Buttons Kaluhiokalani was a one-time human. An actual surfing genius. In a big contest, he'd just go out and freesurf. Whatever happened, happened.
In the semis at Pipe this year, what happened was, he dropped in on Simon Anderson.
It wasn't mean, it was just Buttons. But this was a new era of pro surfing, and rules are rules, right? If you drop in, you get bumped, and the judges bumped Buttons.
At which point those rules went out the window, and the Pipe rules kicked in.
A delegation of locals approached the judging tower. Vocal arguments ensued. A couple of the judges fled the scene. Ten minutes later, master diplomat Randy Rarick announced there'd be seven surfers in the final, instead of the regulation six.
Anyway - Simon won, Buttons came third, and if anyone had doubted, now they knew: at Pipe, intimidation was part of the game.