One of today’s hottest topics in the world of big wave surfing is the comparison between tow-in and paddle-in surfing. Some of the bravest athletes on the planet hold strong opinions on both styles of charging massive swells, but there is no doubt that each has their own level of respect within the sport.
The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards make the extra effort to recognize five of the biggest paddle in waves of the year in honor of the sheer man power required to take on nature’s beasts. Mark Healey (HAW), Aaron Gold (HAW), and Mark Mathews (AUS) all braved Maui’s giant known at Pe’ahi or ‘Jaws’ and are all in contention for the award.
Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour Champion Grant Baker’s ride at Sunset in South Africa, and lastly Shawn Dollar’s ride at Mavericks also both have the chance to earn $20,000 in prize money. Dollar is the current holder for the Guinness Record Largest Wave Ridden (Paddle-In).
FIVE PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $20,000 – Photo/video prize $4,000)
Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Sunset, South Africa on August 5, 2013.
(Photo by Corné Snyders.)
Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on January 21, 2014.
(Photos by Nikki Brooks and Richard Hallman. Video by Tony Harrington.)
Aaron Gold (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Hawaii on January 23, 2014.
(Photos by Erik Aeder, Bidu and Fabio Dias. Video by Tracy Leboe.)
Mark Healey (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Hawaii on November 13, 2013.
(Photos by 808 Photo, Ademir Da Silva, Sofie Louca and Mike Neal. Video by Shanti Berg.)
Mark Mathews (Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia) at Jaws, Hawaii on January 23, 2014.
(Photo by Fred Pompermayer. Video by Curt Myers.)