- WSL / Laurent Masurel
- WSL / Laurent Masurel

The year finished with a bang as Nazaré and Hawaii provided the backdrops to a host of dramatic surfing stories.

Jordy Smith surfing in Quarter Final Heat 4 of the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeine, Oahu, Hawaii. Smith is injury-free and has his sights on a World Title. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"So I kind of aimed at improving my boards by 10 percent, and then my fitness by 10 percent, as well as my diet by 10 percent. All in, that would be a 30 percent total improvement, for a start. That was the theory anyway."
Jordy Smith on his new lease on life.

Tom_Butler BWT Nazare Challenge Butler takes off, with his right ear intact. - WSL / Guillaume Arrieta

"I felt like I needed to get a score, so I just kinda said to myself, 'Next wave I see, I'm just gonna turn and go, whatever.'"
The UK's Tom Butler on the wave at the Nazaré Challenge that saw him almost lose an ear and spend a week in the hospital.

Jamie Mitchell (AUS).BWT Nazare Challenge Jamie Mitchell comes back to Earth. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

"Today was next level, it was survival, it was heavy. I want to dedicate this to my wife and little daughter, and to my Mum and Dad, I think today is a family theme. All the big wave family behind me, around the world, it was just an incredible day."
Nazaré Challenge winner Jamie Mitchell.

Kanoa Igarashi winning Heat 4 of Round Four of the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeine, Oahu, Hawaii. Igarashi, calm and confident under the Backdoor axe. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

"I have a really special relationship with Backdoor. It's a place where I've felt so scared in my life, but also so confident."
Kanoa Igarashi surprised everyone, except himself, by making the Final at the Billabong Pipe Masters.

Zeke Lau during heat 16 round three of the Hawaiian Pro Expect to see more of these power turns in 2017. - WSL / tony heff

"For Hawaii it's huge. To have Zeke on tour, he's a true Hawaiian and he's going to be one of the main power surfers on tour, and we have been lacking that."
Fred Patacchia from Tour Notes on Zeke Lau's addition to the CT roster.

Stephanie Gilmore winning the Billabong Women's Pipe Invitational at Pipeine, Oahu, Hawaii. Gilmore finishes the year on a high. - WSL / Tony Heff

"I waited all year to do it. I'm really happy to finally win something, especially against Carissa and Tyler 'cause I think they're the best in the world right now."
Stephanie Gilmore after winning the Women's Pipe Invitational.

Kai's equipment Kai and his wacky contraption. - WSL

"I'm excited to see where this is going to be in maybe 10 years. I think it's going to be the extension of a shortboard and we're going to be doing similar maneuvers on it. This is only the beginning."
Kai Lenny crystal balls the future of the foil board.

Frederico Morais placed second in Heat 4 of Round Two of the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeine, Oahu, Hawaii. Frederico Morais competing in the Pipe Masters. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"This has been a long time coming. His preparation, positive attitude and belief have never stinted. Qualification is the reward for years of plugging away doing all the little things the right way."
Frederico Morais' coach Richard Marsh on the Portuguese surfer's so-called "overnight" success.

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