between the 27th of April and the 1st of May, will be…
Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards 2014
Everybody had a good laugh and enjoyed the hot evening. True to XXL tradition, Greg Long organized a massive bus to take him and his closest friends to the awards. "To win Ride of the Year is fantastic, but riding those waves it's what I’m here to do," said Greg Long. "The fear is an underlying motivator and turning the fear into something positive is what big wave surfing does for me. When you’re riding a big wave you’re so focused and it’s like time goes into slow motion."
The Legend: Greg Noll (on the left)
Greg Long - Who wants to join me for a drink?
The biggest star of the evening was the ASP Big Wave World Tour Champion Grant "Twiggy" Baker. He said, "All I ever wanted to do is travel and surf and that’s what this World Title means to me. I’m feeling more competitive than ever. I’d love to have a heat with Kelly Slater in 25 foot plus waves. He’d probably still beat me but at least I’d have a chance."
Twiggy and his check
The award was specially a huge satisfaction for the best woman, Keala Kennely. "It’s like winning the Oscars, especially in front of all the other big wave guys," she said. "Last year I won this award, cashed the check and three days later I was in Teahupoo for a big swell. It was the first time I’d been back since my face injury there (during the Billabong Pro expression session honoring Andy Irons, Keala was gnarly licked by the reef). To come back and overcome my fear and get the best wave was a huge personal triumph for me."
Keala Kennely - the best woman
For some an unknown name in the business, Gautier Garanx thanked his main sponsor - his wife and humbly added, "To be here is a dream. All my idols are here, the superstars, and tonight I’m with them. That wave was easily the biggest of my life."
Happy Gautier Garanx
After the party at the Grove everybody went to the after party, hosted by pro surfers Dean Morrison and Albee Layer to celebrate till the dawn.....
It's a party time!
The award winners:
Billabong Women's Best Overall Performance: Keala Kennelly
Billabong XXL Tube & Wipeout of the Year: Koa Rothman
Biggest Paddle: Mark Healey
Billabong XXL Biggest Wave: Gautier Garanx
Billabong XXL Ride of the Year: Greg Long