Hawaiian teen Finn Thunders McGill (yes his real name) only went and won the Pipe Invitational. At only 16 years old!
After a bunch of lay-days waiting for an illusive swell to arrive at Oahu, the Pipeline event was finally called on and a field of 32 professional surfers paddled out at Banzai Pipeline.
Two wildcard entries into the main Pipe Masters competition were the prizes and Finn McGill and Gavin Beschen took them in 4-6ft conditions.
Born in California, Finn moved to Hawaii age three and grew up on the North Shore with Pipeline on his brain. This natural footer doesn’t just handle powerful waves, he harasses them with the flare of a much more seasoned surfer and he pulled into some of the heaviest backdoor barrels of the day.
2016 has been a big year for McGill so far, with his results from the Rangiroa Pro and the HIC Sunset Pro setting him on a course to the Vans Triple Crown, where he survived a round at Haleiwa and two at Sunset. The surfers McGill took down this week are some of the most established in the world, able to challenge most of those on the CT.
Now Finn will have his own chance having been set to surf against Jordy Smith and Keanu Asing in round one of the Pipe Masters. It’s a task he seems far from daunted by telling WSL’s Rosie Hodge after his heat, “I can’t even speak right now I’m so stoked.”
We’ll have our eyes on McGill as he sets out to surf in the most illustrious event on the world tour, that’s hoped to continue later this week.