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Big Wave Awards Performance of the Year Nominees Unveiled

  • 15 Men and 9 Women Hopefuls Acknowledged For Prestigious Award
  • Spots Into 2019/2020 Big Wave Tour On The Line
 Front Page: Both reigning WSL Big Wave Tour Champions Keala Kennelly (HAW) (pictured) and Grant Baker (ZAF) are nominated for Best Overall Performance Awards.
Credit: © Richard Hallman

LOS ANGELES, Calif./USA (Tuesday, April 30, 2019) – The 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards (BWA) Men’s Best Overall Performance of the Year and Hydro Flask Women’s Best Overall Performance of the Year final nominees have been unveiled ahead of the awards show held on May 2 as a precursor to the BeachLife Music Festival. The complete list of WSL’s official BWA Nominees can be found

The performance awards acknowledge the top surfers over the course of the last 12 months based on every ride captured on video or still images all around the world. These categories are regarded as among the most prestigious and important in the event as they select who will be seeded into every WSL Big Wave Tour competition for the coming year. For the Top 4 nominated men and Top 2 nominated women, it means a spot among the world’s best on the Big Wave Tour — unless already having a spot it will go down to the next surfer in line.

 Nic Von Rupp (PRT) joins a handful of men’s nominees who weren’t up for a particular category, but now are hopefuls for the prestigious Overall Performance Award.  
Credit: © WSL / Seth De Roulet
The winners will be crowned at a celebration open to the public in Redondo Beach, California, on Thursday, May 2, 2019. For the first time, general admission tickets can be purchased to watch the awards from the comfort of beach seating at the BeachLife Festival stage hosting this year’s awards. Viewers are also invited to watch a live broadcast of this year’s awards via and the WSL’s Facebook page.

Nominees include the likes of women chargers Justine Dupont (FRA)Emily Erickson (HAW), and WSL Champions Paige Alms (HAW) and Keala Kennelly (HAW) alongside five other women for their incredible showings at Peahi, also known as ‘Jaws,’ Maui, Hawaii; Nazare, Portugal; and Mavericks, California. The men’s side features fifteen of the year’s standout athletes such as WSL Champions Grant Baker (ZAF)Billy Kemper (HAW), and a plethora of the world’s best big wave surfers like Albee Layer (HAW)Lucas Chianca (BRA)and Nic Von Rupp (PRT).

“Many of the nominees could walk away with a handful of hardware being nominated in multiple categories and capping it off with this one,” WSL Big Wave Director Bill Sharp said. “But while the other Big Wave Award divisions focus on a single ride, the Performance categories reward the athletes who amassed the most impressive ‘body of work’ over the previous 12 months, which makes it a try test of a surfer’s efforts in the long run.”

Nominees such as Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker (ZAF) are up for multiple awards and a chance to cap it off with two of the most prestigious ones – Ride of the Year and Overall Performance.
Credit: Carlos Carbajal
The judging process includes 30 experts delving through the countless photos and videos from each of the nominees to make their final decision on who the two winners will be. The winners from each of the categories are determined just days before the awards show and the results are kept a closely-guarded secret until the envelopes are opened live on stage during the show broadcast. The winners from each of the categories are determined just days before the awards show and the results are kept a closely-guarded secret until the envelopes are opened live on stage during the show broadcast which will begin at 7:30 p.m. PST.

2019 Hydro Flask Women’s Overall Performance Award Nominees:
Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
Justine Dupont (Seignosse, France)
Emi Erickson (Haleiwa, Hawaii)
Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Raquel Heckert (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Keala Kennelly (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA)
Andrea Moller (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
Nicole Pacelli (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
Bianca Valenti (Mill Valley, California, USA)First Place: $10,000; Second Place: $5,000; Third Place: $3,000; Fourth Place: $1,500; Fifth-Ninth Place: $1,000

2019 Men’s Best Overall Performance Award are:

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa)
Russell Bierke (New South Wales, Australia)
Alex Botelho (Lagos, Portugal)
Trevor Carlson (Haleiwa, Hawaii)
Lucas Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Nathan Florence (Hawaii, USA)
Natxo Gonzalez (Pais Vasco, Basque Country)
Billy Kemper (Hawaii, USA)
Nic Lamb (California, USA)
Albee Layer (Hawaii, USA)
Kai Lenny (Hawaii, USA)
Jamie Mitchell (Queensland, Australia)
Jojo Roper (California, USA)
Will Skudin (New York, USA)
Nic Von Rupp (Sintra, Portugal)

First Place: $10,000; Second Place: $5,000; Third Place: $3,000; Fourth Place: $1,500; Fifth-Fifteenth Place: $1,000

The Big Awards are made possible by Hydro Flask, Barefoot, Redbull, Michelob Ultra, and BeachLife.

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