Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) will make the most of his opportunities in Hawaii when the 2022 season starts.
: © WSL/Bielmann


Surfing Today, with Rip Curl South Africa

Welcome To Pipeline

It’s going to be a promising start to the Championship Tour this year, with several changes during the year, but with Pipeline kicking it all off. In the words from Surf Into Summer, ‘ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Pipeline.”

The Banzai Pipeline can never be under-estimated. People get injured and hurt there, and many people have died, more so than any other surf spot globally, making it the most dangerous surf spot in the world by comparison. It is the place where Owen Wright dinged his head, where Leo Fioravanti hit the deck, and where Bede Durbidge broke his pelvis in two places and ended up most of the following year in a wheelchair. 

Welcome To Pipeline

Always a scary experience bottom turning at Pipeline © WSL

  • Yep, not a place to be taken lightly. History books will show the following deaths at Pipeline over the years – 
  • Joshua Nakata, local bodyboarder (16 March 2008)
  • Joaquin Velilla, Puerto Rican surfer (12 January 2007)
  • Malik Joyeux, Tahitian surfer (2 December 2005)
  • Jon Mozo, local surf photographer (9 February 2005)
  • Moto Watanabe, Japanese surfer (19 January 2004)
  • Travis Mussleman, California surfer (20 March 2000)
  • Andy Chuda, California surfer (25 March 1989)

Still, it is the one place in Hawaii where a single wave can make a career. Martin Potter caught the wave of his life when he was 17 in 1982. Up against Michael Ho, the biggest wave of the day showed up for the trembling Potts, and he went for it, survived the drop and rode to the channel, becoming an instant hero to the proud Hawaiian people. It was also the turning point of his confidence, and from that exact moment, you can track his 1989 world title.

Welcome To Pipeline

Matty Mc Gee – © WSL/Heff

This year we have Matt McGillivray in the field, gifted with a slot due to a surfer injury and a recovered Jordy Smith. Both surfers have reputations in Hawaii now, and both know that rewards lie on the other side of being courageous. Matt, just missing out on the cut, wants a good result to get back on the right side of the cusp for the year, and Jordy wants a world title.

There’s good money on both surfers going hell for leather in a bid to achieve their dreams.

Billabong Pro Pipeline – waiting period 29 January – 10 February. Event site HERE!