After yesterday’s smoke had cleared and the blood had dried from the early session losers (wrong word choice here, let’s just call ’em “eliminated field”) the second morning of the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro seemed not so bad a scene to be a part of. The swell had bent around thru the night to a more proper NW angle, once again coughing up some Off the Wall nuggets and corner pocket lefts and then there was the Pipe, itself. Seems that Backdoor was wanting some company, even with Rainos Hayes' “voodoo chop” cross-bump along the face.
Pipe was trying its best to scream back into action; problem was the east wind-swell was playing hell with the peak and everyone knows oil and water don’t mix, and especially out here.
Some usual suspects have stayed on for a third day (tomorrow?), more than a few of the "specialists" fell victim to that voodoo chop shutting the door or double-lipping the drop. You either walked away laughing like Florida's Devon Tresher who pulled a perfecto-10 and a backup 8 or you walked in Andy Irons' shoes and couldn't find a friendly 'face' out there in the line-up if his life depended on it. And it does, when you're of the champ's stature cuz that’s what he does best for a living. Walking out of the water with a total 2 – and about the same amount of minutes still remaining in the heat, Andy got attacked by a half-dozen autograph hounds who probably were absolutely clueless that he had just gone down about as hard as you can without smacking the reef – and he probably felt like he had gone head-first with that nightmare anti-performance.
Anyways, he'll lick his wounds and re-group for a better day ahead.
On the plus-side, Joel Centeio killed it in his heat, Pancho Sullivan barreled his way into the next galaxy and that's where this story ends. The day finished like it started, waves every few minutes, a ton of wind chop where you didn't want it and a draining tide that kept everyone looking down for those rail road tie reef heads that were gurgling just short of the surface.
Hey, it's Pipe and that's why we're all here, hoping and praying that there's still yet a legit day out there on the horizon. The countdown's still tickin', we're less than a week from the end of the waiting period and someone's hinting of a minor swell NOT till Superbowl Sunday. And flat to 2' until then. What's another 4-letter word for misery with a “!” at the end?