Wax On: A Buzzer Beater Like No Other, Brother
I’m not normally into contest surfing. Judging the way someone rides a wave seems arbitrary at best. The finals of the Volcom Pipe Pro, however, were as cool as contests come. First, watching the world’s best and bravest, in big waves at Pipeline is as entertaining as surfing gets. Second, it was between Jaime O’Brien, one of the very best Pipeline surfers on the planet, winner of this contest in 2010, capable of freakish stuff like riding Backdoor barrels on a squirrely, corky, Costco foam board just because he can, and John Florence, winner of the same contest in 2011 and arguably the best Pipe surfer in the world at the moment.
Nevermind that Kai Barger, also one of the best Pipe surfers around, was in the heat, and ended up in third place with a total of 18.2 out of a possible 20, which is good enough to win just about any other final.
JOB started the heat with three scores over nine each. Sitting with a heat total of 19.43, he could have headed to the beach and started the victory party before the heat was over. If anyone but John was in the water, that is.
John snagged a perfect 10. Struggling to find a good second wave though, it looked like he was out of luck. With a minute left and nothing on the horizon, he paddled over to give Jaime a congratulatory hug, but as he turned around, he saw a huge teepee swinging right at him!
With 35 seconds left, John scratched into the wave standing up full force on the first reef, looked left but realized he was too far behind the peak even for him, went right as he hucked himself over the ledge, pulled off the direction change mid face, poked the bottom turn, squeaked under a monster lip coming down on him like Poseidon’s guillotine, dodged a chandelier, and got blown out the end.
9.93 and the win.
Here’s the video.