A benchmark competition for surfing’s history will kickstart the 2022 season with the first-ever full CT competition for the women. Last year, the women finished the last three rounds at Pipeline to complete the Roxy Pro Maui contest, spotlighting incredible performances from two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) and five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in waves of consequence. Now, the world’s best surfers will get their opportunity to shine alongside men’s competition for the first time in history as fully integrated events. The CT veterans will also be joined by the next generation of talent when the Billabong Pro Pipeline gets underway.
For the women, three Hawaii teenagers in Bettylou Sakura Johnson, 16, Luana Silva, 17, and Gabriela Bryan, 19, join Australia’s India Robinson, 21, and Molly Picklum,19, on the 2022 CT. While Bryan secured her spot among the CT well before the final Challenger Series event, the others needed to prove themselves capable of rising to the occasion and will now look to cement their places amid the Top 17.
After Moana Jones Wong’s (HAW) undeniable showing at the HIC Pipe Pro QS 1,000, the North Shore local earned herself a wildcard spot into the Billabong Pro Pipeline and is arguably one of the lineup’s standouts when Pipeline comes to life. The 21-year-old will be a sure threat to the world’s best when the opening horn sounds.
“I am so stoked to be given this opportunity to surf in the first ever women’s event at Pipe,” said Wong. “This has always been my favorite contest to watch, so I am over the moon that I am not going to be just watching, but I am going to be competing against the world’s best at my favorite wave in the world. Representing the North Shore and having a lot of experience in the Pipe lineup is great for me but, at the same time, Pipeline is a super tricky wave and even the best of the best out there struggle. I am very humbled to be able to surf out there and be from here.”
“Growing up on the North Shore, me and all my friends would always go watch the contest after school,” said Mamiya. “So it’s an awesome feeling being in it this year. Living here and surfing Pipe every year, you definitely get a lot more comfortable than people who aren’t from here and have only surfed it a few times. When you’re comfortable out there, it really changes the way you surf it. It’s one of the heaviest waves in the world and I’m really grateful to have it as my home break.”
“To see the number of women charging Pipe and Backdoor over the past 10 years — and in the past few years in particular — is beyond inspiring,” says Billabong Women’s Global VP of Marketing Stephanie Hendrickson. “It truly is a new era for women’s surfing and we can’t wait to see these women break barriers while the whole world is watching.”
Of course, all these “firsts” didn’t happen overnight. And to honor those surfers who helped lead the charge to this milestone, Billabong partnered with the WSL and Hunt House Pictures to create the Pioneers of Pipeline series. Narrated by North Shore lifeguard, artist and bodysurfing legend Mark Cunningham, this 14-part video series takes us through the decades as Cunningham shares memories of the greatest men and women he’s ever seen at his beloved Banzai Pipeline. To complement the series, Cunningham created a “found object” art installation on display at the event, featuring selected treasures he discovered during his countless dives along the reef that gives Pipeline its teeth. The artwork will be sold by auction with proceeds going to the North Shore Lifeguard association. To view the artwork and place your bid, go HERE.
In addition, to provide more context on the women’s long overdue first-ever WSL Championship Tour event at Pipeline, Billabong have created a four-chapter series narrated by North Shore royalty Coco Ho recognising the brave women who helped pave the way to this historic moment in surfing. The series can be viewed in full HERE.
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Molly Picklum (AUS)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Moana Jones Wong (HAW)
Heat 4: Johanne Defay (FRA), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Luana Silva (HAW)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tyler Wright (AUS), India Robinson (AUS)
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Heat 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Jackson Baker (AUS)
Heat 2: Morgan Cibilic (AUS), Seth Moniz (HAW), Carlos Munoz (CRI)
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Liam O’Brien (AUS), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Barron Mamiya (HAW)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA), Miguel Tudela (PER)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA), Joao Chianca (BRA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Kelly Slater (USA), Lucca Mesinas (PER)
Heat 9: Frederico Morais (PRT), Ethan Ewing (AUS), Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 11: Jack Robinson (AUS), Deivid Silva (BRA), Samuel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Callum Robson (AUS)
The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and we have been working closely with local authorities to put a robust set of procedures in place to keep everyone safe. This includes pre-event screening, testing protocols, and minimal personnel on site.
The Billabong Pro Pipeline will open on Saturday, January 29, 2022. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the free WSL app, and the WSL’s YouTube channel. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.