Kala Grace: an amazing performance and a scary injury at Pipeline | Illustration: SurferToday

Three surfers suffered severe injuries during the 2023 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout in Memory of The Duke at Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu.

Makua Rothman, Billy Kemper, and Kala Grace were rushed to the hospital after getting injured in double overhead conditions.

Rothman underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for a potential tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Kemper's health condition has not been made public.

But Kala's accident was the one that got people thinking about the danger that lies underneath the queen of all waves.

The truth is Pipeline produced one of the biggest and heaviest surf sessions of the last decade, with corresponding performances from athletes.

Moana Jones-Wong: the Hawaiian scored one of the best-ever waves by a woman at Pipeline after the end of her heat

Kala Grace: A Close Call

Grace was rescued unconscious from the water.

The Hawaiian emerged unscathed from a closeout wave and tried to duck-dive the oncoming set.

However, he was pushed toward the reef, lost his helmet, and was left unconscious. Lifeguard Noland Kealuana had to dismount the jet ski to keep his head above the water's surface.

The sustained head injury meant Kala required cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the sand.

He was later rushed to Queens Hospital, where he is recovering, yet still with the support of artificial ventilation.

After the accident, the event was temporarily put on hold.

Kelly Slater, 50, was one of the stand-outs of the prestigious, no-jersey invitational, alongside Clay Marzo, Eimeo Czermak, Benji Brand, and others.

Moana Jones-Wong, pictured above, also scored one of the best-ever waves by a woman at Pipeline after the end of her heat.

Last but not least, at 66, Michael Ho deserves a special mention for his talent and commitment in a wave he knows so well.

The awards ceremony was postponed to January 21, 2023.

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