Skylar Lickle Wins Red Bull Magnitude - Stab Mag

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Skylar Lickle, ahead of the pack and the lip. Photo: Red Bull

Skylar Lickle Wins Red Bull Magnitude

Can anybody dethrone the Maui women during a Hawaiian winter?

elsewhere // Apr 4, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The mission was simple enough.

From December 2021 through March 2022, the Red Bull Magnitude video-based competition featured a field of 21 women competing in the biggest and baddest waves of the Hawaiian winter. At the end of the swell period, each surfer would be scored on their top three waves. 

Last year’s Magnitude winner was Keala Kennelly, the fearless stalwart who changed the trajectory of women’s surfing and has logged more heavy water sessions than any woman alive. But this year’s all-female event indicated a changing of the guard as 21-year-old Maui resident Skylar Lickle earned the “Best Overall Performer” title and pocketed a neat prize purse of $35,000. In fact, the results further cemented the Valley Isle’s status as the hub for the best big-wave surfers in the world, with three Maui women winning five of the six categories.  

Skylar Lickle, clean as can be in Maui. Video: Red Bull

Skylar’s commitment was rewarded after she demonstrated all-around badassery on her home island, towing into solid Jaws and charging a shall-not-be-named outer reef that resembles its more famous cousin a few miles up the road. Michaela Fregonese finished second and Katie McConnell finished third overall. 

“Maui glass” is an ironic term referencing the island’s consistently volatile winds. Paige Alms, consistently strong and without any hint of irony. Video: Red Bull

Stop me if you’re heard this one before, but Paige Alms was all over it this season, snagging two awards, Best Ride and Best Paddle, on the same wave. Meanwhile, Annie Reickert continued to gain popularity (and Kai Lenny comparisons) while owning the tow scene at Jaws. She was a shoo-in for the Best Tow Award and was the most popular contestant among voters, as demonstrated by her People’s Choice honor. 

Annie Reickert is ascending (and surfing) very rapidly with waves like this at Jaws. Photo: Red Bull

The digital design of this contest meant registration was open to pretty much any woman who could handle outer reef beatdowns and “Maui glass.” You can watch all the submissions here. But perhaps nobody exemplified the benefit of this inclusive format more than Northern California’s Katie McConnell. The newly hailed ROTY was so frothed on last year’s event that she reached out to organizers to get permission to compete in this year’s spectacle. She worked on a fishing boat off the west coast all summer before posting up on Oahu for the winter. Like a patient cat stalking a juicy mouse, Katie pounced on every opportunity, dropping in at Jaws, Himalayas and the aforementioned Maui outer reef. 

Katie McConnell, off the clock in California but on time in Hawaii. Video: Red Bull

Here’s the full list with the prize purse attached:

  • Best Overall Performer ($35,000): Skylar Lickle
  • YETI Best Ride ($5,000): Paige Alms
  • Best Paddle ($5,000): Paige Alms
  • Best Tow ($5,000): Annie Reickert
  • Skinnie’s Rookie of the Year ($2,500): Katie McConnell
  • People’s Choice: Annie Reickert 

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