Gabriel Medina's late surge up the Jeep Leaderboard in 2017 is one of the most remarkable stories of the year. Back in June, the 2014 World Champion was suffering through the worst slump of his entire Championship Tour career. Four straight early-round losses saw him fall out of the Top 10, and the likelihood of a World Title campaign was fading fast.
Fortunately for Medina, nobody else was able to take firm command of the top spot while he was slumping. The first seven events featured seven separate winners, which ultimately provided him a window of opportunity to get back in the game...And get back he did.
After his 3rd-place finish in South Africa, runner-up finish in Tahiti, and back-to-back wins in Europe, Medina is looking as lethal as ever. Heading into the final event of the season at Pipeline, he's now hot on the heels of reigning World Champ and current Jeep Leader John John Florence. While Jordy Smith and Julian Wilson are also in contention, Medina and Florence are the clear frontrunners, making the battle for the 2017 crown one of the most exciting ever.
The Billabong Pipe Masters event window opens Friday, December 8.