Favourites, underdogs, and rising stars…
The ultimate testing ground. Pipeline chews up boards, mangles ankles, snaps leashes and generally tests the fortitude of every surfer on tour. With the first event of the Championship Tour season just about to kick up, we thought we’d break down how the Creatures crew will do coming into the most iconic event in the surfing world. Here’s the scoop under the lip…
2019 Pipe Master and World Champ, Olympic Gold Medalist and all round entertaining human - Italo has to be one of the very top favourites coming into Pipe. He made semis last year, just topped by Gabby (who has pulled out this time around), and won the whole thing theyear before that. With that proof in the pudding, he’ll be one of the highest owned surfers in everyone’s fantasy teams. Let’s go ITALO!
Here’s Italo getting a little last minute practice in: Click here.
With his little bro winning the Digital Triple Crown edition of Pipe, you can be sure Griff will be itching to prove he’s really the best Colapinto in the pit. His best showing at Pipeline was a 3rd in 2019. He’s well geared up to go one step further and make the premium podium finish at event’s end. An Italo v Griff final? Only if one of them can get past hot favourite John Florence.
Here’s Griff having a Backdoor blast last week: Click here.
Ethan Ewing is no slouch when it comes to the power of Hawaii. Well capable of throwing himself over the ledge, he’s an underdog to watch when the first hooter sounds at Pipe. This might not be his pet event, but when Sunset rolls around, he’ll be a major threat for a win. If Ethan can get some momentum in this event, who knows how far he’ll go for the year.
Check out Ethan’s first session of the season with this chunky drainer: Click here.
He’s back! The powerful Santa Cruz goofy we all love is now in the big leagues again. Nat Young has been surfing some heaving waves recently, so is in epic form for a career best start at the Banzai. He’s had a couple of 9th place finishes before and will be rearing to attack things on his forehand especially again.
With hacks like this, we’ll be watching out for his backhand at Sunset too: Click here.
This Aussie Rookie from Newcastle is no stranger to heavy water and pushing things to the limit. With no starts at Pipe yet, he’ll be a surprise packet when it comes to what he might do. Having his pick of sets with no crowd will be a wild change for Jackson that’s for sure. Let’s see if he can convert and turn a few heads.
Jacko’s already been sneaking a few nugs away from the crowds at OTW too. How’s this nice little Backdoor training run: Click here.
Lucca is another rookie that people won’t be expecting too much from when it comes to Pipe - unless they already know what he’s capable of. This guy is rock solid on his feet and can grab the rail like no one’s business. Word is Lucca has already been on the North Shore for quite a while settling in, so will be ready to go when the swell hits for event #1.
Check out this mastery from the rookie on a Pipe left this week: Click here.
STEPH GILMOREWith the ladies hitting Pipe as well this year, the Queen of cool Steph Gilmore has to be well high up there in terms of favourites. Despite her calm demeanor, she’s an absolute beast when the swell kids up and will be wanting to knock Carrissa back a peg after her title victory last year. One of the best tube riders in the world, men or women, watch out come game time for fireworks from Steph.
Here’s a peek at Steph’s latest dream roll in at Backdoor the other day: Click here.
Molly has to be one of the happiest surfers on tour right now. Thinking she’d missed out by a single spot for qualification, she recently got the call up after Caitlin Simmers suprisingly declined her spot for the WT. Molly has grown up threading epic tubes along the Australian East coast, but Hawaii is a level up again. A definite underdog at Pipe, we can’t wait to see what Molly can do this year!
Her last wave at home before jumping on a plane for the North Shore was an epic start: Click here >
For all the action at Pipe, don’t forget to tune into WSL.com
For leashes that stand up to waves like Pipe, you might want to check out our Reliance series too. Just head here.