|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
|Anthony Walsh threads a clean one as Pipeline comes back to a more managable size.|
If you were patient enough there was a really good tube ride to be found. That was the order of the day at the Volcom Pipe Pro when surfers woke up Sunday morning to four to six feet of windy, wonky treasures. After the size, chaos and carnage of Sunday, the second day of the contest saw the conditions a lot more tame, but nonetheless, there was still plenty of dodging, ducking and diving to maneuver in and out of the barrel. A strong 15 to 25 mph trade wind whipping across the North Shore didn't help matters. Just the same, there were a lot of good rides that went down and plenty of guys showed why they're paid to surf.
On a day like this, when you have the lineup split between Backdoor and Pipe you see a lot of surfers with sneaky smiles on their face, knowing there's double the opportunity to get barreled, and consequently get a score. It also makes for non-stop action and a great show. The early rounds are always fun to watch, with oddball matchups between Pipe locals and world tour beaters.
Standouts on the day included former World Tour surfer Chris Ward, who took third at this event in 2012 and absolutely dominated his heat with three nine-point rides.
"I've been coming here to Hawaii since I was 12," told Ward after his heat. "Being around the local guys and the legends ... learning from the best in good waves ... you learn a lot surfing with your favorite surfers. Being out at Pipe when the conditions are good tests your ability. Any heat at Pipe is amazing -- just three guys out, so I'm looking forward to more heats."
|Chris Ward loves heats at Pipe: three other guys and open Backdoor tubes.|
And lest we forget, Peruvian sensation Gabriel Villaran put on another impressive performance and advanced on to surf another day.
"I made a final here in 2006, so I know what it takes to make it all the way," said Villaran. "Today's a great day and hopefully I keep the mojo going through the whole event. When the wave is big, I prefer to go left because I feel more secure. But if the right Backdoor wave comes to me, I'm not going to hesitate."
Ward and Villaran, both regular-footers, demonstrated exactly how to surf Pipe and Backdoor with equal skill, while a couple of goofy-footers that stood tall were Australia's Anthony Walsh and Hawaii's Koa Smith, who demonstrated that they can surf both backside and frontside with the technical skill that's needed to really perform out here. Former world champ Sunny Garcia fell victim to the tricky conditions, as did Day 1 battler Parker Coffin.
The swell forecast looks to be full of madness and Monday could be a no-go with the swell expected to be Waimea-size. Not sure it will be big enough for the Eddie, but rest assured it will be way too big for Pipe. About a week ago I had a horrible wipeout at Pipe actually splitting my eye wide open, it reminded me how dangerous this place really is. It's the best venue to watch people become heroes and victims. Stay tuned and aloha from the North Shore.Volcom Pipe Pro Results