Call it magic, call it fate -- every single year, the Volcom Pipe Pro serves up Pipeline at its finest. Sure, it’s that time of the year (last week of Jan into first week of Feb), so the swell is pretty much guaranteed, but it’s those finals that seem to be absolutely flawless.
Like the one in 2012.
That was one for the books. 8-10ft-plus perfect, offshore Pipe starring John John Florence, Jamie O’Brien, Kai Barger and Nate Yeomans in a four-man cage match.
And while John and J.O.B. had been pretty much owning every heat they’d been in, easily cruising into the final, it wasn’t just their two-man show. Why, every guy in that 35 minutes of glory was getting bombs and in fact, Maui’s Kai Barger even had the heat won for a part of it.
That is until Jamie built a sturdy house of scores with impeccable pigdogging-to-no-hands backside tuberiding, inching ahead of the pack with only a couple minutes left. Indeed it looked near-impossible for the other three warriors, John John included, to beat him. Jamie also was sticking to John like white on rice, also an extremely tactical defensive move…Until John jetted toward Pupukea.
Stroking toward a wide and North Backdoor bowl coming in 20 yards to John and Jamie’s right, (with less than 10 seconds left in the heat!) John scratched ahead, as Jamie kicked to catch up. The crowd was going berserk. The commentators were losing it.
And 19 year old John John Florence was just a little too deep for JOB to stop him, so for maximum depth, on a solid 8 foot drainer, John faded left like he was going Pipe, then turned right, slip-sliding into the Backdoor cave, inches from a deadly, falling lip.
Then disappearing. Then spat out. Then claiming. Then winning the event in the clutchiest of situations. His second of (soon to be) three Volcom Pipe Pro wins in a row.
Yeah, it was a doozy and this revisit to one of the greatest heats in Pipeline history puts you in the drivers’ seat while you cruise that highway through the danger zone. Buckle up and have a look. Kenny Loggins wouldn’t have it any other way.
Red Bull/Surfing will be streaming the 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro including daily highlights and photos from the contest.