Surprise package of the day is Heat 4 -- a foregone conclusion until Brazillian Dennis Tihara, who has never competed here before, upsets the apple cart. Tihara loves Pipe but couldn't afford a trip here last year, instead grafting it out on the Brazilian comp circuit saving up the Reals for this year.
Surfing like a man possessed he systematically finds his way into the best barrels of the day, edging past top shelf local Pipeline talent Kamalei Alexander and Reef McIntosh. Tihara emerges after two back-to-back, deep tuberides with scores of 7.5 and 9.90. Credit to McIntosh, his final scoreline was right on Tihara's heels: 17.27 points.
"I'm surprised!" says Tihara. "I made a 10 point ride in Puerto last month, so I wanted to make that happen again here at Pipeline because this is such a good wave. It's my first time competing here. I just came here three times before, now it's my first contest, so I really want to make good of the heats."
© Bernie Baker/Volcom