Huge congratulations go out to Ben Player who has taken the 2014 Pipe Challenge and started this year as he finished the last one – in winning style. After taking the 2013 title following the Fronton cancellation, there were a few who disagreed with the IBA’s decision to award the title straight to Ben without a playoff battle, but BP has started the season all guns blazing and shown that he is a force to be reckoned with.
Although the waves weren’t all time Pipe, it was still better than most of us get to surf on a regular basis and all the riders put in great rides and managed to put on quite a show. The live webcast was beseeched with problems especially at the offset but eventually the gremlins were banished and we were able to watch stress free here in the UK after an hour or so.
The webcast, put together by Science Bodyboards, was entertaining and featured a variety of commentators including Kainoa McGee, Tom Rigby and Mike Stewart, and Mike seemed to feel personally responsible for the streaming mishaps and continually apologised for the teething problems.
One of the highlights for me occurred in Quarter Final 4 when Magno Passos and Diego Cabrera both dropped in on the same wave at the same time and both hit the lip at the same time pulling off an ARS and a Backflip and both making it without landing on each other – maybe a new competition format has been born!
It is with no surprise that the supergrom Tanner McDaniel wrapped up the Junior Pro Division after also taking part in the Senior competition, that boy can do no wrong and is going to take Bodyboarding to new levels. The other results in the Men’s event saw Uri Valado take second, a sullen looking Spencer Skipper sealed third and Jared Houston finished in fourth. There were only 0.57 points between 1st and 3rd place, no wonder Spencer Skipper looked so peeved.
Overall a fantastic way to spend a Sunday evening and a huge thanks must be sent to the APB, the sponsors and the riders who all worked extremely hard to keep the tour alive and bring the event into our living rooms. Make sure you support the sponsors and keep up to speed with all the latest tour news here at Surf-Report. The APB Pipe Challenge highlight video can be found below.