The most experienced tube riders in the world have enjoyed long, difficult, hollow, deep and perfect barrels. Who are they and how complicated is to get pitted?
Getting barreled in a wave is the ultimate dream of every surfer. If tube riding could be taught in the university, it would be the hardest exam. In this case, if you fail it's wipeout time over the falls.
Surfing the tube is a sensorial experience. Tube riders contemplate the cave with their eyes, hear the spray and power of wave with their ears, touch the wave face with their hand and even smell the salted flavour of ocean water when they're spitted.
The tube ride demands practice and quality waves, too. Usually, you're not allowed to get cover for a long time. The circular curtain of salted water is fast and demands timing and momentum.
The best tube riders in the world have experienced a wide variety of surf breaks. After thousands of wave rides, they get to know when it's time to stall and to get pitted.
Dominating Pipeline is not a mission for the average surfer. When the only way out is through a super fast, sucking left-handed barrel, then let it for the masters.
The most coveted maneuver in surfing also requires techniques such as pumping, speeding up, drawing the optimal line in the pocket and lowering your body.
Being blown out of the tube is an experience specially designed for a restricted group of surfers. Cory Lopez is one of the luckiest surfers on Earth, as he scored the longest tube ride ever recorded. Thirty seconds. Exactly, 30 seconds of pure tube riding pleasure.
The 50 best tube riders of all time:
John John Florence
Johnny Boy Gomes