Updated December 13
Travis Logie is the latest WCT surfer to suffer injury just ahead of the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters. The South African surfer told the ASP that he was withdrawing from Round 1 due to a Grade 1 collateral ligament tear in his knee. Heat 8, in which he was slated to compete against Freddy Patacchia Jr. and Kolohe Andino, ran as a two-man heat.
Logie, who announced his retirement during the Reef Hawaiian Pro, decided to surf Round 2. While he was eliminated in that heat, he was carried up the beach and joined by friends and family afterward, in a touching moment that capped off his nine-year career on the ASP WCT.
Logie's is just the latest in a string of recent injuries among top seeds. As the season winds down, the rise in injury reports this month suggest that all the hard-charging is taking its toll. While the final two spots in the Billabong Pipe Masters are about to be decided, injured surfers are deciding whether to paddle out for the event, the last of the year. Three surfers are officially out: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Taj Burrow (AUS) and Adriano De Souza (BRA) are officially out. The latest reports are promising for Kelly Slater (USA), Joel Parkinson (AUS) and John John Florence (HAW) but check your fantasy surfing team and adjust accordingly.
At the beginning of November, Slater broke two toes during a freesurf in Fiji. Slater is planning to compete at Pipe and is in the running for a record 12th World Title. The Champ has won the Pipe Masters more times than any other surfer in the event's 33-year history -- so chances are good that he'll limp his way to the water and drop in.
"My bones have healed but I've got quite a bit of turf toe," Slater said in a recent Title contenders Q&A. "Luckily it's my front foot and I can just keep my foot planted. I've surfed a few hours now and I'm actually surprised how good it feels."
Burrow, who will be undergoing shoulder surgery, will miss the Pipe Masters for the first time in his 17 years on the World Tour. Rather than defer the surgery until after the season's end, Burrow opted to have the procedure early to allow ample recovery time before the 2015 season begins. Sitting at No. 9 on the WCT rankings going into Pipe, he isn't in any danger of falling off the Tour. Same goes for De Souza, who has withdrawn with a lingering knee injury.
The same can't be said, however, for No. 23 whose decision to opt out of Pipe means he will fall off the Tour. Hobgood sustained an injury to his foot during a freesurf at the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal. He was on the mend going into the Vans Triple Crown, and still hopeful that he'd be able to compete at Pipe.
"I have been really optimistic, everyday telling myself 'I'll pull this off,'" Hobgood said. "I had to face the reality after not being able to surf 2-foot Florida that there is no way I would be able to ride a wave at Pipe in my condition."
Hobgood is healing slowly in part because in 2003, he injured the same foot, an accident he alluded to in his interview with Peter Mel from Portugal. That injury required a metal plate and eight screws.
"There's just things that I deal with in that foot that even on good days takes some TLC," Hobgood said. "Add the injury I received and the cramping in the arch of my foot, coupled with the restricted movement I have in that foot it has just taken longer for me to heal then I would like. I really wish it was different. Pipe is the greatest show on Earth."
Florence and Parkinson, withdrew from the first two stops in Hawaii -- the Reef Hawaiian Pro and the Vans World Cup. Florence has been unable to defend his Triple Crown title due to a grade 2 hamstring strain while Parkinson received treatment for cuts and bruises on his back after scraping the reef at Backdoor. Florence and Parkinson's respective WCT standings will not be affected and both surfers are expected to compete at Pipe.
Dusty Payne (USA), who's been a standout performer during the Vans Triple Crown, will be replacing Hobgood while ASP injury replacement surfers Mitch Coleborn (AUS) and Glenn Hall (IRL) will be filling in for Burrow and De Souza. Tune in to watch the Billabong Pipe Masters LIVE.