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Billabong Pipe Masters

Faces of the Vans Triple Crown - Pt. 7

Dec 18, 2016

Keanu Asing, the Hawaiian warrior.


Ewa Beach, Oahu, HI
Professional surfer
5th Vans Triple Crown

Best Memory
Probably last year, when I had my first Pipe Masters attendance. I’ve had a lot of family on the beach and a lot of people supporting me. I got to make a few heats, and for me, just to compete when the waves are pumping and get barreled in front of my family, is super important. It’s just a really good feeling.

"At that moment, the competitiveness went out the window just to make sure my friend was ok."

Heaviest Moment
Last year when I’ve had a heat with Bede Durbidge. Me and him were paddling for a wave and he had priority, so he ended going and that was the wave that actually broke his pelvis. That was one of the heaviest experiences. Seeing such a close friend get hurt really hit home for me. As competitors, you want to win but we are still friends. At that moment, the competitiveness went out the window just to make sure my friend was ok.

What comes to your mind when you think Vans Triple Crown
Legends, honor. You look at the list of Triple Crown winners and how long these contests have been running, it’s an honor to even be competing on it. The winners are just legends.

Favorite past champion
Probably Sunny Garcia. To see how he dominated every event and every wave is pretty impressive. Specially to see a guy from Hawaii win that many (6 times) is pretty amazing. When I see that, I can’t be anything but proud.

What would it mean to win a Vans Triple Crown title
It’s next to a World Title, I think. For me, that would be a really good thing to put on my resume. To win the Triple Crown would be phenomenal. I was born and raised here, and grew up watching these events. To win would be unimaginable.

John John’s World Title in one sentence
I couldn’t be more proud of the athlete and the person he is.

Favorite North Shore grinds
Breakers. The fish tacos are probably my go to.

Australia's dangerous veteran, Tommy Whitaker.


Sydney, NSW - Australia
Professional surfer
20th Vans Triple Crown

Best Memory
Obviously making some finals is pretty fun. Surfing against the greats of the Triple Crown like Sunny Garcia, Andy Irons, Jake Paterson back when I was young and looked up to those guys. Making the finals at Haleiwa and Sunset is right up there.

Heaviest Moment
I needed a 4.0 in a heat at Pipeline to win the Triple Crown and I couldn’t find it. Joel Parkinson stole another title of me somewhere along the line, so personally that was heavy.

Obviously, last year, being close to Bede Durbidge and watching that horrific wipeout and also Evan Geiselman’s too. Some heavy wipeouts, that’s not cool…

What comes to your mind when you think Vans Triple Crown
The best of the best watermen. It’s all about reading the ocean over here. It’s about heavy and powerful waves. But then, it’s also about mixing it up, is such a cool three event stop. It really is the next feather in the cap to a World Title.

Favorite past champion
It’s hard to beat Sunny. He absolutely dominated it, specially at Haleiwa and Sunset. Probably Andy Irons too, the way he used to just battle and get it done. And I also like the way that Joel Parkinson’s done it. He is a really nice surfer at every single spot. When he puts his mind to it in Hawaii, he is really hard to beat.

John John’s World Title in one sentence
Inevitable, he’s a freak.

Favorite North Shore grinds
Lei Lei’s ribs and mai tais.

The voice of the event, Rocky Canon.


North Shore of Oahu, HI
Beach announcer
16th Vans Triple Crown

Best Memory
I gotta say, personally, my favorite moment was being invited to my first Pipe Masters in 2001. Getting to go to a banquet dinner with Gerry Lopez, Tom Carroll and everybody else, was a really special moment for me. But as a spectator and former Hawaiian Water Patrol, seeing Andy Irons win world titles here at Pipe was special, he was a good friend of all of us.

"It’s about time that the North Shore has a World Champion!"

Heaviest Moment
Watching Sunny get beat by the reef, go to the hospital, advance out of the heat, come back and surf again was pretty gnarly.

Also last year, watching Bede Durbidge break his pelvis. The wave is super dangerous and the guys are always pushing really hard for the last event of the year. That combination translates into some heavy moments. If you want to see heavy, crazy surfing, come down to the Billabong Pipe Masters.

What comes to your mind when you think Vans Triple Crown
I think of the best surfers and the best entourage of media. I think of a six week party in the North Shore.

Favorite past champion
I gotta go with Sunny Garcia, he’s won it six times. Being from Hawaii, it’s special to see our Hawaiian boys doing good.

John John’s World Title in one sentence
It’s about time that the North Shore has a World Champion!

Favorite North Shore grinds
Haleiwa Joe’s is the most consistent good food and good service we have. I always go with the fresh fish.

Simone and Delana, stoked to be in Hawaii.


Switzerland and California
2nd Vans Triple Crown

Best Memory
SS - It’s pretty cool to see all the people coming together to watch surfing. I like to watch Kelly Slater too!
DS - Just coming out here, hanging out with friends and having the day off work. I like watching the surfers and seeing what they can do and how well they do. They train for this all the time, so to come out and see it, I enjoy.

What comes to your mind when you think Vans Triple Crown
SS - 
Traffic, surf, good memories, good times.
DS - Big waves and surfers.

John John’s world title celebration
SS - I think it’s really cute that the community celebrated that big because he is from here. It’s nice.
DS - He is getting recognized. People are getting know him more and more, it’s awesome.

Life in Hawaii
SS - I came here last year for six months and then I just keep coming back. It’s my third time this year in Hawaii. I just love being here because of the people and the energy. It’s nice to be here!
DS - It’s amazing, I loved it, not going back home anytime soon! The weather is always perfect, it’s paradise. A lot of outdoor activities out here to do. I’m a certified scuba diver, I love hiking, I go rappelling a lot. I can come to the beach whenever I want, even during the wintertime. Who can do that?

More Faces of Triple Crown:

PART 1          PART 2          PART 3          PART 4          PART 5          PART 6

Interviews and photos by Paulo Dias

Final Day Highlights

Road to the Final - Michel vs. Kanoa

Igarashi Takes Down Slater With Buzzer-Beater Barrel

Kanoa Igarashi Seals Zeke Lau’s Elite Tour Destiny

Kanoa Igarashi Plays Hero to Hawaiians

Bourez Shuts the Door on Florence

Nat Young Fights for His Job in Perfect Pipeline

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