Billabong Pipe Masters 2013 Preview

Talk about a year flying by. Its time for the biggest event of the surfing year, the event that draws viewers from across the globe and cultures, the event that has always been considered the pinnacle of professional surfing, the Pipe Masters. You are never going to be considered one of the best until you have won this contest and thats a fact!

Starting on Sunday and with the swell charts showing some decent swell, the contest that will decide who our 2013 World champion is will get off to an explosive start. Mick Fanning is in front and will be looking to take his 3rd World Title along with the Pipe Masters crown and in so doing emulating one of his best friends and legend, Andy Irons. His competition in the form of 12x Champ, Kelly Slater, will make for an epic battle. In my eyes Kelly has started to show weakness towards the back end of the tour with some serious chinks in his infallible armor. Mick on the other hand is looking super fit, super psyched and the man for the job. Kelly will also have to win the event to take the Title.

Who else should you be keeping an eye on? John John Florence pretty much dominates the Pipe lineup when he is out there and no one would bet against him being able to win this competition. With Jamie O”Brien not given a wildcard, which seems insane considering how good he is out there, the door is open for other young Hawaiians such as triple crown contender, Ezekiel Lau. With a commanding win at Sunset and considered one of the strongest surfers on the North Shore, this kid is looking to make name like Sebastien Ziets did in 2012. (Just check the photo above!) His major competition for the title is the Spartan! Michele Bourez has had a great year, is looking focused and strong and will be wanting that Triple Crown title to take back home to Tahiti. What better way to win the Crown than winning Pipeline along the way.

My 2 dark horse picks are Kai Otton and Kieran Perrow. Kai has had his best year on tour ever – in a year where I called him falling off the tour at the beginning of the year. He has had an incredible year and is super strong in waves like Pipe. Kieren is the defending Pipe Masters Champ and always makes the rounds at this event.

This looks to be an epic Pipe Masters with loads of guys needing results to qualify and the battle for the Triple Crown and World Title thrown in the mix. I cannot wait!

The Billabong Pipe Masters will be webcast LIVE via

Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Joel Centeio (HAW)
Heat 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Marcus Hickman (HAW)
Heat 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Kaimana Jaquias (HAW)
Heat 5: Yadin Nicol (AUS) vs. Kahea Hart (HAW)
Heat 6: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 7: Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Heat 8: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Olamana Eleogram (HAW)
Heat 9: Mitch Crews (AUS) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 10: Granger Larsen (HAW) vs. Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Heat 11: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 12: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)

Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBD
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Adam Melling (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. TBD

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBD