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The 2019 Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Oahu wasn’t supposed to go like this for Santa Barbara’s Conner Coffin. The World Championship Tour (WCT) competitor found himself on the bubble for requalification for the 2020 tour.
It had been a tough year for the 26-year-old Coffin. He started off well enough with a quarterfinal finish at the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks in Australia, but from there, a slew of ninth-place finishes followed. “The level is so high, and sometimes heats are lost by splitting hairs or by one small decision you make,” said Coffin, who is entering his fifth year on the WCT. “Hindsight is 20/20, and for me it’s about being well prepared to put together the best heat I can and move on from it, regardless of the outcome. That’s the goal, at least.”
After losing at the 2019 Pipe Masters, Coffin was in a precarious spot, sitting at 20th in the ratings. The top 22 would qualify. “I was definitely really frustrated after my heat at Pipe,” continued Coffin. “It was a weird feeling to be sitting there waiting for certain people to win or lose their heats to decide my career. I’ve always just gotten the job done myself. I was definitely happy it worked out.”
Now with the 2020 WCT on the horizon at the end of March, Coffin has taken his three-month break to concentrate on his consistency, board design, and fitness level. He’s also giving a plant-based diet a go. “I’ve been surfing a ton, working on my health, my boards, and enjoying relaxing in Santa Barbara,” he said. “It’s really a great place to reboot. I’m giving 2020 my best, and hopefully the results will follow.”