Banzai Pipeline: the home of the prestigious Pipe Masters | Photo: Sean Davey/Creative Commons

The Pipe Masters is the most prestigious surf contest in the world. The event takes place at Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, in Hawaii.

It is one of the 36 surf spots of the so-called Seven Mile Miracle, a seven-mile (11.2 kilometers) stretch of sandy surf beaches.

The first Pipe Masters edition got underway on December 16, 1971. The competition was organized by the 1968 world surfing champion, Fred Hemmings.

The prize money - $1,000 - was sponsored by Continental Airlines; the surf contest was broadcast by ABC's Wide World of Sports.

The inaugural edition - named Hawaiian Masters - had six surfers battling it out in a single heat format. At the beach, there were less than 50 spectators.

Jeff Hakman ended up winning the contest held in six-foot, Hawaiian scale waves. Until 1975, the surf contest continued as a single heat event.

You can't talk about the history of the Pipeline Masters without mentioning Gerry Lopez. The Hawaiian tube-riding prodigy competed in the event 25 times and won it twice.

The most successful surfer on the Pipe Masters history books is Kelly Slater. The Floridian pro surfer won the contest eight times.

Joel Parkinson was the first athlete to surf a perfect heat at the Pipe Masters. In 2008, the Australian earned two Perfect-10-point scores from the judging panel.

The most popular surf competition on the planet has been running in December non-stop since 1971 and is the final stop of the Triple Crown of Surfing.

Kelly Slater: the Floridian surfer won seven Pipe Masters titles | Photo: Cestari/WSL

Pipeline Masters | List of Champions

1971: Jeff Hakman (HAW)
1972: Gerry Lopez (HAW)
1973: Gerry Lopez (HAW)
1974: Jeff Crawford (USA)
1975: Shaun Tomson (RSA)
1976: Rory Russell (HAW)
1977: Rory Russell (HAW)
1978: Larry Blair (AUS)
1979: Larry Blair (AUS)
1980: Mark Richards (AUS)
1981: Simon Anderson (AUS)
1982: Michael Ho (HAW)
1983: Dane Kealoha (HAW)
1984: Joey Buran (USA)
1985: Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
1986: Derek Ho (HAW)
1987: Tom Carroll (AUS)
1988: Rob Page (AUS)
1989: Gary Elkerton (AUS)
1990: Tom Carroll (AUS)
1991: Tom Carroll (AUS)
1992: Kelly Slater (USA)
1993: Derek Ho (HAW)
1994: Kelly Slater (USA)
1995: Kelly Slater (USA)
1996: Kelly Slater (USA)
1997: John Gomes (HAW)
1998: Jake Paterson (AUS)
1999: Kelly Slater (USA)
2000: Rob Machado (USA)
2001: Bruce Irons (HAW)
2002: Andy Irons (HAW)
2003: Andy Irons (HAW)
2004: Jamie O'Brien (HAW)
2005: Andy Irons (HAW)
2006: Andy Irons (HAW)
2007: Bede Durbidge (AUS)
2008: Kelly Slater (USA)
2009: Taj Burrow (AUS)
2010: Jeremy Flores (FRA)
2011: Kieren Perrow (AUS)
2012: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2013: Kelly Slater (USA)
2014: Julian Wilson (AUS)
2015: Adriano de Souza (BRA)
2016: Michel Bourez (PYF)
2017: Jeremy Flores (FRA)
2018: Gabriel Medina (BRA)
2019: Italo Ferreira (BRA)
2020: Canceled Due to Covid-19
2021: John John Florence (HAW)
2022: Kelly Slater (USA) | Moana Jones Wong (HAW)
2023: Balaram Stack (USA) | Molly Picklum (AUS)

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