Today Pipeline was all about that one hit wonder. It was a beautiful day at the beach; not a cloud in the sky, sun blazing down, a gentle south westerly ironing out any creases remaining from yesterday’s devil wind. The perfect weather for a beach picnic. Erect a little beach umbrella, unravel a checked blanket over the sand, unpack some artisan bread and smother said bread with fresh humus. This is living. Might as well be on holiday in Sri Lanka sipping on a coconut. The only problem with the dreamy weather was that the swell didn’t show up to the beach party till much later in the day. Even though Magicseaweed RSVP’d the swells attendance, the swell decided otherwise. No worries though, day 3 saw competitors go to work on their #OneHitWonders. Okay, so certain waves did allow for two turns and later in the day the swell jumped just in time for the men’s round of 16, but for most of the day the boys in the tower focused on that one big maneuver, and that’s what got you through heats.
Today we surfed the entire round 1 of the women’s (all 16 heats) and round 3 of the men’s. Here’s who nailed their one hit wonders.
Zoe McDougal: the Hustler
It was almost two bad days for Matty McG and Zoe McD. Matty got knocked in round one yesterday, the biggest upset of the day. Zoe almost suffered a similar fate under a different set of circumstances. She started off the heat strong, posting a 7.00, and then got a touch too cheeky, paddling a section down on one of Shino Matsuda’s waves. The judges, unamused retaliated with a paddling interference. Zoe then had to make the heat on the strength of one wave. And she got to work. The ‘One Hit Wonder’ waves suited Zoe ‘down to a T’. She surfs powerfully, with a heavy back foot, and she’d rather lay down one big crack then multiple average ones. Zoe took off on a closeout, pumped down the line and nailed one big fins free lip line floater. The boys in the tower acknowledged her commitment awarding her 6.50. Zoe then played her final card; priority. And she used priority to keep Tiana-Breeze De Mooij from catching anything worthwhile. It was by no means a beautiful win, but we all got to have a bit of hustle in us for whenever life throws a curveball.
Silvana Lima: A Level Above
Silvana Lima was the first heat of the morning. The sun was barely rising above the horizon, it was icy and the water was cold, but Silvana Lima showed up guns a-blazing. She got the second highest heat score total of the women’s, finding waves that allowed for multiple big turns in a land of closeouts.
Silvana showed us why she’s on the Championship Tour. She surfs fast, quickly gathering speed in waves that have minimal power, and she compliments that speed with powerful open face hacks and sword swipes at the lip.
Silvana reminds one of a wind-up toy, remember those? They existed during an era when kids still played with physical toys. These days the youth spend all their time online, playing lego building games that exist virtually, and watching youtube videos of grown Swedish men playing Counter-Strike. Wind-up toys are powered by a clockwork motor and were all the rage back in the early nineties. You’d spend 5 minutes winding this thing up and then it would go berserk for like 30 seconds. Silvana Lima is like a wind-up toy that spends her time winding up on land, and then unraveling mayhem on the open face. Lima went for one of the biggest air reverses we’ve seen this entire contest. Though she didn’t land it, she came damn close. We can’t wait to see how she unravels tomorrow.
Brisa Hennessy: Master of Flow
On day one we compared Pipeline to the emotions of a teenager, unpredictable, you never know what you’re in for. As the day continued Pipeline turned on. The one hit wonders of the morning were replaced with three turn combos.
A key factor to consider when surfing Pipeline, is that you must, even if it’s the last damn thing you do, keep your speed up. You must maintain your flow through your manoeuvres while still laying down noteworthy turns. Brisa was like an antique scale. You know those ones with the two sides? You have to put items on both sides to get the two sides to align. They work on the same theory as a see-saw, except that instead of the see-saw going up and down, it gets stuck in the middle, trapping it’s passengers. Anyway, Brisa found the perfect combination of down the line flow and noteworthy turns. If you apply too much pressure on one turn, you compromise the quality of the next and so on and so forth. Brissa managed to balance her scale perfectly, and the judges, they took note, trophying her with a 9.00 and a 9.83 for a heat total of 18.83. Highest of the day.
Adin Masencamp: One Punch is All You Need
In January 1999 South Africa’s very own Francois Botha had the delight, (and I say delight because he probably earned a stuff load of cash dollar) of fighting world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson was the obvious favourite, but Francois Botha threw a curveball Mike’s way, using his superior reach to keep Tyson at bay. Tyson took a beating at the hands of the South African, constantly getting punched in the face, the crowd couldn’t believe it, Tyson looking slow and getting outpunched by an underdog. But Francois got cocky, he dropped his hands to taunt Tyson, with 11 seconds left in the 5th round, Botha missed with a right hand and walked straight into a short right from Tyson. It was the only straight punch that Mike had thrown all night, and it landed perfectly on Botha’s incoming face. Botha fell to the canvas like a wet bag of cement. Out. And that’s the thing with surfing, everything can go wrong the whole heat, punched in the face by your competitors, but all you need is one knockout punch to take the win. Adin knocked his competitors out with a 7.83 to move from 4th to 1st with 40 seconds to go. One punch is all you need.
Enjoy the video and gallery below.
Images: Ian Thurtell