Nathan Florence And Justine Dupont Clean House In Revamped Big Wave Award Show
A night of celebration in Nazaré.
For all the camaraderie in the big-wave scene, rarely do the best in show gather under one roof (excluding the afterparty).
For years, the annual XXL Awards show organized by mastermind Bill Sharp provided a venue for the greats of the sport to celebrate the best waves, slams, and accomplishments for each big-wave season.
But with the XXL Awards losing steam and plagued with inconsistencies over the past few years, Sharp saw a need to revitalize the big water landscape and continue to reward the big-wave bravado taking place around the globe.
Over the past year, Bill and his team have quietly launched a revised version of the XXL Awards called the New Big Wave Challenge to fill the void. This inaugural rendition just hosted a live celebration at Nazare this week, awarding entrees from August 2022 to July 2023. That means Nathan Florence’s backside blitz at Mullaghmore and absurd acrobatics at a certain right slab in Ireland qualified for awards. Both of those entrees audaciously tested the limits of how well someone can linger on avalanche-sized foamballs, and they were enough for Nathan to win both Surfer of the Year and Ride of the Year. You can read all about Nathan’s unprecedented approach to big-wave exploits here.
Those are well-deserved titles for a man who has dropped serious coin to fly around the world at a moment’s notice over the past two years, scoring scroll-stopping tubes from the Emerald Isle to Mexico to Tasmania to Skeleton Bay and documenting it all along the way.
The night also celebrated Justine Dupont, who also claimed the women’s Surfer of the Year and Ride of the Year for laying into the cleanest, biggest Cortes Bank in recent memory.
And salute to Danny Griffiths for surviving whatever version of Davy Jones’ locker Shipstern Bluff holds.
Here’s a complete list of the winners from the 2022-2023 big wave season
SURFER OF THE YEAR
Men – Nathan Florence (Hawaii)’
Women – Justine Dupont (France)
RIDE OF THE YEAR
Men – Nathan Florence at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland. Video by João Tudella
Women – Justine Dupont at Cortes Bank. Video by Johnny Decesare & Tucker Wooding
Men – Chacha Ibarra at Punta Lobos, Chile.
Women – Laura Enever at Outer Reef Oahu.
Men – (TIE) Nic Von Rupp at Nazaré & Shaun Walsh at Jaws
Women – Justine Dupont at Cortes Bank
WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR
Danny Griffiths at Shipstern Bluff. Video by Talon Clemow
Ned Hart (Australia)
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SPORT
Big Wave Tour founder Gary Linden
Nazaré Mayor Walter Chicharro.
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