Week after week of big swells have traveled across the Pacific and hammered the Hawaiian coast. For three days in late January, surfers from around the world gathered on the North Shore of Oahu to compete at the annual Volcom Pipe Pro contest. In the end, 43-year-old Kelly Slater claimed the win—and the $100,000 purse—over a host of Hawaiians and international surfers with a series of perfect rides. But not all the competitors had as nice a run as Slater did. Here, we collect the best wipeouts of the contest.
Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti had been waiting for a first wave in his heat when he got caught in this wave. He finished fourth in his heat.
Another view of Fioravanti’s slam. According to photographer Tai Vandyke, Fioravanti immediately paddled back out and scored a good one. “Kid charges!” Vandyke said.
20-year-old Hawaiian Makai McNamara gets pitched in the final.
Midway through the final heat, McNamara tried to sneak into this wave. He emerged unharmed, but his board snapped in half.
Another shot of McNamara getting tossed. The reason Pipe throws so hard and so hollow is because it breaks on a shallow reef.
From heat two on the first day of competition, Nic von Rupp of Portugal goes head-first toward Pipe’s bottom. According to photographer Jack Morrissey, offshore winds that day held the lips of the breaking waves back enough to interfere with timing.
Torrey Meister of Hawaii cannonballs into the flats. According to photographer Brian Bielmann, Meister had been sneaking waves all day to buoy his score.
Japan’s Shun Murakami tumbles down the wave face before going into the spin cycle.
Even with his amazing contest run, Kelly Slater (right) got caught a few times. To his left, Jack Robinson negotiates the Backdoor section.
Costa Rica’s Carlos Munoz gets rolled after a missed drop.