12-hr Barrel Bender

Tom Jenning’s captures Jack Robinson’s incredible twelve hour marathon of barrels somewhere in Western OZ

Watch the video and read a new interview with Jack by Wasted Talent’s Alexei Obolensky who caught up with him while he was in town for a QS event.

Tell us about Barrel Bender? Where did this clip come from?

This trip was pretty much two sessions. I surfed 6 or 7 hours. Then I broke one board, came in, went back out and then I surfed the next day for a few hours. But yeah it all happened pretty quick because there wasn’t many crew out. That long day was pretty much Indo perfection all day.

It’s always hard to judge from seeing footage, but how gnarly is the place?

When it’s big that wave is just an animal… It’s wild. It’s got all these steps in the faces that you’ve got to navigate when you’re in it. When it’s small it can get pretty playful, but when it’s bigger it just tries to kill you, I swear. I get scared out there, even if it’s not that high. I get scared everywhere pretty much but keep on doing it. Haha.

It seems like a special place for you?

Yeah it’s very special. I’ve been going up there since I was a baby pretty much! It’s an incredible place really. It’s far from everything, there’s no phone reception. The closest town is one hour and a half away… and it’s barely a town.

What’s the longest you’ve stayed up there?

I’d say a couple of weeks. You get pretty crusty after that.

What do you do on the flat days over there?

You’d probably go fishing. I’d probably be a fisherman if I wasn’t a surfer.

We’ve heard the drive was a mission. Have you got any wild stories from the road?

That town before the spot is pretty wild. It’s a fisherman town. My dad used to work there as a fisherman so every time we’d stop there when I was a kid it’d be pretty full on. I’d be waiting for him in the car at the gas station because I was petrified by the old locals living there. I was this little scared kid that was waiting in the car with a bowl haircut and a baseball bat at the time.

How was your motor handling the drive? Any wild breakout on the way?

The radiator stopped one time and we had to put 10 liters of water every 50 kilometers and we barely made it there… but generally it.s always been pretty smooth luckily.

How’s the crowd factor out there?

It’s not too bad. It’s pretty much some of the boys from the towns close by. Everyone is pretty nice in the water. Everybody takes turn. I think the wave is too heavy for it to get crowded to be honest. It’s not like Desert Point that has an accessible take off. The wave is that full on that it sorts the crowd out itself. I think in heavy waves, if you start snaking people it will bite back. You got to be careful when you surf there.

You make it look easy ridding it backside – what kind of equipment are you ridding there?

Basically Arakawas as I ride for them. I don’t really know what goes into them, but he makes good boards, so I’m trying to be a good pilot. I think that fear makes you think the right things in heavy waves. It does to me anyways. I always study things a lot before taking on something. I’d rather sit back and analyze it before trying to get the biggest one.

What about that session out Teahupoo before the Tahiti event the other day? How would you prepare for a day like that?

I’ve towed there once before. It was the day when Nate Florence had that big one. But I didn’t go back for any big swell and didn’t have much time to prepare or study anything. I literally showed up there in the first morning to these 25 footers coming though and I’m just like “Oh my god…”. The big ones were too big to paddle so they called the trials off. I thought it’d be easy to get hurt paddling there so we decided to get the jet ski out and give it a go. It was sucking way too much from the bottom for me to be surfing my normal board and I was teaming up with Kamalei Alexander. He was like: “Brah, I’ve got the sickest board for you!”. When I first got on it, it felt like the straps were super wide. It was pretty sketchy. We went for a 50 meter ride to get a feel for the board before getting towed into a 20-foot wave. It felt alright so we just got out there, afterwards he told me that the jet ski wasn’t able to come and rescue me because it wasn’t powerful enough. I could only clip my lifejacket because it wasn’t zipping up the whole way as most of them do now. Then I got towed in on one and felt like I was going backward on that board. It was all pretty sketchy, but somehow made it. It definitely was the scariest few seconds I had in a long time.

