John Florence wins the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro and Jamie Obrien gets second (just like last year). Kai Barger in 3rd and San Clemente’s Nate Yeomans finishes 4th. First, second and third all had 9 point or above rides in the final. Jaime and Barger started the final off with a bang riding three 9 point waves in the first 10 minutes but it was Florence who got the last laugh – scoring a 9.93 with 20 seconds to take the win. Probably the most exciting final at Pipe since Andy Irons came back to beat Kelly Slater in the 2006 Pipe Masters. Congrats to all the finalist. Before the final Chris Ward still had 4 of the top 10 scores of the contest.

2/1/12: Pipeline was as big and as good as it gets yesterday for the Volcom Pipe Pro. Mason Ho scored a 9 point ride in his heat for a crazy air drop to long pig dog barrel. New York’s Balaram Stack scored one of the day’s three 10 point rides and Chris Ward seemingly cruised through another heat at Pipeline. He said he just loves to get barreled. Check the photos and videos below.

Balaram’s heat.

Ward’s heat

Mason’s heat

Balaram’s 10 point ride on his …Lost surfboard. Photo: Surfline.com/Klein

Mason Ho’s 9 point ride. Photo: Surfline.com/Klein

Chris Ward. Photo: Surfline.com/Klein

1/30/12: Yesterday the 1st round and 14 heats of round 2 were ran in 6-8 foot (depending on where you’re from) Pipe/Backdoor. According to Volcom’s website, “California’s Chris Ward stole the show in heat 10 of the round of 96, making two deep Backdoor barrels for the highest combined heat score of 19.00 out of a perfect 20. Ward had the three other competitors combo’d and then managed to pull into a long left-hander at Pipe and ended the heat throwing away his third 9.0 ride”. Apparently Chris hasn’t surfed since injuring his knee in China but it didn’t seem to bother him too much. Last year he finished 3rd in this contest. Webcast announcer Chris Cote said if you ever have the chance to hang out with Ward you are almost guaranteed to have a wonderful adventure. Watch Chris’ heat below and check out some of the photos.

Ward’s 9.0 throwaway Pipe wave. Photo: Surfline.com/Klein

“Gee… thanks”. Photo: Surfline.com/Klein

Cheeseburger in the trials on the first day of the event. They eventually stopped it because it was too big. Photo: Surfline.com/Klein

Chris Ward is addicted to Backdoor. Photo: volcompipepro.com

Wardo’s double arm drag bottom turn. Photo: volcompipepro.com

Chris Ward is also addicted to Pipeline. Photo: volcompipepro.com

First surf in a while for Ward. Photo: transworldsurf.com/Bielmann

Not a bad wave for your first session in a while. Photo: transworldsurf.com/Bielmann

Jason Frederico gets ready to paddle out at huge Pipe during the trials. Photo: transworldsurf.com/Bielmann

North Shore lifeguard and Pipe charger Mikey Bruneau leans into one with …Lost trunks on.

1/26/12: …Lost riders Cheeseburger (for some reason they have him listed as Keoni Nozaki on the heat draw?) and Jason Frederico were both granted wild card spots into the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro trials. They’re having three 4-man heats of trials before the main event starts. Burger and JFred are both in heat 3. Burger got a wild card to this event back in 2010 but barely went down to his heros Derek Ho and Sion Milosky. In 2009 JFred scored a perfect 10 in huge surf during one of his early round heats. Mason Ho and Chris Ward are also in the event. Last year Chris finished 3rd at perfect Pipe. There’s a huge swell on the way so it should get interesting. Good luck to all. To watch the contest live CLICK HERE. Also, watch some of the videos below. Photo: Surfline.com/Kimoto

Burger’s pre contest interview.

JFred’s perfect 10

Chris Ward 2011 highlights.

wardo-comp from rory pringle @ conceptblue on Vimeo.