Pipeline 10 - In Search of the Perfect ScoreDec 07, 2016
The Billabong Pipe Masters is no stranger to a perfect 10. In fact, over its four-decade history, no event has supplied more. Here we scope a more modern history and look back at six slices of Pipeline perfection over the last six years.
CJ's Career Capper
CJ Hobgood's wave is a Perfect 10 in any language, in any era, but this being CJ's very last CT event, there was added emotional heft. The 2001 World Champion has been one of the sport's finest ever ambassadors, and this wave provided an incredible full stop to a remarkable career.
Seabass on a Beast
The early rounds of the 2015 Billabong Pipe Masters saw huge conditions, as 10-to-15 feet of Hawaiian juice capped on the Second Reef. It was Kauai surfer Sebastian Zietz who drew the first 10 of the competition, with a late drop on a beast of a wave, followed by a huge backdoor section. Zietz called it one of the best Pipe waves of his life. Yet it still wasn't enough to win the heat, with Seabass going down in a close one to former Pipe Master Jeremy Flores.
Mason Ho Adds to the Family Tally
"I just want to make my family proud," said Mason Ho after he secured a place in the 2015 Billabong Pipe Masters through the trials. There is no family that has packed more tubes at Pipeline than the Hos. Brothers Mike and Derek scored a few Perfect 10s throughout the 1970s, '80s and '90s on the way to multiple Pipe Masters titles. Last year Mike's son Mason added to the tally, with this foamball-defying bomb on the way to a Semifinal placing. Suffice it to say he did more than enough to make his family proud.
Medina's Post-World Title Drainer
Having already secured his (and Brazil's) first-ever World Title in the Semifinal, Gabriel Medina capped a remarkable day with this incredibly long Backdoor drainer in the Final. And while it wasn't enough to defeat Julian Wilson, that day and this wave, will be remembered by Gabriel and his fans forever.
Kelly Slater Goes Steep and Deep
As a seven-time Pipe Masters champion, Kelly Slater has been awarded more Perfect 10s than any other surfer. This one here might not have been the most important (by this Semi, Mick Fanning had already secured a World Title in dramatic circumstances), but it could well be the heaviest. Slater air-dropped down a wave about as big and thick as First Reef can handle, somehow engaged the fins and was then blown out by a firehose of spray. For the judges, scoring a 10 had never been easier.
Kelly Gets Steep and Deep. Photo: WSL / Kirstin
John John Florence Double-Barrel Shotgun
John John famously started surfing his home break of Pipeline before he could read, and first entered the event in 2008 as a just-turned-16-year-old. However, it wasn't until 2011 that he surfed the Billabong Pipe Masters as a full-time member of the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour. This unique double-barrel quickly showed how dangerous he is in his backyard. Strangely though, Florence has yet to win the Pipe Masters. Could this year see more 10s from the new World Champ? A few more of these and he should fulfill his destiny and ice some serious cake.