Atlantic Stars In WSL Big Wave Nominees!
Save for one big bump at Jaws, the Pacific spent the winter in a disappointing, high-pressure bubble, while the European Atlantic gorged on massive Nazare burgers!
It makes sense that most of this year’s WSL nominees for the 2017/18 Big Wave Awards are coming to us via the Atlantic powertrain.*
Save for one big bump at Jaws, the Pacific spent the winter in a disappointing, high-pressure bubble.
Ian Walsh’s wave from the Peah’i Challenge is the Pacific stand-out, nominated for Ride of the Year and Tube of the Year, for what many have called the greatest wave ever ridden in competition.
Dude’s played Best Man at so many Big Wave Awards it’s not even funny, but threading that giant needle at Jaws has to be the year’s highlight.
Other nominees from Jaws include Kai Lenny’s XXL Biggest Wave ride, Billy Kemper and Twiggy Baker’s Tube of the Year rides, as well as Eli Olson’s Wipe Out of the Year.
Other than that, all the glory goes to Europe this year.
For Ride of the Year, RCJ seems like a frontrunner, but he was whipped into his bomb at Nazare, while Walsh barehanded his beast at Jaws. Those two rides should be contending for the top spot and it will depend on how the judges factor in all the elements. RCJ’s wave was bigger, Walsh’s was more technical and, again, he got into it under his own power. Kai Lenny’s drainer at Nelscott Reef in Oregon could be a potential dark horse spoiler as well.
For the XXL Biggest Wave Award (this year sponsored by Quiksilver), RCJ has two nominees, as does Brazil’s Rodrigo Koxa. Lenny was whipped into a freight train at Jaws, but in terms of vertical height, the rides from Nazare appear to be taller.
It would be fair to say that Andrew Cotton’s backbreaking, flying suplex at Nazare stands as the obvious favorite for Wipe Out of the Year. Cotton ended up in the hospital as a result, but could have just as easily ended up in the morgue. If for no other reason, give the man the award to help cover medical expenses.
And for the ladies, we love Paige Alms. The girl’s constantly pushing limits out at Jaws, and while other big names in the women’s big-wave world are nominated, including former winners Keala Kennelly and Maya Gabiera, this year belongs to Paige.
Winners will be announced on April 28…maybe the Pacific will see a swell by then…but probably not.
*Honestly, they should consider something special for Ross Clarke-Jones—if for no other reason than his goddamn aquatic spider monkey on the rocks at Nazare. Perhaps by divine intervention, the man born on 6/6/66 may have just survived his most harrowing winter yet.
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