The days prior to the final day of the contest provided challenging conditions for the riders, with rain, wind, and not exactly your picturesque pipeline, but even then it was plenty contestable and riders from around the world proved that in all conditions you can still go big.
Moving onto the final and defining day of the contest provided some mental conditions, big heavy barrels, massive ramps on the rights and lefts providing the crowd for an absolute air show performed by the world's elite bodyboarders. The young Frenchman, Pierre Louis Costas was commanding a huge lead in the final heat with a big invert at backdoor(8.4) early and then following with a full rotation backdoor air reverse(6.7). Everyone was fighting to catch Pierre and it looked as if he would be hard to catch. Soon after, Ryan Hardy got in position for one of the biggest and best waves in the whole contest and scored a 9.4 to move into second place. Hardballs follows this up with another good barrel and backflip out of the bowl to take over first and he wouldn't be caught. When Ryan caught the last wave of the event, he knew head had won and as Hardy say's himself, "Just floated to the sky." A great guy, great bodyboarder, and well deserved.
On a side note, there was a good amount of buzz surrounding the Turbo Pipeline Pro this year, with professional stand up surfer and pipeline master, Jamie O'Brien propelling a seed to compete. There are various opinions and views on allowing Jamie to compete, personally I feel its good for the sport of bodyboarding. Both bodyboarding and surfing are difficult to task, I donít care what side of the line you are on. Both require a great deal of wave knowledge, talent, and the skill of manuevering on whatever type of board you are riding. So how did Jamie O'Brien fare in the contest? Not so well, he did not make the cut, but I do give him a large amount of props for charging and attempting to ride something that was out of character for him. So to all those who feel they can just go pick up a boogie board and be able to surf like Ben Player or dropknee like Paul Roach, you are simply dreaming. Click here to see Jamie O'brien bodyboarding at Pipe.