Heavy, Defined

Glen Hall. Photo: Taras


It’s a word that tends to be overused. Sometimes, it’s said when an ex-someone walks into a bar shortly after an enraged breakup. Other times, it’s said when a wave in San Diego finds a way to spit its little guts out. And even other times, it’s said when somebody makes an off-kilter remark that doesn’t really offend anybody, but takes away from the normal flow of the conversation nonetheless. Those things aren’t truly heavy.

Today, the 2015 Billabong Pipeline Masters, was.

The morning started with sullen news. World Title frontrunner Mick Fanning woke to word that his eldest brother had past away. At first, there were rumors of Mick withdrawing from the event. But that’s not the champion we know and adore. Mick decided to compete and he found a way to win crucial heats. He hasn’t yet spoke of the tragedy in public, but he was asked about it in a roundabout way during a post-heat interview with Peter Mel. The champ choked up and just said that there was something going on in his personal life. The interview ended right then and there. It was heavy.

Pipe, by the way, was a mutant today. It was perfect at times and cruel at others. Hard to read and even harder to surf. Within the first few heats of the morning, Bede Durbidge was on a stretcher on his way to the hospital. The end result was a fractured pelvis and thankfully nothing more — but still, heavy.

Meanwhile, the World Title race remained fast and alive. Gabriel Medina, Adriano de Souza and Mick Fanning are all still in the Quarterfinals and the big trophy is still in the keeper’s hands. It’d mean a lot of different things to each of them for different reasons, so tomorrow should have a lot to say.

Now here’s a gallery of 34 photos from today — a considerably heavy amount, in our opinion. –Brendan Buckley

John John Florence. Photo: Corey Wilson
John John Florence. Photo: Taras
Filipe Toledo and Kai Otton. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Filipe Toledo and Kai Otton. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
Mason Ho. Photo: Taras
Pipeline. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
John john Florence. Photo: Corey Wilson
Glen Hall. Photo: Taras
Mason Ho. Photo: Corey Wilson
Filipe Toledo. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Filipe Toledo and Mason Ho. Photo: Taras
Filipe and family. Photo: Sherm
Pipeline. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Kelly Slater. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
Kai Otton. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
Adriano de Souza. Photo: Sherm
Kelly Slater. Photo: Taras
Kelly Slater. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Sebastian Zietz. Photo: Taras
Sebastian Zietz. Photo: Taras
Bede Durbidge. Photo: Taras
Michel Bourez. Photo: Taras
Kelly Slater and John John Florence. Photo: Sherm
Kai Otton. Photo: Sherm
Michel Bourez. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Mick Fanning. Photo: Sherm
Sebastian Zietz. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
Gabriel Medina. Photo: Brent Bielmann
Mick Fanning. Photo: Sherm
The Fanning camp. Photo: Sherm
Kelly Slater. Photo: Corey Wilson
Jeremy Flores. Photo: Taras
Gabriel Medina. Photo: Sherm
The arena. Photo: Corey Wilson

Back to SURFING homepage…