Pipeline. The Banzai. Every surfer’s greatest dream and worst nightmare wrapped into one thundering peak. Pipe has already been firing for the start of 2022, with the Backdoor Shootout going off like a frog in a sock. Clips of wild drop ins and even wilder pits have been spitting across all of our Instagram feeds. So, we’re all well primed for the jewel in the WSL Crown, the Pipe Masters to kick off the 2022 Championship Tour season (and fantasy surf obviously). Get your teams in. Everything goes code red on Jan 29th. 

Here’s your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Pipeline 2022.


World champ and Olympic gold medalist – 2021 was a hallmark year from one of the greatest surfing talents we’ve seen in pretty much forever. At the height of her considerable powers, Carissa Moore was basically unstoppable last year, like some kind of rampaging Polynesian war goddess. I’m banking on a continuation of form coming into Pipe. She’s not only my number one pick in their tier, but my power surfer.

If you’re wanting to risk the biscuit, Tatiana Weston-Webb has also proven herself in solid pits before. But, for me, it’s Riss all the way. 

In: Carissa
Maybe: Tati
Out: Sally


Phwoar! Tier A is stacked full of opportunity. As usual, who to cut and who to nut is the question. However, looking at recent history, it’s pretty clear the two guys you’re looking at for slots. Gabby and Italo not only faced off in the semis here last year, but met in a world title showdown the time before that. Having those two guys as a starting line isn’t an easy call, but a solid one.

Also chumming up the lineup are Conner Coffin, Griffin Cola, Kanoa Igarashi and Jordy Smith. All of those guys have solid showings at Pipe in the past, but haven’t cracked a win like the others. There’s a lot of light between first and lost, so I’m running with experience. Filipe isn’t the easy no he once was at Pipe, but you have still to relegate him and Morgan to the back (ahem, door).

In: Gabby and Italo
Maybe: Conner and Cola
Out: Morgan


This is one hard tier to pick. You’ve got the reigning Pipe Master, a 7 x World Champ, 3 x title contenders and some hot new talent.

First up, I have to go Tyler Wright in pole position. She’s proven she has what it takes to win at this venue and that’s no mean feat. Second spot is absolutely up for grabs. On one hand you have Steph, the GOAT of women’s surfing. On another you have hot title contenders for this year Lakey, Johanne and Caroline. There’s also charger Courtney Conlogue. On gut feel, I think Courtney’s mix of experience and grit might make her my go-to pick.

However, if I over analyze things (which is my job), I look at Caroline. Who’s the most winning goofy in history at Pipe? Tom Carroll with 3 samurai hats. Caroll/Caroline? Goofy? I’m definitely spotting a pattern. She’s in! The others can be maybes, while the rest I’d leave off.

In: Tyler and Tom Carolline
Maybe: Sea Tiger or Johanne
Out: Isabella


I’ll just come right out and say it. Picking John John in tier B is easier than picking your nose while no one is looking. Dig that finger in and eat it. The other motor GOAT that floats my boat here is Mr Jimmy Slade. The guy has more wins at Pipe than most people have even surfed heats here. Who cares if he’s old. He can still ride the pit like nobody’s business. There’s also Jack Robbo here as well. Easy in. If there’s a single person threatening the ‘world’s-best-tuberider’ mantle against Double J right now it’s him.

That leaves a tricky 4th spot to fill. Do you go Aussie’s favourite underdog goofy Ryan Callinan? He’s mental at Pipe. Do you go Kolohe? The Brother aint no slouch either. Or, do you go local hope Seth Moniz? Even Zeke Lau and Leo Fioravanti have to be considered. I’m going to fly the Hawaiian flag for Seth, but, depending on the draw come round 3, there could be some last minute ditching going on. LOB? Sorry mate. You’re not JOB.

In: John John (power), Kelly, Jack Robbo, Seth
Maybe: R-Cal or Kolohe
Out: Liam O’Brien


There are no less than 5 Hawaiians in this tier, with a couple of Aussie rookies. First, let’s acknowledge how gnarly it would be to surf your first ever event on tour at Pipe! Are you kidding? You’re thinking about survival, not winning. I’m guessing the local ladies will at least have had some experience here so am firmly in their corners when it comes to smart picks.

The best has to be Malia. Yes, she’s from Maui, but she was in career-best form last year and has the experience to give the title a nudge this year. Moana Wong is also a big possibility, partly because of her most epic name, but also because she won the HIC Pipe Pro recently. The girl is a beast out there and could easily make finals day. Keep an eye out for other wildcards too. If Coco Ho gets in through the trials, she’d have to be a consideration. 

In: Malia
Maybe: Moana Wong
Out: Molly Picklum


After the excitement of Tiers A & B this bracket feels as sluggish as me after eating an extra large poke bowl. There are a few rays of sunshine, like Owen Wright and Nat Young. There’s also a raging Barron Mamiya to throw some spice on the rice, plus Imaikalani deVault who nailed a wild 9.57 here against Gabby back in 2019.

I’m crossing my fingers Mason Ho gets a start. The guy is still local lord of the flies at this place and, with Uncle Derek to honour, he could be a real sentimental favourite going into the draw. For now, I’ll stick with who’s in, but I’m keeping my options open until hooter time for some wildcard glory. 

In: Owen and deVault
Maybe: Barron Mamiya and Mason Ho
Out: Jake Marshall

One last thing to remember as per last year is that scores don’t kick in until Round 3 of each event. So, keep an eye on the forecast and draw for last minute shuffles. Good luck. Happy picking. Enjoy the show. And that’s your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide Pipeline 2022.