Category Archives: Surf

The nominees for the 2012 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, which recognizes the biggest waves and the best rides of the last year, were announced last week. Winners will be announced at the invitation-only Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards party at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California on May 4, 2012. The show will be webcast that night on YouTube’s Network A, and will be broadcast as a one-hour program on FUEL TV on Sunday, May 20 at 3 P.M. PT.

This year’s event marks the 12th-annual edition of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards, an event open to every qualified surfer at every break on every day of the year, and eligible if the action is captured by a video or still camera and submitted for judging by the XXL’s voting academy of expert surfers and lensmen. Over 1,000 images were entered into the event before being filtered down to the best five stills and single definitive video clip of each nominated ride.

This year’s swells have been widely regarded as the most spectacular ever seen in the sport of big wave riding. There are top five nominees in each of the XXL’s seven divisions, all worthy of being named an XXL champion and each with a shot at a share of the $120,000 in prize money at stake.

For the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year category, there are five very different waves for consideration, all ridden in very different regions around the planet: 1) SoCal native Nathan Fletcher for his earth-shattering barrel at Teahupoo, Tahiti, 2) SoCal native Greg Long for his paddle-in tube at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, 3) Australian Ryan Hipwood for his long, spitting pipe of a wave at Cloudbreak, Fiji, 4) Australian Jeff Rowley for a hair-raising late paddle drop and pocket ride at Jaws on Maui, and 5) Hawaiian Garrett McNamara, for his plunge into a massive face off the coast of Portugal, a feat that earned the big wave veteran global headlines in November.

Here are the nominees in three other categories, including Monster Paddle, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave, and Monster Tube. The nominees in the remaining three other categories will be announced on April 9, including Surfline Best Overall Performance Award (male), the Billabong Girls Best Performance Award (female) and the ever-popular Verizon Wipeout Award.

The nominees for 2012, in alphabetical order:

(Surfer prize $50,000 – Video prize $5,000)
Nathan Fletcher (San Juan Capistrano, California, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011. (Video by Simon Saffigna.)
Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, Australia) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011. (Video by Nimai Strickland.)
Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on May 19, 2011.
(Video by Alejandro Berger.)
Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011. (Video by Jorge Leal.)
Jeff Rowley (Torquay, Victoria, Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 30, 2012. (Video by Wangdu Hovey.)

(Surfer prize $15,000 – Photo/video prize $4,000)
Ken “Skindog” Collins (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 8, 2012. (Photos by Robert Brown and Frank Quirarte. Video by The Go Big Project.)
Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 4, 2012. (Photo by Fred Pompermayer. Video by Greg Browning.)
Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Hawaii, on January 4, 2012. (Photos by Bidu, Tracy Kraft, Bruno Lemos, Jason Murray and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Elliot Leboe.)
Jamie Mitchell (Gold Coast, Australia) at Todos Santos, Mexico on January 6, 2012. (Photo by Jason Murray. Video by Graham Nash.)
Dave Wassel (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 4, 2012. (Photos by Eric Aeder, Frank Berthuot, Bruno Lemos, Mike Neal and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Bruno Lemos.)

(Surfer prize $15,000 – Photo/video prize $4,000)
Andrew Cotton (Croyde, Devon, United Kingdom) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 8, 2012. (Photos by Andrew Kilfeather, Conn Osbourne and David Olsthoorn. Video by Jamie Russell.)
Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Priaia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011. (Photo by Wilson Ribeiro. Video by Jorge Leal.)
Axi Muniain (Zarautz, Basque Country) at Agiti, Spain on December 15, 2011. (Photo by Eric Chauche. Video by Walter Lang.)
Ollie O’Flaherty (Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 8, 2012. (Photos by Christian McLeod and Matt Strathern. Video by Mark Waters.)
Damien “Taco” Warr (Yallingup, Western Australia) at Cow Bombie, Western Australia on October 16, 2011. (Photo by Jamie Scott. Video by Rick Jakovich.)

(Surfer prize $5,000 – Still photography prize $2,000)
Kohl Christensen (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011.
(Photos by Brian Bielmann and Bruno Lemos.)
Nathan Fletcher (San Juan Capistrano, California, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011. (Photos by Brian Bielmann, Pete Frieden, Bruno Lemos, Tim McKenna and Benjamin Thouard.)
Tyler Hollmer-Cross (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on May 17, 2011. (Photo by Andrew Chisholm.)
Bruce Irons (Hanalei, Hawaii, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011.
(Photos by Brian Bielmann, Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer, Pat Stacy and Benjamin Thouard.)
Everaldo “Pato” Teixeira
(Florianopolis, Brazil) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011.
(Photos by Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer and Benjamin Thouard.)

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Is the time of inland surfing here? That’s what Wavegarden hopes to accomplish with its man-made wave prototype located just outside of Zarautz, deep in the Basque Country of Spain.

After seven years of trial and error, this 30 yard pond lined in black plastic now offers waist high rip-able freshwater wave surges, and has captured the attention of the surf world, including Owen Wright, Mick Fanning, and Bobby Martinez. The reality for people of all ages and surfing levels to enjoy a “real” surfing experience beyond the oceans of the world is almost here.

