VOLCOM PIPE PRO DAY 1 & 2 HIGHLIGHTS
With John John managing to post four 9-point rides in his Round 64 heat conditions were pretty much the best they've had all winter.
Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii (February 1st, 2013): It was just after daybreak this morning when the 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro was called on for the second day in a row and soon the round of 96 was back underway with contestants facing risky and turbulent conditions. As the day went on conditions improved, the scores got higher, and heading into the round of 64 pipe really turned on. Last years Volcom Pipe Pro winner, John John Florence, took full advantage and was a standout in the day's event.
The early competitors had their work cut out for them as they faced much larger, more dangerous and inconsistent waves than the previous day. These warriors however, seemed unfazed by this, taking on the situation with tenacity and battling for occasional monster barrels that left the spectators baffled. Competitors who fought the hardest and had a little luck on their side were able to put a score together that advanced them to the next round.
Conditions were improving as midday approached and it wasn't long into the round of 64 that we started to see some world class barrel riding from the likes of Bruce Irons (HAW), Reef McIntosh (HAW), Chris Ward (CA., USA), Alex Gray (CA., USA) and several others. It was in the fourth heat that we saw the day's first, and only, $1,000 "Electric Perfect 10" of the day from Nat Young (CA., USA) - a rare double tube ride on his first wave of his first ever Pipe competition.
"That was the best wave I've ever had out there," said Young, 21. "The wave itself was just amazing. This is the first time I've ever done a comp here so for me it's just practice. That's why I came, to get comfortable out here. I've surfed here a lot, I've been coming here every winter since I was 14, but I'm definitely intimidated out there. I was definitely nervous before my heat. To say I wasn't intimidated would be a lie. "
The true star of day two was Pipeline's favorite son, John John Florence. The 8th heat saw a perfect pairing of phenomenal waves and supernatural talent that unfolded before a highly charged beach crowd. It fast became a 25-minute Florence super session as he clocked up four incredible tube rides in succession: 9.3, 9.53, 9.73, and 9.97. His top two scores delivered the highest heat total of the competition so far - 19.7 points out of 20.
"That was a really fun surf session," Florence said, all smiles on the beach. "Just being there and having no-one out, it firing like this with wave after wave after wave.... it's a pretty special feeling. I think this is one of the better days of Pipe all (winter). It was really hard to come in."
When asked which of his nines was more memorable: "The wave where I took off out the back was more of a scary one. I kind of felt like I fumbled a couple of times at the bottom and I thought I was going to get my head taken off by the lip. It was kind of a dramatic ride for me (laughs).
"Any opportunity to surf out here is just a good thing. If I wasn't in the contest and was sitting at home watching this happen with four guys out, I'd be freaking out."
Officials will assess the surf at first light tomorrow morning and the next call will be at 7:30am (HST).