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Travel Essentials

Jack’s Picks

Freaky Fast Times from Lib X Lost


Yago Dora cutback on the Lib Tech X Lost Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard
Yago Dora’s Freaky Fast Freak Flow

The Freak Flag Bean Bag

Lib Tech X Lost Freak Flag Bean Bag Colors

“A radical small wave design based on maximum surface area for lift, stability and unbridled speed in tiny surf. Inspired by the original “double ender” Bean Bag, Lib Tech’s “Freak Flag Bean Bag” features a refined, winged outline for tighter turns, added bite and faster transitions rail to rail. Tip-to-tail vee bottom, for forgiveness and on rail surfing in the smallest of waves. It also features a flat (low center of gravity) and stable deck, with forgiving rails. This board is meant to be surfed very short. Unlike most extremely wide and short boards, it has the ability to be surfed aggressively from the tail, and up onto a rail, without sliding out… Get off the Couch, toss your LazyBoy and fly your Freak Flag!” ~ Matt Biolos

Lib Tech - Lost Surfboards Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard

Five Freaky Fast Sizes

Lib Tech x Lost surfboards Freak Flag Bean Bag sizes
Temple Cummins on the Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag Surfboard
With speed comes fun… Temple Cummins
Pete Saari on the Lib Tech X Lost Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard
Freaky corner acceleration is a thing… Pete Saari
Yago Dora on the Lib Tech X Lost Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard
Yago Dora… flying his Freak Flag

The post Freaky Fast Times from Lib X Lost appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.

Yago Dora Wins 2019 U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA

Volcom Surf Team rider, Yago Dora, crowned the 2019 U.S. Open of Surfing’s Men’s champion

Heading into final day on Sunday, Brazil’s Yago Dora had his sights set on the podium. “I came out of my house with a goal to win this event and I did it.” After taking out France’s Jorgann Couzinet in the quarterfinal with and inverted frontside rotation that earned him one of the event’s highest scoring waves, a 9.27, Yago would have to take on fellow Brazilian, Alex Ribeiro. In the semifinal that saw the countrymen engaged in an air game battle, Alex almost stole the heat in the last few seconds with a 9.33, but was just shy of the 9.94 needed to beat Yago and advance to the final. In the final against Australia’s Liam O’Brien, Yago wasn’t done busting lips, nailing an air-reverse and navigating through the HB pier, this 8.6 would catapult him onto the podium.

Yago’s win at the 2019 U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach launches him into the number 4 position on the QS and puts him in a good spot to secure a place on the CT in 2020.

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The Dock 2.0 in Mexico | The Return of the Two Ton, 100ft Floating Dock

Can lightning strike twice? That was the question when the guys at Stab proposed heading down to Mexico with 100ft of Candock to recreate the “dock surfing” phenomenon that we invented together two years ago in Indonesia with the release of The Dock. The difference this time would be, could Noa and his mates jump off The Dock into the barrel? Watch Noa Deane and friends tempt the impossible and see who makes it back to shore in one piece!

Noa making an easy jump while others look to abandon ship.
The dock was useful for spotting incoming sets and a good place to take a rest while we waited on the inconsistent South swell.

Deadly Stones Trunks

A proven staple, the Deadly Stones Mod-Tech trunks continue to be tried, tested and proven in situations as wide ranging as the one you’ve just witnessed above.

  • 20” outseam 4 – way stretch boardshort
  • Made with REPREVE® Recycled Polyester recycled fibers
  • Signature welt zip label
  • Cinch Fly Technology
  • Side zip welt pocket

Check out our Trunks Fit Guide and find your perfect fit.

Deadly Stones Trunks

A proven staple, the Deadly Stones Mod-Tech trunks continue to be tried, tested and proven in situations as wide ranging as the one you’ve just witnessed above.

  • 20” outseam 4 – way stretch boardshort
  • Made with REPREVE® Recycled Polyester recycled fibers
  • Signature welt zip label
  • Cinch Fly Technology
  • Side zip welt pocket

Check out our Trunks Fit Guide and find your perfect fit.