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2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards Nominees Announced

Winners Announced October 29 in 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards Show

Pictured: Paige Alms’ nominated ride at Todos Santos, Mexico for the Biggest Paddle in the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards. Credit: © Ryan Craig

LOS ANGELES, Calif./USA (Friday, October 8, 2021) – Today, the World Surf League (WSL) released the official list of nominees for the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards. $350,000 in prize money will be awarded across four categories for men’s and women’s divisions: Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, Biggest Tow, and Performer of the Year. Winning photographers and videographers will also take home prize money.

This year’s nominees spanned the globe with surfers representing countries like Brazil, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, the United States, and France. The majority of the nominated rides come from the infamous big wave breaks of Nazaré in Portugal and Pe’ahi (a.k.a. “Jaws”) in Hawaii, USA, but this year’s shortlist also sees rides from Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California, USA, Todos Santos in Mexico, and Mullaghmore Head in Ireland.

The winners will be announced during the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards Show on October 29, 2021. The show will be streamed at WorldSurfLeague.com/redbullbigwaveawards and audiences will discover who will be taking home the prestigious awards from some of the wildest rides this year.

Ride of the Year

The Ride of the Year is awarded to the male and female surfers who demonstrate the most advanced and committed level of big wave surfing during a successful ride, as judged by available video footage. While raw size is taken into consideration, it is ultimately the level of performance that is rewarded.

Female Nominees

  • Paige Alms at Todos Santos, Mexico on January 11, 2021.
  • Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré, Portugal on February 22, 2021.
  • Justine Dupont at Nazaré, Portugal on January 16, 2021.
  • Maya Gabeira at Nazaré, Portugal on February 5, 2021.
  • Izzi Gomez at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Keala Kennelly at Himalayas, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.

Male Nominees

  • Conor Maguire at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on October 28, 2020.
  • Grant Baker at Mavericks, California on December 11, 2020.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Peter Mel at Mavericks, California on January 8, 2021.
  • Billy Kemper at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Eli Olson at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Vinicius dos Santos at Nazaré, Portugal on February 22, 2021.
  • Kalani Chapman at Outer Reef Log Cabins, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Wilem Banks at Mavericks, California on December 8, 2020.

Biggest Paddle

The Biggest Paddle Award goes to the male and female surfers who paddle into, and successfully ride, the biggest wave of the year.

Female Nominees

  • Bianca Valenti at Mavericks, California on January 12, 2021.
  • Justine Dupont at Jaws, Hawaii on January 17, 2021.
  • Keala Kennelly at Himalayas, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Justine Dupont at Mavericks, California on December 8, 2020.
  • Paige Alms at Todos Santos, Mexico on January 11, 2021.
  • Raquel Heckert at Jaws, Hawaii on January 17, 2021.

Male Nominees

  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Kai Lenny at Mavericks, California on December 8, 2020.
  • Peter Mel at Mavericks, California on December 8, 2020.
  • Peter Mel at Mavericks, California on January 8, 2021.
  • Grant Baker at Mavericks, California on December 11, 2020.
  • Billy Kemper at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Nathan Florence at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Vinicius dos Santos at Nazaré, Portugal on February 22, 2021.
  • Ian Walsh at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020.
  • Wilem Banks at Mavericks, California on January 10, 2021.

This year’s nominees include big names like 2018 Big Wave World Champion Keala Kennelly (HAW) and world-renowned Big Wave charger Justine Dupont (FRA).

Men’s nominees include three-time Big Wave World Surfing Champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker from South Africa and four-time Pe’ahi Challenge Champion Billy Kemper leading the charge with rides at Mavericks and Jaws, respectively.

Biggest Tow

The Biggest Tow Award goes to the male and female surfers who, by any means available, catch and ride the biggest wave of the year.

Female Nominees

  • Maya Gabeira at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020.
  • Maya Gabeira at Nazaré, Portugal on February 5, 2021.
  • Justine Dupont at Mavericks, California on January 1, 2021.
  • Justine Dupont at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Justine Dupont at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020.
  • Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré, Portugal on February 22, 2021.

Male Nominees

  • Conor Maguire at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on October 28, 2020.
  • Kalani Chapman at Outer Reef Log Cabins, Hawaii on January 1, 2021.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Ian Walsh at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Sebastian Steudtner at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020.
  • Sebastian Steudtner at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020.
  • Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020.
  • Makua Rothman at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Nathan Florence at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.
  • Francisco Porcella at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021.

The Biggest Tow Award will be a battle between Justine Dupont (FRA), Maya Gabeira (BRA), and Michelle des Bouillons (FRA). Last year Dupont and Gabeira went head-to-head for a new World Record with the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman, with Gabeira edging out Dupont with a stellar ride at Nazaré. This year, Dupont’s nominations span three locations for the category, including Mavericks, Jaws, and Nazaré.

The men’s nominees include Conor Maguire’s (IRL) submission at Mullaghmore Head in Ireland, Kai Lenny (HAW), Sebastian Steudtner (GER), Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (BRA), and Francisco Porcella (ITA) with rides Nazaré and Jaws.

Performer of the Year

The Performer of the Year Award acknowledges the top-performing male and female surfers over the course of the last 12 months based on every ride captured on video or still images.

Female Nominees

  • Justine Dupont
  • Keala Kennelly
  • Maya Gabeira
  • Paige Alms
  • Michelle des Bouillons
  • Raquel Heckert

Male Nominees

  • Kai Lenny
  • Peter Mel
  • Conor Maguire
  • Grant Baker
  • Sebastian Steudtner
  • Ian Walsh
  • Nathan Florence
  • Eli Olson
  • Billy Kemper
  • Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca
  • Makua Rothman
  • Vinicius dos Santos

The 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards winners will be announced on October 29, 2021, at WorldSurfLeague.com/redbullbigwaveawards. Tune in to the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards Show, produced by Red Bull Media House, to witness reactions from the world’s best big wave surfers as the winners of the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards are unveiled.

To watch all the nominated rides, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com/bigwaveawards.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About the WSL 
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing.A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.

Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com.

WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.

The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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