The idea for Wavegarden started when engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch decided to combine their expertise in designing and building sport facilities with their passion for surfing. Their goal was to create the most realistic surfing experience in perfect waves. In fact, their entire team is composed of passionate surfers, whose aim is to share the amazing sport and healthy lifestyle of surfing with others not fortunate enough to live near natural waves.

The wave itself will provide rides up to 30 seconds in a “Pointbreak” style of wave, both right and left simultaneously. It will allow most surfers two decent turns (four if you’re Jordy). The wave size, speed, and shape can be altered at any time, even during a ride. The maximum height of the wave will be roughly 5.2 feet on the face. But, with enough skill a rider can achieve a tuberide of unheard of length. Moreover, it uses a low environmental impact and an energy consumption average of only 350kwh.

If all goes to plan, the technology will be pumping man-made waves down a river for the public to surf by the Spring of 2012. Wavegarden already has commitments for facilities in the Middle East, Europe and America, including WaveGardenHawaii, a 6 acre pool in Oahu.

For further info, check out

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The American Pro Surfing Series, a new domestic surfing series, will kick off next month. The purpose of the series is to give professional surfers who aren’t at the top tier of the sport more opportunities to compete in the US.

Beginning April 25 in Huntington Beach, the new events are being created to fill a void for surfers who are ranked highly enough to earn sponsorships and be considered pro surfers – but have few opportunities to surf in big contests in the United States, said Scott Waring, founder of the APSS.

Three stops are scheduled at the South Side of the Pier in Huntington Beach through the year: Contest 1: April 25-29; Contest 2: September 20-26; Contest 3: October 31-November 7.

The Association of Surfing Professionals is the primary organization for pro surfing and for the past few years has geared much attention in ensuring the top 32 guys – surfers such as Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, and HB’s Brett Simpson – are taken care of, Waring said. The US Open of Surfing, which once allowed 200 up-and-coming surfers to enter, are only accessible to top-level athletes and leave few slots for mid-ranked competitors to prove themselves.

The only event that allows the mid-ranked pro surfers to compete is the Vans Pier Classic, an ASP 4-star being held in Huntington Beach later this month, March 28 – April 1, 2012.

But with the advent of the new series, we can now watch our mid-tier competitors show off their stuff, harkening back to a time when the homegrown surf series reigned supreme in the US.

“The APSS is a great opportunity for young pros and amateurs to compete in their own country, have some fun, and display some progressive surfing. I expect to see a big turnout of talented amateurs, young pros, and proven legends all mixing it up in surfing’s version of Times Square, Huntington Beach. We’ll be displaying a live webcast so if you can’t come down to the beach, you can catch all the action from your home.” says Waring.

For more information on this latest series, go to

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Marking its second year, the Arnette 2012 Cash Pot Surf Series is in full swing. The first of the eight-stop series began last weekend at Seaside Reef in San Diego, and the second will be this weekend at Blackies in Newport Beach.

Unlike most surf events, the Arnette Cash Pot Surf Series distributes prize money to the winners of each heat, not just those who make it to the finals. So, top finishers will take home some prize money, but money and prizes are also set aside for heat winners and the guys that simply just rip it up out there. Both the Pro-Am and Juniors divisions were filled to capacity last weekend, with alternate lists for both in the double digits.

It’s first-come, first served sign-ups and beach entry only – so get there early before 6:30 a.m. to make sure you secure a spot if you want to compete. There are two different divisions – Pro-Am and 16 & Under – with $3,000 in cash up-for-grabs at each event.

At each contest, ASP judging criteria and interference rules will be in full effect. The first place finisher in the 16 & Under division will receive $250, the winner of the Pro-Am division brings home $500 and additional prize will be going to heat winners and surfers who otherwise impress the judges.

2012 Arnette Cash Post Surf Series dates and locations include:
* 2/26 – Seaside Reef, San Diego, CA
* 3/03 – Blackies, Newport Beach, CA
* 3/17 – Ventura, Los Angeles, CA
* 4/21-22 (two day waiting period) – Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ
* 7/08 – Kewalo Basin, Honolulu, HI
* 7/14 – Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, CA
* 8/13 – Ponce Inlet, FL
* 8/17 –Outerbanks, NC

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Last week, Surfline wrote a story featuring the current and favorite reading lists of a half dozen surfers, including Gerry Lopez, Kelly Slater and Dane Gudauskas. It’s great insight, and a cool list to know when you’ve got some downtime and want to pick up a good read.

Here are a few of the favorites:

Surfing legend Gerry Lopez is all about being in tune with life and how to be a healthier human inside out:

  • Hero, The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda
  • Light on Yoga, B.K.S Iyengar
  • Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.
  • The pH Miracle, Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, by Robert O. Young, PhD and Shelley Redford Young

11 Time World Champion Kelly Slater looks to best sellers for his reading pleasure:

  • Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) by Richard P. Feynman
  • What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

World Traveler Dane Gudauskas likes books that give him a philosophical view of the world:

  • Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  • The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity by Daniel P. Reid
  • The Annotated Sailing Alone Around the World by Captain Joshua Slocum

Surfer Dan Malloy who is also a traveler, rancher, and filmmaker, likes his books to teach him:

  • Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
  • In the Sweet Bye and Bye by Margaret Kilgallen
  • The East West Interviews by Gary Snyder

To check out the full list, go to

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