I met Ian Walsh a few years back in Cape Town. He was out for the Dungeons event and ended up on a few missions with myself and the local crew. He struck me as such a nice guy, very relaxed and always keen for a good time. In the interim, he has become one of the leading big wave chargers and on the mega swells at jaws, he is always a standout. I can wait to see his film!
In Distance Between Dreams, the most historic year in big wave surfing comes to life through the eyes of iconic surfer, Ian Walsh, as he sets mind and body in motion to redefine the upper limits of what’s considered ‘rideable.’ With massive El Niño powered swells building across the Pacific, Ian, Shaun, D.K. and Luke Walsh band together in a way that only brothers can to progress surfing to unimaginable heights.
Just moments after the WSL Big Wave Awards and the level stepped up again with a session that is quickly going to shake the conventions of big wave surfing. Captured below is one of the craziest waves ever caught, ridden and then absolutely murdered on by a surfer. How this guys survived I simply cant imagine.
Who rode the biggest wave of the year in surfing? There were some monumental entries, but these were deemed the biggest by the WSL Big Wave Awards committee. In my opinion the biggest paddle waves eclipse these nominees (Posting tomorrow), but if I had to pick a winner, it will be Ross Clark-Jones. Making it around that white water was pretty dam impressive, even though Nazare always gives the impression of being soft compared to other big wave spots. I cant deny, it is a bloody big wave.
The entries for the XXL Surf Awards keep flowing in and this one for Wipeout of the Year really caught my eye. First of all the conditions are horrendous, with howling offshore winds, freezing cold and pouring rain and then you go and get swallowed by a wave like this. Think i will stick to the perfect 4-5ft days haha.
Ollie’ O’Flaherty (Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland) pulls into the tube and hits the eject button at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on January 20, 2015. Video by Fionn Rogers. An entry in the Wipeout of the Year category of the 2015 XXL Big Wave Awards.
I have watched this over and over and cannot fathom how he made this wave! Absolutely incredible.
Benny Richardson (Clifton Beach, Tasmania) retains his composure through a madly distorting slab of a barrel and escapes the maelstrom at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania, Australia on April 4, 2014. Video by Tim Bonython from the Australian Surf Film Festival. An entry in the Billabong Ride of the Year category of the 2015 XXL Big Wave Awards. For more information see www.WorldSurfLeague.com/XXL.
The internet has been a flutter with images and videos from the 2 days at Jaws, in Maui, last week. With some of the biggest and cleanest wave ever surfed, the South African crew of James Taylor, Mike Schlebach, James Lowe (See above), Matt Bromley, Grant Baker and Josh Redman all got some major coverage. It was Josh though, that absolutely blew up, getting two of the biggest tubes ever ridden out there in one session. Here is one of the better videos of the highlights of those 2 sessions…
There were a lot of calls being thrown about yesterday, with many people saying the Dungeons Big Wave World Tour Event should have run. After the storm subsided though, it was a good thing it did not. The Swell was huge, but had way too much West in it and there were huge walls of water swinging wide of the peak. Made it quite interesting for those of us out on Whale Song, with Captain Spooner, and some of the newbies shooting the lineup were definitely looking nervous, much to Spoon’s enjoyment. A small crew were on it, looking to paddle, but the wind was up the face early and the conditions were very difficult. Twig called it, “Bloody scary and difficult!”
Mike Schlebach caught the wave of the morning with an incredible late drop (See the video) and also caught the hiding of the season! His wipeout mas met with a collective scream of awe from those on the boat as he free fell 3 stories to oblivion. This one is a serious XXL Wipe of the year contender. Jake Kolnik also had a horrible time, with a 2 wave monster set breaking on his head. Simon Lowe and Twig both had solid waves, but with only 7 or so waves ridden across 3 hours, it was not worth running the event.
