For the best surfers in the world, December usually means one thing -- gearing up for the gladiator pit, more formally known as the Billabong Pipe Masters, the crown jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Competing, and winning, was Plan A for the Billabong team, especially Griffin Colapinto, Ethan Ewing, and Seth Moniz, but if we've learned anything from the past year and a half amid the pandemic, it's that having a plan B might not be a bad idea.
The start of the 2021 season was rocky. The Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask was put on hold due to COVID, and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing went digital for the first time in history, but that didn't stop the collective efforts from surfers, fans, and organizations to make professional surfing happen.
For the Billabong crew, Plan B meant surfing as much as humanly possible regardless of the contest status. More surfing, more training, more reps in the gnarliest waves in the world. Billabong's latest edit, "Plan B", captured the crew throwing everything they had at Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipe, then they hopped over to Maui to finish off the trip at pristine Honolua Bay.
While Griff didn't get the result he was after at Pipe, he's been a standout surfer this season with three 3rd place finishes. Now sitting at No. 5 on the leaderboard, he's in contention to earn himself a spot at the Rip Curl WSL Finals in his backyard at Trestles this September.
Seth and Ethan are sitting a bit lower on the WSL Leaderboard, in 14th and 16th place respectively, but they're still above the cutline to make the 2022 Championship Tour. Plus, we all know how these three natural footers surf right hand points like we'll see at the next event in Mexico.
Stay tuned for the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver kicking off August 10th.