- What: World Surf League: Billabong Pro Pipeline 2023
- When: January 29 – February 10, 2023
- Where: Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii
When the 2022 World Surf League Championship Tour Men’s Finals came around in September, the top five point-getters during the tour were: Filipe Toledo, Jack Robinson, Ethan Ewing, Italo Ferreira and Kana Igarashi. Ferreira, who was the No. 4 seed, had a rough row to hoe to get to the best-of-three final round, but the 2019 WSL Champion made his way to the final by beating Igarashi, Ewing and Robinson. However, Ferreira stalled out in the final, losing 2-0 to Toledo. The win gave Filipe Toledo his first WSL world title.
As for the women involved in the 2022 World Surf League Championship Tour Finals, the top-five point-getters were Carissa Moore, Johanne Defay, Tatiana Weston Webb, Stephanie Gilmore and Brisa Hennessy. Gilmore had a fantastic run through the Finals. As the No. 4 scoring surfer, she was in Match 1 of the event, where she defeated Hennessy. Gilmore topped Weston-Webb in Match 2 and beat Defay in Match 3. Then, in the Finals, she triumphed over five-time world champion Moore. Gilmore‘s win made her an eight-time world champion. She last won that title in 2018.
With the 2023 WSL Championship Tour upon us, it’s time to look at the odds, picks and predictions for the first event of the 2023 World Surf League season, the Billabong Pro Pipeline, which takes place between January 29 and February 10 at Banzai Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii. Before that, check out our sportsbooks guide to get started on making the best WSL bets, and while you’re at it, take a look at the best sports betting apps and mobile options.
2023 WSL Men’s Billabong Pro Pipeline picks
|To Win Women's Billabong Pro Pipeline 2023|
|John John Florence||+350|
One would have to scroll past the top-10 ranked surfers in the world to find Gabriel Medina‘s name before the start of the 2023 World Surf League Championship Tour. However, that ranking should not be considered when looking at Medina’s chances to make the final five in 2023. Medina missed the first five events of 2022 to take care of his mental health and the last two events of the year because of injury. In the three events he competed in, Medina took third place in two of those events.
The 29-year-old Brazilian is a three-time WSL World Champion (2014, 2018 and 2021)
Medina did not participate in the opening event of the 2022 WSL Championship Tour, the Billabong Pipeline Masters. However, he won the event in 2018. He also has four runner-up finishes at the event.
John John Florence
Like Gabriel Medina, injury kept John John Florence from surfing a complete 2022 WSL Championship Tour season. The 30-year-old Hawaiian missed the final four events of the year because of injury. Florence has won the WSL World Championship twice (2016 and 2017). He is currently the No.12 ranked surfer on the WSL Championship Tour, but expect him to move up quickly in those rankings when competition begins later this month at the Billabong Pro Pipeline WSL event, where he finished in fifth place in 2022. Florence had four top-five finishes in the six events he competed in during the 2022 WSL Championship Tour.
Florence competed at the Billabong Pipeline Masters in 2022. He finished fifth in the event. He won the competition in 2021 and has two second-place finishes.
The legendary American surfer Kelly Slater is ranked No. 15 to open the 2023 WSL season. Slater only had one win during the 2022 WSL Tour and it came in this event. Slater has won this competition eight times, which is the most of any surfer in WSL history. Before taking the victory in 2022, Slater last won in 2013.
Slater is a longshot to repeat, but if the 50-year-old is going to win an event in 2023, it makes sense that it could be the first event of the year, when he is rested and ready for competition.
2023 WSL Women’s Billabong Pro Pipeline picks
|To Win Women's Billabong Pro Pipeline 2023|
|Bettylou Sakura Johnson||+1400|
Carissa Moore fell short of defending her 2021 World Championship last year, losing to Stephanie Gilmore at the Rip Curl WSL Finals. However, the Olympic gold medal winner went into that event as a heavy favorite and leading all women in points on the WSL tour for 2022. Outside of two ninth-place finishes and two fifths, Moore finished inside the top three in the other six events on the tour last year. Moore had one first-place finish in 2022, winning the Oi Rio Pro in June.
The No. 2 ranked surfer on the WSL tour in 2023, the 30-year-old Hawaiian, was the runner-up in the first event of the year in 2022, losing to Moana Jones Wong, who was a wild card entry at the event.
Stephanie Gilmore is the No. 1 ranked woman surfer at the start of the 2023 WSL season, the defending WSL World Champion. The 34-year-old Australian has not won back-to-back world titles since she won four straight between 2007 and 2010. Gilmore’s other titles came in 2012, 2014 and 2018. Gilmore withdrew from the first event of the year in 2022. Outside of that, she finished in the top five in eight of the 10 events she competed in, with a win at the Surf City El Salvador Pro before winning the WSL Finals in 2022.
Tatiana Weston-Webb is the No. 4 ranked surfer entering the 2023 WSL Championship Tour season. The 26-year-old Brazilian has yet to win a WSL World Championship, but she came close in 2021 when she finished as runner-up to Carissa Moore. Weston-Webb had wins at MEO Pro Portugal and Corona Open J-Bay in 2022. She placed ninth in the opening event of 2022.
WSL Billabong Pro Pipeline 2023 Men: Gabriel Medina
WSL Billabong Pro Pipeline 2023 Women: Carissa Moore
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