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2024 World Surf League World Tour Kicks Off

Lexus Pipe Pro Waiting Period Stretches from January 29-February 10

After a four-month hiatus, the world tour is back! The first event of the 9-contest tour kicks off January 29, 2024, at the Lexus Pipe Pro. With a waiting period extending from January 29 through February 10, the event held at the infamous reef break just offshore from Ehukai Beach Park will be held on the best days of the window, ideally with large, offshore barrels on offer at both Pipeline and Backdoor.World Surf League January 29-February 10

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Defending world champions Felipe Toledo and Caroline Marks will look to get a quick start on the season and pick up where they left off at Trestles in September, although a stacked field will be clamoring to unseat them. Favorites at Pipeline include John John Florence, Jack Robinson, and Gabriel Medina, all of whom finished the 2023 season in the top 10.

 

 

On the women’s side, local hero Carissa Moore will be looking to kickstart her comeback campaign after losing out on the world title in the last heat of the season the past two years. Young upstart and tour sophomore Caitlyn Simmers will also be on the warpath, eager to prove she’s the best surfer on the planet. Meanwhile, Pipe specialist Moana Jones Wong is arguably the best woman in the lineup and will once again surf in the event as a wild card.

Pipeline is the first of 9 events on the world tour regular season schedule, along with Sunset Beach, Supertubos (Portugal), Bells Beach (Australia), Margaret River (Australia), Teahupoo (Tahiti), Punta Roca (El Salvador), Rio (Brazil), and Cloudbreak/Restaurants (Fiji). The top five ranked men and women at the end of this tour will duke it out for the world title at Lower Trestles in September.

Pipeline is known as the most dangerous wave in the world, having killed and injured more surfers than any other spot. In the past six weeks alone we have seen nearly half a dozen high-profile injuries at Pipe, including world number four Joao Chianca (head trauma and near drowning in December), Joaquin del Castillo (broken hip), Eimeo Czermak (head and neck trauma), Koa Rothman (head trauma), and Kai Lenny (head trauma). Many of the younger generation are now wearing helmets at Pipe, but the danger of serious injury still remains. This heightened risk adds to the drama surrounding the event, which is one of the most prestigious in the world and official starts the competitive season.

The North Shore has suffered from a weird, anomalous run of westerly and southwesterly wind for the past three weeks, which has effectively blown out most of the well-known spots in the Country and ruined most of the large swells that have come through in January. However, a day of light/variable wind that corresponded with a classic northwest swell lit up Pipe last week with some of the best conditions we have seen in years. It appears that this anomalous wind will continue through the first three days of the waiting period, but a return to the more normal easterly trade winds should happen at the end of January and correspond with a solid pulse of northwest swell that will likely see the event start on January 31. A solid to XL northwest swell with ideal easterly trades is also forming up for the last few days of the waiting period, when we will likely see finals day go down at Pipeline.

Good luck to all of the athletes competing this year. Stay safe and have fun—we look forward to watching you all rip!

 

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