Kohl Christensen: living in the barrel for many years

Epic barrels and giant wave have been populating the "Billabong XXL Ride of the Year" division. From Shipstern Bluff to Teahuppo, the swell is on to make this year's event the best ever.

Big wave surfers like Anthony Walsh, Kohl Christensen, Mark Healey, Ryan Hipwood, Nathan Fletcher, Dylan Longbottom, Laurie Towner, Dave Rastovich, Benjamin Sanchis, Pato Teixeira, Rafael Tapia and Ramon Navarro have already secured a candidate ticket to the "Ride of the Year" 2012.

The contest begins at first light on March 21, 2011, and ends at dusk on March 19, 2012, the date of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox.

The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards will feature six categories: "Ride of the Year Award", "Biggest Wave Award", "Monster Paddle Award", "Monster Tube Award", "Best Overall Performance Award" and "Girls Best Overall Performance Award".

The "Ride of the Year Award" is the most prestigious title and will be won by the individual surfer who — based on review of available video images by a panel of experts — demonstrates the most advanced and committed level of big wave surfing performance during a single successful ride during the annual event period.

Watch the video entries for "Ride of the Year" 2012, here.