It’s been an insane day of Championship Tour action at Teahupo’o. After waiting for the conditions to align, to call today “epic” is no overstatement. And speaking of epic, there’s no better way to describe what Matthew McGillivray just did, racking up the first 10-point-ride of his CT career and showing what it takes to get the elusive perfect ride at Teahupo’o. Earlier, some thought the 10 would drop for Nathan Hedge, as he disappeared for multiple sections and somehow came out. However, a bit of a bobble (his leg coming off the board) on the exit probably pushed him off that perfect score.
But Matt’s wave showed us what the judges are looking for. Air-dropping on one of the bigger set waves of the day, Matt’s fins completely disengaged as he landed (basically at the bottom of the wave with no speed to speak of). He disappeared behind the curtain and somehow emerged, well after the tube had spat its guts out.
It’s that second of hesitation, that thought of “no way they just made it” being interrupted by the realization that they did in fact pull it off that makes for a high-scoring barrel (“surprising the judges” as Kaipo Guerrero deftly pointed out). And making it look easy. That’s what earns the perfect 10.