The 2013 Pipe Masters had it all; Slater, John John, Fanning, world titles and tour qualifications on the line, not to mention a perfect new swell with blue bird conditions out there! After the drama and dust settled, Mick walked away with a 3rd title that was won from a couple really lucky set waves and some empathetic judges scores. If you play Mick’s 9.7 ride next to any of John John or Kelly’s waves, well, you be the judge. Anyway, pro surfing politics aside, the day proved a few things in my mind:
1. Kelly Slater is still the best surfer that has ever lived hands down. The proof is in the pudding and it is indisputable when you watch him do his thing out there next all the other greats.
2. If there is anyone out there who could be the next “best surfer who ever lived”, it’s John John Florence. The kid just rips. Plus, he looks more casual in macking Pipe barrels than anyone else out there. He’s less than half Kelly’s age and was neck and neck with him in the finals at the Pipe Masters!
3. Pro surfing is a real sport. With Saturday’s live broadcast of the contest having the most viewers out of any surf contest in the history of the sport, and probably the highest production quality, it really felt like watching the Superbowl! Surfing is the biggest it’s ever been now and it shows.