After a relatively slow start to the Northern Hemisphere big wave season, the last two weeks have produced an almost endless stream of significant swells, first in the Atlantic and more recently in the Pacific. Top surfers have been on hand to take on the huge waves and the resulting photographic evidence has been entered in the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave awards in both the Monster Paddle and XXL (tow-in) categories. All the action can be viewed on the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com. New entries are arriving hourly and the website is constantly being updated.
Following a record season for high surf in the Southern Hemisphere, Europe experienced back-to-back swells slamming into the Bay of Biscay, and the recently-conquered reef off Playa Gris in northeastern Spain was the focus. A few days later it was time for Pacific to come to life and a series of swells worked their way down the coast, producing classic moments over a thousand mile stretch. The activity began in earnest on December 8 with a large crew of top international big wave specialists arriving for the Nelscott Reef Tow Classic in Lincoln City , Oregon and has barely let up since. The ensuing sessions have ranged the coastline from Maverick’s and Ghost Trees in California to Todos Santos Island off of Mexico . Ironically, Hawaii – the spiritual home of big wave surfing – has yet to experience an extraordinary swell event yet this season.
The Billabong XXL Awards recognize an array of categories of big wave excellence, including the best ridden waves and highest faces challenged all year long. The event runs through March 22 and the awards ceremony takes place on April 13, 2007. For full details see the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.