Michael Brennan: air tube rider

The 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards have announced this year's nominees. Michael Brennan, Danilo Couto, Mark Healey, Benjamin Sanchis and David Scard will battle for the "XXL Ride of the Year", while Eric Akiskalian, Dan Corbett, Rodrigo “Koxa” Augusto Espirito de Santo, Francisco Porcella and Benjamin Sanchis will try to claim the "XXL Biggest Wave" award. Watch the Ride of the Year nominees.

The last 12 months have pumped spectacular big wave surfing, but the grand winners will have to wait until April 29, 2011, the day set to decide who was best in each category. The 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards party will be held at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California.

The Monster Paddle Award has taken its place as one of the most prestigious honors in all of surfing as it acknowledges those surfers who caught the greatest waves the old-fashioned way, with simple arm power and no jet-ski assist.

Included in the list of nominees are: Danilo Couto, again for his breathtaking late drop at Jaws; Hawaiian legend, Shane Dorian, for his own mind-bending effort to catch a giant at Jaws and pull into the tube; Hawaiian Mark Healey’s steep and chilly plunge over the ledge at Maverick’s in Northern California; Sion Milosky’s charge down an immense peak at Outer Reef, Oahu; and Australia’s Mark Yazbeck on a wave at Waimea Bay, Oahu which ultimately closed out The Bay, a very rare occurrence.

Sion Milosky is the first surfer to be nominated for an XXL Award posthumously. The humble waterman, originally from Kauai and more recently living on Oahu’s North Shore, drowned on March 16, 2011. Milosky was 35 years old and leaves a wife and two young daughters. Contributions may be made to the Sion Milosky Family fund.

All the surfers, photographers and videographers are listed below:

The nominees for 2011, in alphabetical order:

FIVE BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $50,000 plus a year lease on a 2012 Toyota Tacoma truck - Video prize $5,000)

Michael Brennan (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on April 10, 2010. (Video by Tim Bonython.)
Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on February 8, 2011. (Video by Elliot Leboe.)
Mark Healey (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Outer Reef, Oahu, Hawaii on January 20, 2011. (Video by Ariel Willeford.)
Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on February 13, 2011. (Video by Yannock Lousouarn.)
David Scard (Caloundra, Queensland, Australia) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on September 20, 2010. (Video by Talon Clemow.)

FIVE MONSTER PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $15,000 - Photo/video prize $4,000)

Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on February 8, 2011. (Photos by Eric Aeder, Tracy Kraft and Batel Shimi. Video by Justin Clark, Giora Koren and Elliot Leboe.)
Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Hawaii, on March 15, 2011. (Photos by Eric Aeder, Bob Bangerter, Tracy Kraft, Bruno Lemos, Mike Neal and Batel Shimi. Video by Frank Berthuot, Giora Koren and Bruno Lemos.)
Mark Healey (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California on November 2, 2010. (Photos by Mike Jones, Don Montgomery and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Chris Killen.)
Sion Milosky (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA) at Outer Reef, Oahu, Hawaii on February 8, 2011. (Photo by Daniel Russo. Video by Larry Haynes.)
Mark Yazbeck (Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on January 20, 2011. (Photos by Bruno Lemos, Al Mackinnon and Terry Reis. Video by Bruno Lemos.)

FIVE BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $15,000 - Photo/video prize $4,000)

Eric Akiskalian (Gig Harbor, Washington, USA) at South Reef, Lincoln City, Oregon on November 2, 2010. (Photos by Dave Colllyer and Richard Hallman.)
Dan Corbett (Dunsborough, Western Australia) at Outer Bombie, Margaret River, Western Australia on October 4, 2010. (Photo by Jamie Scott.)
Rodrigo “Koxa” Augusto Espirito de Santo (Guaruja, San Paulo, Brazil) at Punta Docas, Chile on August 18, 2010. (Photo by Alexandre Akiwas. Video by Rodrigo Pelado.)
Francisco Porcella (Sardnina, Italy) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 2, 2010. (Photos by Giora Koren, Mike Neal and Batel Shimi. Video by Tormod Martines.)
Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France) at Belharra, France on February 16, 2011. (Photo by Bastien Bonnarme. Video by Julien Roulland.)

FIVE MONSTER TUBE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $5,000 - Still photography prize $2,000)

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii, on March 15, 2011. (Photos by Bruno Lemos, Mike Neal and Batel Shimi.)
Tom Dosland (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at The Right, Western Australia on October 6, 2010. (Photo by Calum Macaulay.)
James Hollmer-Cross (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on April 10, 2010. (Photo by Andrew Chisholm.)
Mark Mathews (Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on October 6, 2010. (Photo by Calum Macaulay.)
Eric Rebiere (Hossegor, France) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on February 13, 2011. (Photo by Bastien Bonnarme.)

FIVE SURFLINE BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $5,000)

Kohl Christensen (Kailua, Hawaii, USA)
Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil)
Mark Healey (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA)
Sion Milosky (Sunset Beach, Hawaii, USA)
Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France)

FIVE BILLABONG GIRLS BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $5,000)

Easkey Britton (Rossnowlagh, Ireland)
Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Keala Kennelly (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)
Mercedes Maidana (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Jamilah Star (Santa Cruz, California, USA)

FIVE VERIZON WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $2,000 and a Samsung Tab by Verizon – Video prize $1,000)

Tiago Candelot (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 20, 2011. (Video by Tony Adams.)
Mark Mathews (Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on April 6, 2010. (Video by Andrew Chisholm.)
Everaldo “Pato” Teixeira (Florianopolis, Brazil) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on April 6, 2010. (Video by Andrew Chisholm.)
Laurie Towner (Angourie, New South Wales, Australia) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on September 20, 2010. (Video by Elliot Leboe.)
Ben Wilkinson (North Narrabeen, New South Wales, Australia) at Maverick’s, California on November 2, 2010. (Video by Greg Browning.)