As always the year settles down on the North Shore at the end of 2016. Break out your old 2Pac CD and blast "All EYEZ on me", cause that's John's battle hymn at this very moment. The year is over and the title has been crowned to the ever deserving John John Florence. This contest is all about bragging rights, setting records and tightening your loose ends to follow in Kelly's footsteps. What a way to start your campaign into legend-ultra-hero mode with an Eddie win, The title, The Triple Crown, and a Pipemaster? For John, a win here solidifies an already solidified legendary status. Heavy the crown sits upon a king tho. Watch out for a heroic crusade in the name of Kelly. He has won the Volcom Pipe Contest earlier this year and always seems to put a death threat terrorist attack on this contest. Watch out for Gabe as well, we are gonna see how he surfs under a different kind of pressure, the pressure of Hawaii and the thought of a John John dominance is gonna test his grit on Da Rock this week. Which if he can put forth a solid effort then we can wait all off season for this rivalry in 2017, which we all want. An important thing to watch in this contest is where the bottom ten are sitting. This is where you get to see some working class heros really throw the hail mary's and give it all they got.
If you are gonna watch any trials event of any contest ever, this the event to do so. The trials themselves are called the motherfucking Pipe Invitational and there aren't any weak links in those heats. Wild cards to watch/root for would be Bruce Irons and Billy Kemper. Billy Kemper taking out the contest at Jaws a few weeks ago could be the perfect legend to steal some thunder from what should be called The John Show 2016. As much as a John dominance makes me froth for Hawaii and the future of surfing. I wouldn't mind seeing Bede Durbidge (who is making a triumphant return at Pipe after a life threatening wipe out at Pipe) or a Jeremy Flores (past Pipemaster) win. As always, it would be dumb to bet against Kelly at Pipe but it wouldn't be stupid to put a pile on John either.
Our local friend, homie and legend Tim Burnham happens to be on the rock for the moment and has been capturing some killer footage. WIlko has been looking in form in the days leading up to the event and Tim's footage here is proof. We all love John but why does a Wilko Title win just sound refreshing? Shout out to Tim for his Surfer Poll Nomination this year for best documentary on his film The Dirty Old Wedge.