Frenchman Pierre-Louis Costes is the best bodyboarder in the world right now, and nobody would argue otherwise.
The 2011 world champion, has staked his claim as 2016 world title favourite after a dominant display in a talent stacked final at the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational today.
The 26-year-old, who now calls Portugal home, put on a performance for the history books when he scored a near perfect heat total of 19.26 points, combo’ing the rest of the field including reigning world champion Jared Houston, Australia’s Lewy Finnegan and Hawaii’s Jacob Romero.
“I’m tired, my ribs hurt from that first wave and the feeling is so hard to descirbe I can’t beleive it,” Costes said as he was carried up the beach.
PLC was the first to draw blood in the massive 40 minute final, after landing one of his signature backflips at pipe and following it up with a roll to score a 6.83 from the judges.
Australia’s Lewy Finnegan answered swiftly after pulling into a solid pipe barrel and finishing with an invert to also receive a score of 6.83 points and tie PLC for the lead.
But Hawaiian hopeful Jacob Romero set the bar higher after landing a massive invert out of a notoroious backdoor bowl to score an 8.3. Romero backed that up with another amazing Backdoor pit to score an 8.5 and soar into the lead.
Not one to go away quietly, reigning world champion Jared Houston landed a big backflip at Backdoor to score an 8.6 and cut his deficit in half to put himself within range of stealing the win.
But PLC could not be stopped, putting his body on the line with a huge backflip on a Pipe bomb to score 9.43 and reclaim the lead from Romero and Houston.
The 2011 world champion then went on a hot streak, going for broke on a massive air reverse at Backdoor to get a 9.83 and put his lead out of reach from the rest of the field.
At the end of the buzzer, PLC finished with 19.26 points, Romero had 16.17 points, Houston took third with 15.03 points and Finnegan finished in fourth with 12.1 points.
“it was a pretty tight heat,” Costes said.
“Jacob was ahead, then Jerry (Houston) got an 8. I knew I wasn’t going to win with six point scores, I had to go big.
“Fortunately some waves came my way and I was able to land some moves. I’m stoked!”
in the dropknee final, reigning world champion Dave Hubbard flexed his jack stance prowess to cruise to yet another contest victory over Kauai’s Sammy Morretino.
In the women’s it was Japanese sensation Ayaka Suzuki who took victory by combining some signature rolls at Backdoor.
Meanwhile, in an action packed pro junior final. it was Hawaiian supergrom Tanner McDaniel who edged out with a victory over reigning pro junior world champion Socrates Santana
Earlier in the day, Australian big wigs Ben Player, Dave Winchester and Ryan Hardy looked unstoppable in their earlier heats, with Player taking victory over Amaury Lavernhe in round 4.
However the run ended when Hardy and Player were taken down by unstoppable Frenchman Pierre-Louis Costes and the always consistent Dudu Pedra.
More details to come.