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The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) has announced the acquisition of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.

The sole governing body of professional surfing promises to expand its reach and co-sponsorship opportunities, while Billabong maintains a key naming rights position.

"This is a platform to honor the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to the art of big wave surfing and we are honored to continue this tradition in future years," says Paul Speaker, CEO at ASP.

The Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards were founded in the 1990s by Bill Sharp, when big wave surfing was just and underground movement.

Held annually at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim, the Billabong XXL Awards has traditionally honored a cross-section of big wave accolades, including: Paddle Award, Biggest Wave Award, Men's and Women's Performance Award, Wipeout Award, Biggest Tube Award and the top-line Ride of the Year.

"The XXL Property is now in its 15th year - over this time period the event has gone off every year and over $1.5 million of prize money has been awarded to the big wave surf community," adds Graham Stapelberg, marketing manager at ASP.