The Oakley Wave of the Winter is an award given to the surfer who catches the gnarliest wave of the contest period (November – February) at Pipeline on the North Shore of Hawaii. The judging panel selects each month’s top rides who collectively make up the finalists for the grand prize which stands at $25,000. Along with The Oakley Wave of the Winter award, secondary prizes are awarded to the person who successfully films the premier GoPro video clip of the contest period (The GoPro of the Winter) and the surfer who is deemed to be the season’s consistent standout performer (Clif Bar Overall Performance). For the first time in its brief history, the Oakley Wave of the Winter and Clif Bar Overall Performance awards were won by one surfer. None other than the great Kelly Slater.
By all accounts, this year’s Billabong Pro in Tahiti was off the hook! Dudes were getting worked left right and centre as the waves were as heavy as has been seen at Teahupo’o in some time. The Teahupo’o wave has a legendary reputation, due to its unique form. The coral reef is extremely shallow and at times sits 50 cm below the surface, whilst the lip of the wave is often as thick as it is tall which means that when someone wipes out on the wave, it’s usually pretty gnarly. That being said the wave consistently offers barrels and is considered a ‘must surf’ spot on any surfing enthusiast’s list. Gabriel Medina from Brazil ended up taking the title, beating off the likes of Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning in the process. Here are a couple must watch highlights from the comp.
Dungeons is an extremely difficult and challenging big wave surf spot just east of Sentinel peak in Hout Bay, Cape Town which recently got added to the Big Wave World Tour. The watch period – which runs between April 15th and August 31st – for the three Southern Hemisphere spots (Pico Alte in Peru, Punta de Lobos in Chile and Dungeons in South Africa) is quickly coming to an end and everyone involved in big wave surfing – or surfing in general – is holding thumbs that a storm will hit the southern tip of Africa in the next two weeks and bring with it swell and waves of epic proportion. If this happens, big wave riders across the globe including legends such as Marcus Monteiro, Makua Rothman, Mark Healey and local dude Twiggy Baker, will descend upon The Mother City for a stoke-fuelled event.