2017 WSL Big Wave Award Nominees Announced

2017 WSL Big Wave Award Nominees Announced

Congrats to our new issue cover star Conor Maguire on his WSL Big Wave Award nomination! He’s up for the Tube of the Year category. Also up for an award is Tom Lowe in the hard earned Wipeout of the Year, a category that gets crazier every year. 

Conor Maguire at Mullaghmore by Flanagan

Conor Maguire at Mullaghmore by Flanagan

Jamie Mitchell at Nazaré by Soares

Jamie Mitchell at Nazaré by Soares

Francisco Porcella at Nazaré by Aleixo

Francisco Porcella at Nazaré by Aleixo

The list of nominees for the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards have been announced. With $350,000 in total prize money to be allotted across the seven categories and a TAG Heuer Watch for each winner, the Big Wave Awards will honor the best performances of the year, from tubes to wipeouts. Photographs and videos of all the nominated rides can be viewed at worldsurfleague.com/bigwave.

Nominated rides come from every corner of the world, including California, Tasmania, Portugal, Hawaii, Mexico and Fiji. Shortlisted surfers range from established veterans such as the newly crowned Big Wave Tour Champions Grant Baker (ZAF) and Paige Alms (HAW) to younger rising stars like Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (BRA), Trevor Sven Carlson (HAW) and Kai Lenny (HAW).

“This year’s WSL Big Wave Awards has seen a clear push from a group of younger surfers now making their mark in the big wave arena,” said Bill Sharp, the event’s director. “Diversity is probably the theme this year, with epic paddle sessions in places like California and Mexico, then tow days in Maui or Portugal to mix it up, with the young crew willing to try whatever discipline works best for the conditions at hand. Paddling is still regarded as the gold standard, but when it’s giant and windy — like it was at Jaws and Nazaré at times this winter — the limits were being pushed like never before.”

http://www.bigwaveawards.com

Another obvious trend from this season is the continuing emergence of Nazaré in Portugal as a big wave hotbed. Virtually unknown as a big wave break until the last six or seven years, the once-sleepy fishing village earned no less than nine nominations this year, including three contenders for the TAG Heuer XXL Biggest Wave Award and two nods for the Biggest Paddle division, more than anywhere else in the surfing world.

The WSL Big Wave Awards competition window concluded on March 21, 2017 and spanned the previous 12 months of surfing action. Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in this period was eligible for consideration across seven categories. A panel of judges chose the five best rides in each of the categories based on photographic and video evidence.

The winners will be crowned at a gala invitation-only awards show at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach, California on April 29, 2017. Viewers around the world are invited to watch the live webcast at worldsurfleague.com and live on the WSL’s Facebook page. The show will also be televised later on the CBS Sports Network in the US.

BILLABONG RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:

Surfer prizes total $125,000 – Videographer prizes total $13,000
Ben Andrews (Morro Bay, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on November 9, 2016. (Video by Curt Myers.)
Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 22, 2016. (Video by Nuno Dias.)
Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 11, 2016. (Video by Etienne Aurelius.)
Jamie Mitchell (Currumbin, Queensland, Australia) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on June 24, 2016. (Video by WSL Video Team.)
Francisco Porcella (Sardegna, Italy) at Nazaré, Portugal on February 28, 2017. (Video by Javier Goya.)

Dan Ryan at The Right by White

Dan Ryan at The Right by White

TUBE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:

Surfer prize $10,000 – Still photography prize $5,000
Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, California, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on May 23, 2016. (Photos by Pat Stacy and WSL Photo Team.)
Conor Maguire (Bundoran, Ireland) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 15, 2017. (Photo by Conor Flanagan.)
Bradley Norris (Perth, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016. (Photos by Jamie Scott and Chris White.)
Dan Ryan (Margaret River, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016. (Photos by Trent Slatter and Chris White.)
Shanan Worrall (Margaret River, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016. (Photos by Jamie Scott and Chris White.)

TAG HEUER WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES: 

Surfer prize $5,000  –  Videographer prize $2,000
Wilem Banks (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California  on January 26, 2017. (Video by Curt Myers.)
Nathan Florence (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California  on January 26, 2017. (Video by Blakeney Sanford.)
Danny Griffiths (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on June 16, 2016. (Video by Dave Otto.)
Tom Lowe (St. Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016. (Video by Nuno Dias.)
Rafael Tapia (Santiago, Chile) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016. (Video by Nuno Dias.)

TAG HEUER XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES:

Surfer prize $25,000 – Photographer prize $5,000
Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 23, 2016.
(Photo by Vitor Estrelinha.)
Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 8, 2016.
(Photos by Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Marcus Rodrigues.)
Francisco Porcella (Sardegna, Italy) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Pedro Bala, André Botelho, Silvino Esperanca and Rafael Riancho. Video by Timelapse Media.)
Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Helio Antonio, Miguel Chaby, Rafael Riancho and Hugo Silva. Video by Timelapse Media.)
Hugo Vau (Terceira, Azores, Portugal) at Nazaré, Portugal on October 24, 2016.
(Photos by Mauro Correia, Pedro Cruz and João Serpa. Video by Timelapse Media.)

Chris Mashburn at Maverick's by Quirarte

Chris Mashburn at Maverick’s by Quirarte

PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES:

Surfer prize $30,000 – Photographer prize $5,000
Ben Andrews (Morro Bay, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on November 9, 2016.
(Photos by Michael Andrew and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Curt Myers.)
Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 17, 2016.
(Photos by Rafael Elias, Vitor Estrelinha and Guilherme Soares. Video by Andreas Jansen.)
Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 22, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, André Botelho, Andrea Carminati, Pedro Cruz and Pedro Miranda. Video by Nuno Dias.)
Christopher Mashburn (San Diego, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on January 26, 2017.
(Photos by Nikki Brooks, Silvin Morgan, Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte. Video by Blakeney Sanford.)
Jamie Mitchell (Currumbin, Queensland, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal on December 20, 2016.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, André Botelho and Guilherme Soares. Video by WSL Video Team.)

Justine Dupont at Nazaré by Riancho

Justine Dupont at Nazaré by Riancho

WOMEN’S BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES:

First prize $15,000, $32,500 total
Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
Justine Dupont (Lacanau, France)
Keala Kennelly (Hanalei, Hawaii, USA)
Nicole Pacelli (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Bianca Valenti (Mill Valley, California, USA)