Photo Essay: Billabong Pipe Masters Epic Moments
It’s the wave of the winter. It may be the best wave in the world. Pipeline has so many priceless barrels to offer that between the 10 point rides and equally daring attempts to ride out of her monster sets, Pipeline masters all receive their share of notoriety. The conditions on offer throughout the Billabong Pipe Masters made for a classic Hawaiian contest, especially tricky on the final day of competition, challenging the athletes in their final 2012 ASP event to end an incredible year in competitive surfing. Whether it was the historic Shane Dorian vs Kelly Slater match-up in the Quarters, the near-paralyzing wipeout that sent Kerrzy to the hospital, Kauai-boy Seabass’ fairytale story of zero to hero, or the Aussie pressure for the title race, adrenaline was high as Pipeline offered the world’s best surfers an opportunity to chase their dreams.
The hardest part about documenting Pipe has to be the time selecting images post-production… so many great waves to choose from. Thus, in an effort to display the best of the best original Surf Channel images, here is the first of a series we call, “Perfect Pipeline” — photo essays of the best moments at the 2012 Billabong Pipe Masters captured by Surf Channel photographers on site on Oahu’s iconic North Shore. Enjoy!
The North Shore of Hawaii challenges the world’s best surfers in a final battle at Banzai Pipeline. Photo: Marcio Canavarro
Kelly Slater (USA) charges Pipe in an epic battle against his childhood friend, Shane Dorian (HAW). Photo: Surf Channel/ Shannon Q
Shane Dorian (HAW) is famous for his Backdoor attack. He came out clean nearly every attempt. Photo: Surf Channel/ Shannon Q
Pipe can make your dreams come true; it can also shatter them to pieces against the sharp reef. Josh Kerr (AUS) was lucky to come back from the hospital ok to compete, after suffering from nerve damage in his neck following this wipeout. An injury skateboarding earlier didn’t help. He persevered, however, all the way to the finals with a 2nd place result. Photo: Surf Channel / Hale Metzger
Damien Hobgood performed his best taking out the Vans Triple Crown champion, Sebastian Zietz (HAW). Photo: Marcio Canavarro
Everyone must pay their dues at Pipeline. The shallow reef below can be costly. Good think Damien Hobgood made it out of this one unscathed. Photo: Marcio Canavarro
Kelly Slater back-to-back shacked at Pipe. Photo: Surf Channel / Shannon Q
Slater getting busy at Backdoor. Photo: Marcio Canavarro
Shane Dorian scores a heavy Backdoor barrel in the historic Quarterfinal match-up against Slater. Photo: Surf Channel / Shannon Q
Joel Parkinson (AUS) fought hard every heat to make sure he came out on top. The 2012 World Champion proved deserving of both the title and the Pipe Masters crown for waves like this one. Photo: Surf Channel/ Shannon Q
It was clear that Parko had a lot on his mind, able to keep the pressure of the title race off his shoulders long enough to think about going into each heat as focused as possible. Photo: Surf Channel / Shannon Q
Josh Kerr (AUS) hugging tight on his backside during the final at Pipeline. Photo: Surf Channel /Shannon Q
The judges have the best view of Pipe above the crowd of thousands that come from around the world to the North Shore for the excitement. Photo: Surf Channel /Shannon Q
Josh Kerr in prime form for the Pipe Masters final heat, despite the hospital visit earlier in the day. Photo: Surf Channel / Shannon Q
Joel Parkinson waves the Australian flag high as the newly crowned Billabong Pipe Masters winner, in addition to the 2012 ASP World Title holder. Congrats to Parko on claiming his first World Title. Photo: Surf Channel /Shannon Q
Click here for detailed competition results. Watch the Heat Highlights video from the final day of Billabong Pipe Masters, here on The Surf Channel!