• Ask a Pipe Master: Kieren Perrow

Ask a Pipe Master: Kieren Perrow

World Surf League Commissioner Kieren Perrow is a man who has a special relationship with Pipe. As a former Billabong Pipe Master, he has ridden the wave to perfection and knows intimately what it's like to make the drop with an unforgiving reef just below the surface. Now, as the Commissioner of the WSL, Kieren is tasked with identifying which day is the best day to run surfing's biggest event. It's not an easy task - Pipe is often good but when is Pipe epic? That's for Kieren to decide.

In anticipation of the 2016 Billabong Pipe Masters, we caught up with KP to ask him about his relationship with Pipe and what makes Pipe so important to the sport of surfing.

What does it mean to you to be a Pipe Master? Why do you think this is such a special title to hold?

KP: It was the highlight of my career and I treasure it immensely, my only win on the CT and the event I wanted to win more than any other… It is a special title because of the history and the incredible arena that is Pipeline and what it has meant for the world of professional surfing.

How does Pipeline test you and your skills as a surfer?

KP: It is daunting and challenging and crazy! Pushing yourself over the feathering ledge is so difficult when Pipe is at its best, but the wave is easily one of the best in the world… and then there's Backdoor! My favourite wave in the world. They both make you commit early and be perfect with your positioning, or you pay...

What does a perfect day at Pipe look like?

KP: Not just for running the contest but a perfect, all time day at Pipe. 8-12 foot Hawaiian, NW swell… light East trades. Not too big for Backdoor, but some crazy Pipe waves as well… all focusing on first reef. No one out would be nice too!

What does the Pipe Masters mean to the sport and culture of surfing?

KP: Pipe was the original gladiator pit, the wave that tested the best surfers in the world beyond their imagination… it is iconic and beautiful to watch, for surfers it gets the butterflies going and the heart racing… but gives back with incredible energy.

Do you think Pipe is the most dangerous wave in the world? Why or why not?

KP: Definitely one of the most dangerous… the ocean can be so raw in Hawaii, and pipe is the spot that focuses so much of that into one section of super shallow reef. It can be really crowded too and this makes it even more dangerous at times.

Who’s the best ever at Pipe?

KP: Gerry Lopez

Thanks to Kieren for his time!


Click here for more Billabong Pipe Masters content and coverage and be sure to watch the 2016 Billabong Pipe Masters beginning December 8, 2016.