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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Wright's Pipe

By Graham Nash

The southeastern coast of Australia has a unique personality. Less crowded than its northern counterparts, the south coast is home to empty beaches and heavy reef breaks. Owen Wright was bred to be a talented tube rider. Growing up in a family of surfers on the south coast, Wright's dad would sacrifice most sessions to train his sons to surf the heavy reefs. As he entered his teenage years, he became more comfortable surfing these waves. When the time was ready, he made his first pilgrimage to Hawaii to test his skills at the world's most dangerous wave, Pipeline.

Wright first saw video footage of Tom Carroll surfing at Pipeline when he was a kid. When Owen turned 13 he traveled to Hawaii and got to see Pipeline with his own eyes. It was a gradual introduction for Wright at Pipe. At first, it started on the inside, hanging out in the channel on the smaller days. At 15, he paddled out to Pipe on a maxing second reef swell and paddled into the best wave he had ever gotten. It was a defining moment for Wright in Hawaii.

Over the years, his approach to Pipe has changed. As the crowds have increased, Wright is more selective about when he chooses to surf. he is fortunate because he has the opportunity to compete at the Pipeline Masters and relishes the 30 minutes he gets to surf Pipe with only one other person out. His relationship with Pipeline continues to grow and thrive. He remains a standout at Pipe and any heavy barreling wave around the world, because that is what he was born to do.