Heading into the 2016 Billabong Pipe Masters, there was only one way that Ezekiel Lau – sitting at 11th on the WSL QS leaderboard – could jump one place up into the Top 10, thereby qualifying on the Men’s WCT: World Tour Rookie Kanoa Igarashi had to double qualify by surfing well into the final rounds on surfing’s biggest stage.
And that’s exactly what happened today.
“I don’t even know how I feel. It hasn’t even set in yet, I don’t know how to act,” said Zeke, upon realizing his lifelong dream coming to fruition. “I’m tripping out. Obviously I’m happy, stoked for Kanoa. I benefited from him, he did everything. He’s the guy. I told him I love you, thank you, you did it. He was telling me everyday “I got you, no worries”. He stepped up and proved he can perform at the biggest stadium in surfing. I came into this contest preparing as if it wasn’t going to happen, because if I expected it to happen, you push it away. I’m happy with where my year went, and this is a bonus. I want to thank Kanoa, Jake Patterson, he’s taught me and Kanoa everything, everyone from Quik, Freddy P, Reef, it’s been a long winter with a lot of ups and downs and everyone’s been great. I’d like to thank my parents, my girlfriend, too. My phone’s pretty much going to break with all the messages. I’ve been working so hard to make it happen and it all came down to me letting go. I wouldn’t change a thing about this year, either. Looking into 2017, I was already preparing to be in a few events, and now I know exactly what to prepare for. I’m excited, this is just the beginning.”