With the world title still on the line during Round 4 of the 2015 Billabong Pipe Masters, all eyes were on the magic matchup of Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and John John Florence. And the seesaw battle lived up to the hype.
Teahupo'o was the battlefield during an epic clash between Gabriel Medina and John John Florence during Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Heats like this one, where six waves were scored over 9.0, point to a rivalry of epic proportions taking shape.
If not for that 'other' J-Bay headline the one match everyone would still be talking about was the duel between World Champions Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Gabriel Medina in Round 4. With fifteen titles between them, there was plenty of pride on the line, and it's certainly worth another look.
Mick Fanning's shark encounter during the final of the J-Bay Open broke the internet, and became the biggest pro surfing story of all time. Yes, it was a reminder of the risks surfers face daily, but it also revealed the incredible bravery and brotherhood that exist on the CT.
One of the biggest surprise packages of the year was women's rookie Tatiana Weston-Webb. At the The Roxy Pro France she put an exclamation point on her arrival by earning a 10-point ride on her way to a runner-up finish.
While Silvana Lima struggled throughout 2015, the Brazilian legend's hefty air-reverse at Snapper became a measuring stick for the season. The judges rewarded her with a 10.
Fans erupted over Kelly Slater's botched air during the Hurley Pro at Trestles after it was awarded a small score. Despite the public outcry, the champ himself ultimately sided with the judges.
The final harrowing incident of the season came at Pipeline, where Bede Durbidge broke his pelvis after suffering a horrific wipeout in his heat. Bede, who's still recovering, said afterward he knew right away he'd broken something. Bede's injury came just days after Owen Wright suffered a concussion at Pipe during a warmup session.
Carissa Moore clinched the 2015 World Title during Round 4 of the Target Maui Pro. But with pristine conditions on tap at Honolua Bay, Moore wasn't done. She would celebrate her latest title by taking the win the event and earning a 10-point-ride in the Final.
Adriano de Souza's road to the top was anything but easy. Even entering the final event of the season, where six surfers had a mathematical shot at the title, he was viewed as a dark horse. But in retrospect, given his decade of blood, sweat, and tears, he shouldn't have been. De Souza's emotional win is a testament to the age old adage to never, ever, give up.