HO, HO, HO MERRY CHRIST­MAS

Tracks - - FULL - WORDS: LUKE KENNEDY PHOTO: PE­DRO GOMES

It’s the ques­tion you get asked ev­ery year. ‘What would you like for Christ­mas?’ How about one of the best waves in recorded Pipe­line his­tory?

That’s ex­actly what Ma­son Ho got on De­cem­ber 25 of 2016 when he glided into a Pipe cham­ber that en­gulfed his jockey-sized frame. Wear­ing his trade­mark short-john, Ma­son stayed tight in the sad­dle as he grab-railed into a chasm that made him look like a mouse run­ning the gaunt­let through a wom­bat bur­row. John John, Kelly and Jamie O’ were all part of the Pipe Christ­mas party, but none of them bet­tered Ma­son’s yule­tide screamer.

While many mod­ern Pipe spe­cial­ists like to ride shorter boards and knife straight into the in­side reef, Ma­son often prefers a more clas­si­cal Pipe ap­proach. He will ride a longer gun and sit a lit­tle fur­ther out from the Pipe posse, wait­ing for big­ger waves that give him the op­por­tu­nity to chip in from the sec­ond reef and back­door the bar­rel as it roars through the in­side shelf. Ma­son told Tracks he calls these growl­ing, sec­ond reef pits ‘Go­rilla Bowls’ and that he fo­cuses on them ev­ery win­ter in and out of the con­tests. Not sur­pris­ingly Ma­son’s Christ­mas gift has been touted as the favourite for Sur­fline’s pres­ti­gious Wave of The Win­ter Award.

“Af­ter his wave all the surfers and pho­tog­ra­phers in the line up were kind of ex­cited coz we knew that we just watched the wave of the win­ter un­til that day,” sug­gested pho­tog Pe­dro Gomes.

The ride will be hard to sur­pass but even if Ma­son doesn’t claim the prize, he will still re­mem­ber the wave as the best Christ­mas present he’s ever had.

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