2015 Volcom Pipe Pro: wild rides | Photo: Volcom/Bielmann

Waves reaching 18 feet ignited Round 3 of the 2015 Volcom Pipe Pro, at Banzai Pipeline, Hawaii.

A critical drop and deep tube ride scored at 9.5 points sent Ian Walsh to Round 5 of the competition, in a heat filled with high drama.

Leonardo Fioravanti suffered a brutal wipeout after takeoff and was whisked out of the impact zone by Hawaiian Water Patrol. He left the beach in an ambulance with a suspected back injury, putting his 2015 season in jeopardy.

"It definitely has a danger factor today being that it's compressed onto the inside of the reef and there's not that many good waves, so you do have to roll the dice on waves.. and create your own opportunity," underlined Walsh.

"It's unfortunate that Leo got hurt. I was bummed when I saw him waving his arm (for help). You don't want that to happen to anyone out here, and it's so quick to get hurt. Boom! You're on the bottom and a lot of times you don't even know what happened."

Nathan Florence, John John Florence's younger brother, posted 14.86 points out of 20 to move on. In the very next heat, Mikey Bruneau took it further with the highest scoring tube ride - 9.57, and the highest heat score of the event so far: 15.0.

"I just want to get another opportunity to surf out there with only three other guys out. I love Pipeline so much. I fell on the wave before (the 9.57) and was kind of shattered," added Bruneau.

"I lost priority and there was one minute left. Then that thing popped up and looked pretty lurchy, but I figured I had to go. It spat me out and I was pretty stoked."

Other standouts of the day included Ian Gouveia, Jamie O'Brien, Dusty Payne, Kiron Jabour and Evan Geiselman.

2015 Volcom Pipe Pro | Preliminary Round 3 Results

K David (HAW) 7.34; S Zietz (HAW) 7.07; T Hendrickson (HAW) 4.1; C Arambide (USA) 4.03
E Lau (HAW) 12.0; I Walsh (HAW) 10.83; E Valiere (HAW) 9.2; L Fioravanti (ITA) 1.37
H Bettero (BRZ) 12.33; G Gillette (HAW) 10.67; C Munoz (CRI) 3.7; M Coleborn (AUS) 3.5
N Florence (HAW) 14.86; S Murakami (JPN) 12.04; F Patacchia (HAW) 7.6; J DaSilva (BRA) 3.14
M Bruneau (HAW) 15.0; D Payne (HAW) 14.63; M Giorgi (URY) 13.4; G Larsen (HAW) 3.1
J O'Brien (HAW) 14.4; I Gouveia (BRA) 12.8; N Yeomans (USA) 11.97; J Duru (FRA) 11.0
NM McGonagle (CRI) 12.4; A Aranburu (ESP) 10.93; O Eleogram (HAW) 10.17; M Tudela (PER) 6.17