Preview: Volcom Pipeline Pro

The Proving Grounds, Pipeline. Now home to Volcom's first ever ASP event. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The Proving Grounds, Pipeline. Now home to Volcom's first ever ASP event. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

After a short holiday hiatus, the ASP World Qualifying Series is back in action. Ushering in the new decade at the world’s most iconic surf break will be the 5-star Volcom Pipeline Pro—Volcom’s first ASP sanctioned event ever.

With the infamous Pipe house donned with Volcom stones, the best talent strutting the beach, and all the bruddahs, Volcom is entering the world of ASP events in a way only they can. Offering up $120k and an early season points-gaining opportunity for Hawaiian locals, the Volcom Pipeline Pro is going to prove to be a great addition to the WQS. Plus it’s at Pipeline—what more excitement could you ask of a ‘QS event?

Be sure to check out all the live action at Volcom.com starting January 23rd, and check out Volcom’s Proving Grounds for a behind-the-scenes look at the North Shore world.

We give you picks from some top pros and bros, as well as our own insight. But we want to hear who you’re taking. Let us know in the comments below.


CJ Hobgood

Winner: History would show that the first time a surf company does an event for the first time in a particular spot it always seems like a rider for that company wins the event. Don’t know why just happens all the time—Jordy Smith won Tasmania last year and the list goes on and on from my experience through the years. So the winner will be a Volcom guy in this case Bruce Irons.

Shocker: David Giddings

Darkhorse: Evan Valeire

Koby Abberton

Winner: Bruce Irons all the way, mate.

Shocker: The shocker will be how perfect the waves are—I hope it’s massive.

Darkhorse: Mark Healey or Jaime Sterling if it’s big.

Daren Crawford: Filmmaker, DJ, Hype Man, Dancer, North Shore legend.

Winner: Bruce Irons! It’s just a gut feeling, I know he’s gonna win.

Shocker: When Bruce beats Dusty and makes fun of him all night after that.

Darkhorse: Tyler Newton, he put on a show out here couple of years ago—he’s got really good wave selection.

Christian Fletcher (Also wants to remind you to check out christianfletchersurf.com)

Winner: Bruce, he’s the best guy out there and he also has the right sticker on his board—kind of how TransWorld SURF picks the guy who’s gonna be on their newest cover.

Shocker: I should be in it and it should be at night.

Darkhorse: Everybody else.

Chris Cote

Winner: Of all the contests at Pipe, the Volcom comp (formerly the Monster Energy Pro) seems like it always gets the best conditions and waves. Picking a winner is messed up because there are so many good Pipe surfers in it. I’m gonna take the easy way out and say that an Irons brother is going to win it.

Shocker: The winner will donate all his prize money to Pancho Sullivan’s daughter’s medical bills—that would be awesome.

Darkhorse: Nearly every dude in this is a darkhorse if you think about it. John John could win, but if you want a real darkhorse, watch out for a Bra Boy (Mark Mathews) or a local (Makua Rothman) to take it.

Casey Koteen

Winner: If it’s big, proper Pipe (which it probably will be), I’m going with Andy Irons. If it’s more Backdoor rights, Dusty Payne will kick his year off right.

Shocker: Hank Gaskell will make the finals. That’s not a shocker, the fact that he still doesn’t have a sponsor is.

Darkhorse: If it’s big, Evan Valiere will have a great event. So will Flynn Novak, even though he’s not really a darkhorse anymore after making the quarter at the Billabong Pipe Masters this year.

Aaron Checkwood

Winner: I think it’s easy who’s gonna win: Sunny. I think the whole ordeal at the Masters fired him up to show everyone what would have happened—a win. Go Sunny!

Shocker: I’ll be shocked if this event doesn’t get crazy-ass waves. Why not?

Darkhorse: I think the Hana boys are gonna make another big splash. Hank Gaskell (is he sponsored yet?) or Ola Eleogram will showcase that freakish Maui talent.

Justin Cote

Winner: In massive second reef Pipe, Andy Irons will mark his return to competitive surfing in grandiose fashion.

Shocker: 17-year old super grom John John Florence is gonna make some dudes consider retiring from pro surfing after he tears through a bunch of heats.

Darkhorse: 40-year old Sunny Garcia is pissed after being barred from the Pipe Masters, look for a big result from him especially if Backdoor is firing. On a side note, I’d advise his fellow Volcom Pipe Pro competitors against getting into a paddle battle with him.

Carl Steindler

Winner: Bruce. Nobody’s better than him at Pipe and Backdoor when it’s on, and I know it will be for this contest. Plus he has no added pressure to chase points or do well. He’s just gonna surf each heat like it’s his last and dominate.

Shocker: Gavin Gillette. Took down Parko at the Pipe Masters and I think he will continue to knock some big names out of this event as well. He just cruises under the radar, and then…BAM!

Darkhorse: Chris Ward. He surfs really well here and has posted solid results in the past. If it’s really big and hollow at Backdoor then I’m gonna put some money on Wardo to pull in and emerge victorious. If not, then he can easily switch gears and go the high performance route too.

Ryan Brower

Winner: Dusty Payne’s playing with the big boys now and wants to go into Snapper with a big ‘QS win under his belt. Don’t forget about the brothers Irons either though.

Shocker: Anyone who surfs against John Florence is gonna be left scratching their head.

Darkhorse: Lets see: Gavin Gillette, Hank Gaskell, and Clay Marzo are gonna bring some other island heat to the North Shore.