One of many mind-blowing entries from this year, Brad Norris stands tall at The Right in West Oz

The 21st March is the official end to winter in the Northern Hemisphere and with it the official end to this year's Billabong XXL waiting period. Spanning a whole 12 months, it's now time to look back and reconsider the year's best and biggest moments in big wave surfing.

Categories this year remain the same: $50,000 Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, Best Tube, XXL Biggest Wave and the XXL Wipeout of the Year. Plus two more awards for the Surfline Best Overall Performance (male) and the Billabong Girls Best Performance (female).

With this past extremely active Northern Hemisphere winter, there's a record number of entries this year. Jaws experienced an unprecedented number of big paddle-in days this year. Nazaré ridiculously big tow-in days. But the 5 nominees for each category will be revealed before the end of March (with the presentation awards scheduled for May 2nd).

"This was clearly the most outrageous year for extreme big waves in the fourteen years of the Billabong XXL Awards," said Event Director Bill Sharp. "It will be remembered as a time when nature provided a grand stage for the world's best big wave surfers to make global headlines taking on the swells produced by some of the most intense storms on record. Thanks to the performances and personalities of all these incredible athletes, big wave surfing has captured the attention of new fans worldwide like never before, and all eyes will be on who will win this year's Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards. Good luck to all."

In the meantime, though, you can find your favourite mind-blowing entries at wwww.billabongxxl.com.

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