C.J. Hobgood (USA) has withdrawn from the Billabong Pipe Masters, while Dusty Payne (HAW) has scored a spot to compete in the contest when it kicks off Monday. Hobgood injured his foot during a freesurf in Portugal in October, and his ability to return in time for the Pipe Masters was in question.
Payne, meanwhile, has been the belle of the Vans Triple Crown ball, winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro in November and dominating the field at the Vans World Cup of Surfing. As the leader of the Triple Crown rankings, after Hobgood withdrew from the Pipe Masters, Payne was given his spot.
After falling off the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour last year, Payne underwent surgery for a knee injury and has been recovering for the past few months. He has been a surprise standout in the final Qualifying Series events of the year.
Catch Payne, two Hawaiian wildcards and the Top 34 get pitted at the Billabong Pipe Masters LIVE daily at this site starting Monday, December 8.