Two For Two…


Kelly “Mr. Pipeline” Slater wins the 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro

Forget about J.O.B. and J.J.F. because Kelly Slater is “Mr. Pipeline” for the 2013-14 North Shore winter season. The 11-time world champ won the Volcom Pipe Pro yesterday and the Billabong Pipe Masters in December, giving him eight career victories at the world’s most dangerous wave. His love for the Banzai Pipeline shows in his surfing and it stems from his gromhood.

“Even before I could surf [Pipeline] it’s been my favorite wave because it was so fun to watch,” explained Slater. “The challenge never ends; there were definitely waves out there [yesterday] that I wish I could’ve caught but I couldn’t figure out how to get in to them and you can never feel like you could master a wave like this.”

All of Slater’s competitors in the final of the Volcom Pipe Pro were in their 20’s, but still couldn’t keep up with the 41-year-old from Cocoa Beach, Florida. He had the 8-to 12-foot waves on the last day of competition at the Volcom Pipe Pro final “mastered.” On his opening ride of the final, Slater caught a 10-foot Backdoor drainer right after the hooter, scoring a 9.53. He backed up that score with a 6.17 on smaller right-hander and had the whole field combed after seven minutes. In typical Slater fashion, he rode the shortest and strangest board on the last day of competition: a 6’3” Channel Island quad bat tail.

In contrast, the North Shore’s Mason Ho, 25, rode a 7’0” Mayhem pintail and gave Slater the most competition in the final. Although he finished third, Ho was in the runner up position for the majority of the heat and was one excellent score away from victory. He wasn’t phased by Slater’s opening 9.53 ride and actually relaxed a little bit.

“After Slater got his 9 I loosened up and started screwing with him,” said Ho with a cheeky grin. “Then before I knew it I realized it was still a heat and I had a chance in this thing and I got that right and I really just wanted to get second.”

Ho was still stoked on the result though because it qualified him as a wildcard for the Billabong Pipe Masters. The top eight ASP Hawaii surfers from the Volcom Pipe Pro gain an entry into the final event of the 2014 Championship Tour and Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Ho would’ve finished runner up to Slater if it wasn’t for a last-minute flurry by Wiggoly Dantas. In last three minutes, the 24-year-old, Brazilian snagged two gaping Pipeline barrels, boosting him out of the combo situation into second place. Fellow countrymen Adriano De Souza, 26, suffered from poor wave selection in the final and finished in fourth place.

1st. Kelly Slater, USA – 15.7 (9.53, 6.17) $20,000
2nd. Wiggolly Dantas, Brazil – 13.77 (8.27, 5.5) $10,000
3rd. Mason Ho, Hawaii – 11.5 (7.7, 3.8) $6,500
4th. Adriano De Souza, Brazil – 10.7 (8.43, 2.27) $5,500

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