Moana Jones Wong talks being a wildcard in her backyard at Banzai Pipeline

Hawaii's Moana Jones Wong will once again try to win at home at the WSL Lexus Pipe Pro.

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SURFING-US-PIPELINE-BILLABONG-WOMEN / BRIAN BIELMANN/GettyImages
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Hawaii native Moana Jones Wong is looking to prove once again why she is known in the surf world as "The Queen of Pipe." The North Shore local girl who would show up to one of the world's most dangerous surf breaks and charge right along with the boys is now racking up wins at her home spot. Fresh off a Vans Pipe Masters title, Jones Wong has been invited to participate in the WSL Championship Tour opener, The Lexus Pipe Pro. Jones Wong will serve as a wildcard for this event which will put her in a spot to once again show why she is deemed the best female rider at Banzai Pipeline.

"The wildcard is typically the best local surfer at that venue, and for me, yeah, I am the best local surfer for the women's side at Pipeline," Jones Wong told Fansided exclusively. "It definitely is a pressure, but then also, if you look at the women that are in the draw, they are all such amazing barrel riders. They have been taking a lot of time to practice and this past year, at Teahupo'o everybody did really well, it was impressive, and it was awesome to watch the woman get better and better at barrel riding. So I'm interested to see how this year will be."

Every surfer on the CT looks for a win at Pipeline. The history behind the location and the legacies that have been made there are what young surfers from all over the world dream of. Jones Wong has won this contest before. She was in the wildcard slot back in 2022 when she did the near impossible and rose up the ranks to win the contest in her own backyard. It was once though that this wave was too dangerous for the women to ride. When the men's event was held at Pipeline, the women had their event in Maui. Since 2020, the ladies have gotten their shot and have not looked back.

"The first year, you could tell a lot of the women were not comfortable, and they didn't really know how to approach Pipeline," she said. "So last year, nobody really got a chance from the men's side and the women's side to really surf real Pipeline. The waves are very small and it was unfortunate that we didn't get any good waves. But hopefully, this year, we're going to score some firing Pipeline, and then we can see how the women's side of the draw has improved in that realm of surfing."

Moana Jones Wong will try and win the Lexus Pipe Pro once again as a wildcard

The WSL Championship Tour is a nine-month-long trek of the best surfers in the world hitting up the best surf spots in the world. Although Jones Wong laughs that she would accept any invitation she would possibly receive to act as a wildcard at any of the stops on tour, this may be her only shot at a CT win this year. With her contest future uncertain for the remainder of 2024, Jones Wong plans to seek waves on her own terms as well.

"I'm currently starting a business with my husband. So I'm really excited about that. We're planning on going on a couple of surf trips, hopefully create a little surf film this year," she said. "Yeah, I kind of just go where the wind takes me. I don't want to sound like a Soul Surfer, but I kind of am. I'm kind of just like that person who doesn't really like to have a super strict lifestyle. I kind of just like to go with opportunities that present themselves and go with the flow."

Fans of Jones Wong have seen some of her lifestyle on the Amazon Prime show called Surf Girls Hawaii. The show follows Jones Wong and her friends as they navigate the Hawaiian surf scene and the contest life. Season one was a hit with a huge reception among surfers and non-surfers alike. Jones expects that a second season could be following behind.

"I think it's safe to say that we will likely get a season two. That's definitely being talked about right now. We've had so much positive feedback about Surf Girls Hawaii, and I didn't think that we would reach so many people and that it would be that mainstream and have such positive feedback," she said. "So I was really surprised and taken aback by that. They really shared our stories in such an authentic and real, beautifully put raw way, and very organically."

Fans can watch Jones Wong and the rest of the WSL Championship Tour competitors take on the barrels of Pipeline at World Surf Leauge.com or at WSL on YouTube. The competition window begins on Jan. 29.