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Above: John John’s perfect 10.

2011 Billabong Pipeline Masters: Day 1 Photo And Video Highlights

One of the biggest days of competition ever seen at the famed Banzai Pipeline sees broken dreams, broken boards, broken bodies, and plenty of balls out surfing in fifteen-foot surf.

Today featured everything we love about World Tour surfing; fifteen-foot Pipeline, terrifying wipeouts (thought we lost you for a second there Freddy P!), amazing performances by underground heroes, and this kid named John John Florence.

Pipeline hasn’t roared like this all year and the swell just happened to coincide with the whole surfing world bunched up into just a couple hundred yards of beachfront real estate. The vibe on the beach was a mix between sunburned tourists from the Midwest, people like myself who couldn’t find anywhere small enough to surf, and scared shitless World Tour surfers (groms and veterans alike) paddling into some truly sketchy surf. Guys were knocked off the World Tour, medics were working overtime, and John John Florence made it known that he is way ahead of the pack when it comes to the Banzai Pipeline.

I don’t know what to say about him other than that he never, ever, claims waves, yet after an incredibly technical barrel on the 2nd reef (who gets barreled way the f—k there?) followed up by a sand-infused 1st reef double-up drainer, John did just that. He didn’t go Adriano De Souza on it. It was more a subtle act of stoke. Well done John and props to all the WT warriors—you guys certainly earned it today. That was fun to watch.—JC

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