Pierre-Louis Costes: probably the best bodyboarder in the world right now | Photo: APB

Pierre-Louis Costes has won the 2016 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational, at Banzai Pipeline, in Hawaii.

The French bodyboarder kicked off the new season with a very important victory. Costes defeated Jared Houston, Jacob Romero, and Lewy Finnegan, in the decisive heat, held in spectacular wave conditions.

The 2011 world champion used his traditional trumps to build a near-perfect score of 19.26 points.

"Mahalo! Today was the best day of my bodyboarding career. Winning Pipe was my number one goal, and I am beyond stoked to achieve such a dream," expressed Pierre-Louis.

"I'm tired, my ribs hurt from that first wave and the feeling is so hard to describe I can't believe it. It was a pretty tight heat. Jacob was ahead; then Jerry got an 8. I knew I wasn't going to win with six point scores, so I had to go big. Fortunately, some waves came my way, and I was able to land some moves. I'm stoked!"

The talented rider living in Portugal opened the all-star final with a giant backflip, but he kept improving his best rides. Costes sealed the deal with an outer-space air reverse which left his opponents fighting for the remaining podium places.

Dave Hubbard managed to win the Drop-Knee competition, after defeating Sammy Morretino in the final heat. On the women's side, Ayaka Suzuki prevailed, while Tanner McDaniel beat Socrates Santana in the Pro Junior final.

2016 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational | Final

1. Pierre-Louis Costes (FRA), 19.26
2. Jacob Romero (HAW), 16.17
3. Jared Houston (RSA), 15.03
4. Lewy Finnegan (AUS), 12.10