||Keito Matsuoka Wins O'Neill Wave of the Winter
Barron Mamiya wins Sambazon Breakthrough Performer; Benji Brand takes Active Skin Repair Heaviest Drop and Clif Bar Overall Performer
Matsuoka's wave was a rare anomaly: a Second Reefer that broke on the First Reef. You could drive a school bus through the barrel. His fins were barely connected the moment before he made his bottom turn. Everything about it was mildly absurd.
"This was the wave of my lifetime," Matsuoka -- who was not a household name -- said. "One hundred percent."
What an amazing event that ANYONE can win. Anyone, that is, who can overcome the insanely competitive Pipeline lineup, catch a wave that will most likely kill them, and ride it with matador poise across a tornado of whitewater over a cataclysm of reef and come out laughing. Anyone.
But one wave does not a winter make. And as is tradition, we spent the entire North Shore season with multiple lenses pointed firmly at all the action at Pipeline, Backdoor and Off-the-Wall, captured the best of the best and then sat down the standouts.
||Koa Rothman, Mark Healey, Nathan Fletcher, Eli Olson, Tyler Newton, Cam Richards, Torrey Meister, Keito Matsuoka, Shawn Briley, Ricardo dos Santos, Kelly Slater, Kalani Chapman, Jamie O'Brien, Reef McIntosh, Andrew Logreco, Makua Rothman, Billy Kemper, Mike O'Shaugnessy, Jordy Smith, Barron Mamiya, Makana Pang, Benji Brand, Mason Ho, Seth Moniz, Shota Nakamura, Shun Murakami