Day 3 of the Xbox/Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters

Surf: Six to eight feet, occasionally bigger, clean trades
Events Held: Remaining Round One, Round Two, four heats of Round Three
Nature’s Call: I might have dropped, but you still better respect me
Predicted: Similar conditions for tomorrow

Two days on the North Shore can feel like two weeks. A swell cycle has run its course, backing down after a 15-to-18-foot peak through Sunday. We’ll never know how many great waves were ridden through that day, but you can bet there were a few.

Now, early Monday, the bulk is gone from the swell, but it’s still muscular — it hasn’t gone thin and papery the way a dying swell can. There’s plenty of energy and the reef is twisting it into the sculpted forms we all know and love.

The morning sessions are very spectacular. “How do you describe endless perfect barrels?” asks a spectator. Answer: you don’t! They just … happen, like Joel Parkinson’s 10-point Backdoor pit, caught right on the button and ridden almost to the sand. Or Luke Hitchings’ two classic rides, a 9.8 and 9.95 for the highest heat total of the entire WCT year so far. Taj Burrow, watching, is freaked out. “Crazy!!” he screams, and promptly goes out and snatches a 9 of his own.