You are going to have to wait to see the wipeout on video, but Zigzag will be running a photo sequence soon. I will keep you posted on the event and everything else happening out at Dungeons as the winter progresses. Check the video from Corne Snyders, who shot from the Sentinel yesterday… (Also the Cover photo with Jacque Theron’s board floating in the danger zone!)
The Big Wave World Tour is ready for action at Dungeons and almost got the call for this week and the 2 massive swells on the way. The call being made that the winds are a bit strong and most of the “World” now headed for Donkey Bay. The only question really being raised after the announcement of the surfers eligible to surf for the event, where is Frank Solomon? The Hout Bay local and charger (Already ranked on the Big Wave World Tour), along with other local guy, Jeremey Johnson, have not cracked the list amongst much nay saying in the local community. Frank reckons he still has a good shout though as he is on the waiting list and should one of the foreigners not make it in time he will be in. (Much like myself on the webcast team.) So here is to hoping flights are booked and some guys from over the ocean don’t make it in time so we can get more locals in the mix. In the meantime check out this awesome footage from the big swell in August 2013 from Corne Snyders…
BWWT SOLIDIFIES COMPETITORS FOR 2014/2015 SEASON
Saturday, May 24, 2014 – The roster for the 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) season has been solidified, featuring the best big wave surfers on the planet as they complete across six international venues for the undisputed big wave surfing crown.
“The ASP Commissioner’s Office worked long and hard to determine a BWWT roster that reflects the most current standouts in the sport of big wave surfing and also rewarding the performances of past champions of the BWWT,” Peter Mel, ASP Deputy Commissioner, said.
With the season split into two parts to take advantage of the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere swell systems, the ASP BWWT Top 12 surfers will be joined by six international wildcard per event as well as six local wildcards to comprise the 24-man field. The 2014/2015 ASP BWWT Top 12 have been determined based off the previous season’s rankings.
Note: Gabriel Villaran, of Peru, has received the ASP BWWT Injury Wildcard and will be seeded into the ASP BWWT wildcard selections for all events.
This year’s Top 12 includes a ton of talent, including recent Billabong XXL Award Best Ride winner Greg Long (USA) and Overall Men’s Performance winner Grant “Twiggy” Baker (ZAF).
2014/2015 ASP BWWT Top 12:
1 Grant Baker (ZAF)
2 Ken Collins (USA)
3 Nic Lamb (USA)
4 Shawn Dollar (USA)
5 Kohl Christensen (HAW)
6 Alex Gray (USA)
7 Greg Long (USA)
8 Ryan Augenstein (USA)
9 Anthony Tashnick (USA)
10 Ramon Navarro (PER)
11 Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
12 Tyler Fox (USA)
Southern Hemisphere Wildcards and Local Wildcards
The Southern Hemisphere events consist of Dungeons in South Africa, Punta Lobos in Chile and Pico Alto in Peru with a window running between April 15 and August 31, 2014.
DUNGEONS, South Africa:
1 Kelly Slater (USA)
2 Shane Dorian (HAW)
3 Mark Healey (HAW)
4 Ian Walsh (HAW)
5 Gabriel Villaran (PER)
6 Matthew Bromley (ZAF)
1 Mike Schlebach
2 James Taylor
3 Simon Lowe
4 Josh Redman
5 Chris Bertish
6 Andrew Marr
Dean Morrison, or Dingo, to his mates, was one of my favorite surfers on the World Tour for years. Looking to extend his career and still have loads of fun, which is the Dingo way, he has joined the hunt for the world’s biggest and meanest waves. Recently he scored what could be considered the wave of his life in West Oz…
Probably the most dubious award on the planet really! You win, but you actually lost, along with a whole lot of suffering and punishment. Some down right nasty entries this year and the top 5 were always going to be absolute nightmare wipeouts in giant waves.
All five nominees for the 2014 Wipeout of the Year Award are presented for your review. Featuring Shawn Dollar, Alex Martins, Jamie MItchell, Alain Riou and Koa Rothman. A category in the 2014 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, coming May 2. For more info see the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.