Just in time for Oahu's peak big wave season, the WSL and Volcom have announced that the 11th annual Volcom Pipe Pro will be upgraded to a Men's QS 5,000-rated competition to offer more value and opportunity for local and international athletes. The surf event takes place from January 29 - February 10 at Pipeline, the most paramount wave in the world, and will bring together 144 of the best athletes from around the globe, more than 32 of which will be local surfers seeded off of the QS and regional ratings. The Volcom Pipe Pro marks the second WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui regional event of the 2020 calendar year.
The new upgrade adds even greater prestige to the Volcom Pipe Pro, which is highly regarded for its caliber of athletes, including two-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW) who has an unrivaled four titles (2015, 2013, 2012 and 2011), and defending event winner, Jack Robinson (AUS), who is freshly minted onto the 2020 CT. The Volcom Pipe Pro's wealthy reputation of phenomenal surf has made it an attractive one for international athletes and will now offer more points and prize money to the top placing competitors, along with 12 local spots into the Pipe Invitational, a trials event ahead of the Billabong Pipe Masters, the men's CT finale in December.
Florence has competed in the Volcom Pipe Pro since its inception back in 2010 and won the event three years in a row. He earned his most recent victory in 2015 and has a pair of 7th place finishes as well as a 9th place result, which sees him as the most successful surfer in event history. Although the Pipe prodigy did not compete for half of 2019 due to an ACL injury sustained at the Oi Rio Pro in June, his first event back in a jersey was at Pipe last month and his performance demonstrated he is warmed up and ready to tackle one of his favorite events of the competitive season, pressure-free.
Another barrel specialist that will keep competitors on their toes is Western Australia's Robinson, who in 2019 became only the second international surfer to win the Volcom Pipe Pro after Soli Bailey (AUS) claimed the title in 2017. Using this momentum, Robinson went on to earn third place at the Vans Pro Men's QS 3,000 in October and first place in the Vans World Cup of Surfing Men's QS 10,000 in November to qualify for the 2020 Men's CT for the very first time. An undeniable competitive threat along the North Shore, Robinson's genius for barrel-riding is second-to-none at just 22 years old, and he will likely be the most feared opponent in the 144-man draw.
Other local threats poised to take the Volcom warrior helmet is Josh Moniz, who won the event in 2018 and his brother Seth Moniz, who won Rookie of the Year in 2019, plus last year's runner-up Barron Mamiya, 2019 Pipe Invitational winner Billy Kemper and former CT athletes Sebastian Zietz and Ezekiel Lau.
In addition to consistently delivering some of the best barrels and most historic heats, the Volcom Pipe Pro is one of the most popular and most-watched events in the world. Hosts Sal Masekela, Chris Cote, Dave Wassel, Kaipo Guerrero and Vaughan Blakey will be providing all the insights and behind the scenes access fans have come to expect from the Volcom Pipe Pro.
This event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, RedBull.com/VolcomPipePro and Volcom.com/PipePro. Fans can also witness the event LIVE and in replay on Spectrum SURF channels 20 and 1020HD across the state of Hawaii. Key features of the webcast will include live chat, video analyzer, live scoring and more.
Since 2013 this elite event has been certified a Deep Blue Surf Event™, a more "Ocean Friendly" event that sets a clear path for reducing environmental impacts, while also providing social benefits for the local community. The Volcom Pipe Pro is the longest-running Deep Blue Surf Event™ and has continually set the bar for what it means to make a surf competition sustainable through waste diversion, renewable energy, carbon footprint offsets, community support and more, to reduce the environmental and social impacts. For 2020, Volcom's commitment to sustainability will go even further to make the Volcom Pipe Pro not just one the most exciting but also one of the most progressive events in professional surfing.
The Volcom Pipe Pro, once again, is supporting the Sion Milosky Foundation. A $10,000 donation will be made to the nonprofit organization whose mission is preserving the legacy of North Shore big wave surfer, Sion Milosky, and supporting and celebrating Pipe and Backdoor chargers, present and future.