Billabong XXL 

With only days remaining in the annual event cycle, new entries continue to arrive in record numbers for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Although California and Hawaii have suffered through an abnormally placid year, the rest of the planet has bridged the gap and then some, providing more than 450 pieces of visual evidence of the mammoth surf on the event website at BillabongXXL.com.

New video clips and still photos continue to arrive in all key categories of the event, including the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award powered by Honda, Monster Tube Award and Monster Paddle Award.  Also featured are the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award and the Billabong Girl's Performance Award.  In total, over $130,000 in prize money will be awarded in the ninth annual edition of big wave surfing's top event.  The competition is open to all qualified, invited surfers at any surf break around the world over the course of a full year and is based on the photographic evidence.

In a year where many announced big wave contests did not take place due to insufficient swell, another record has been shattered concerning the number of surfing regions represented in the 2009 Billabong XXL Awards.  That list includes legitimate contenders from areas as disparate as Puerto Rico, Mexico, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, South Africa, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Chile, Tahiti, Ireland, Spain, France and the Canary Islands.  Never before has a year of big wave surfing been acted out across a more global stage.

Although there remains only days before the event period concludes with the Vernal (Spring) Equinox on March 20, 2009, the world's big wave elite are still scanning the planet seeking any possible last-minute pulses of swell in locations like Chile, Mexico and Hawaii.  Regardless of any last second upsets, most top riders are already making plans to attend the gala Billabong XXL Awards ceremony on Friday, April 17 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California.  While the 2000 seats at the Grove are invitation only, the entire evening's activities from Red Carpet arrivals to the final award will be broadcast during a live webcast at www.BillabongXXL.com and televised as a one-hour special on ESPN2 on the evening of May 29, 2009.

New this year is the Verizon Wireless Wipeout Award, an interactive category which will be decided by the public at large.  Surfing fans will have the opportunity to view video clips of five contenders on the event website and text in their vote for what they consider the most spectacular unsuccessful ride of the year.  Nominations in all categories will be announced on or about March 25, 2009.

In addition to all the latest entries in each category, full event details including formats, rules and archives of past XXL years can be seen at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards are presented by Monster Energy Drinks.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider, Surfline.com is the official surf forecast and Honda the official watercraft of the XXL. Additional support for the event comes from Air Tahiti Nui and Surfing Magazine.

2008/09 BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS
CATEGORY SUMMARY

Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award
(Greatest big wave performance on a single wave as captured on video and voted by large judging academy)
Surfer Prize: $50,000
Second Place: $5,000
Third, Fourth and Fifth Place: $1,500
Videographer Prize: $5,000

Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award
(Biggest tow-in wave ridden based on available still or video images showing maximum face height)
Surfer Prize: $15,000 plus a new Honda Aquatrax Personal Watercraft
Photo/video prize: $4,000

Monster Paddle Award
(Biggest paddle-in wave ridden based on available still or video images showing maximum face height)
Surfer Prize: $15,000
Photo/video prize: $4,000
 
Monster Tube Award
(Best big-wave tube still photograph based on votes of large judging academy)
Surfer Prize: $5,000
Photo Prize: $2,000

Surfline Men's Best Overall Performance Award
(Best yearlong big wave performance at a variety of spots as voted by large judging academy)
Surfer Prize: $5,000
 
Billabong Girl's Best Overall Performance Award
(Best yearlong big wave performance at a variety of spots as voted by large judging academy)
Surfer Prize: $5,000


SOURCE: Billabong XXL