Over The Edge

The WSL Pipe Pro started this week and even the best show their fear.

Pipeline is the true test of courage and commitment.

How bad do you want it and what you got in your heart and soul to go over that edge into glory?

I rode it for the first time on a Ben Aipa shaped pintail in 1970 and won the Pipe Masters on the Spider Murphy shaped pink banana in 1975.

This pic by James Cassimus was during the Pipe Masters in 1983 – not sure how I made the takeoff in those days before knifing the rail backside.

As I paddled in a gust of trade wind shoved me toward the right and hung me in the lip. It was a disaster unfolding in slow motion and for a moment I thought I was a dead man. I had to go though. I just muscled my way though the wind and over the cliff and somehow pulled it off.

Many years ago I wrote a card to inspire kids called “A Surfer’s Code.” 12 lines, each beginning with “I will..” I wrote the fundamental lessons that surfing had taught me about life.

One of my favorite lines was about Pipeline – about courage, success, ambition and desire: “I will take the drop with commitment.”

I’m riding a 7’7″ three fin baby swallow shaped by the legendary craftsman and designer Bill Barnfield.

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