Dan Corbett: where's the surfer? | Photo: jamiescottimages.com/billabongxxl.com

The competition window for the 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy runs through the end of Winter next March, but already a tsunami of entries have been received thanks to a run of massive swells in the Southern Hemisphere in recent weeks.

The Billabong XXL Awards recognize the best rides and biggest waves challenged by top surfers at every break on the planet at any time of the year, with the winners decided based on the photographic evidence.

While it’s been a banner year for extra-hollow surfing focal points like Tasmania, Fiji and Mexico (which have produced loads of entries in the Monster Tube category), the XXL Biggest Wave division had been off to a slow start – until yesterday, October 4. That was when a huge Indian Ocean storm lashed Western Australia with a massive swell and a spot known as the “Outer Bombie” of Margaret River came to life -- with Dan Corbett of nearby Dunsborough there to take it on, face to face.

Late in the afternoon, with the help of a jet ski assist, the 23-year-old Corbett dropped into a 50-foot-plus wave which is one of the biggest seen worldwide this year, and one of the bigger waves ever challenged in Australia.

Photographer Jamie Scott (jamiescottimages.com) was there to capture the moment and make it eligible for Billabong XXL Biggest Wave contention. However, Scott did not take too long to relish the moment as a new, bigger round of surf was expected to arrive right away.

“Tomorrow’s swell is meant to be bigger,” said Scott, “peaking in the morning and the winds straight offshore so we’ll just have to see I suppose....”

The XXL event’s global nature has been very clear this year, with spots all over South America filling the event website with a great diversity of big wave action. Chile, Peru and Brazil have all been represented in record numbers, both by surfers and surf spots. The other big producers include the perennially amazing Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania and an epic day of tubes at the exotic Fijian reef pass known as Cloudbreak. Puerto Escondido, Mexico has also produced a number of entries thanks to Southern Hemisphere swells making their way up to North America. All the entries can be easily accessed and viewed at the event website at BillabongXXL.com.

In the coming weeks, the attention of big wave aficionados will turn to the Northern Hemisphere as winter approaches and giant storms unleash their oceanic fury on Hawaii, the US West Coast and Europe. Thanks to modern surf forecasting at Surfline.com, the dozens of top big wave riders who chase each swell are able to easily cross half the world to be where the biggest waves will be with only a few days’ notice.

The 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards feature an array of categories including the $50,000 Ride of the Year, Monster Paddle, Monster Tube and the Verizon Wipeout of the Year. There are also “world champ” awards for the Surfline Best Overall Performance (male) and the Billabong Girls Best Performance (female). The event features over $120,000 in cash prizes for the surfers and photographers who are celebrated at a gala awards function in Southern California each April.

Brushboarding: comb your board

We live in a world where impossible is nothing. After watching Brazilian innovators kiteboarding with a table cloth and a wooden plaque, after understanding the pleasures of tarp surfing, it's time for another new version of surfing.

Have you heard of brushboarding? Well, you're not going to comb your hair while catching waves. Brushboarding is a revolutionary new multi board sport/training activity that can be enjoyed by all ages, in a specially designed ramp made of... brushes.

The brush ramp is safe, environmentally friendly, and enhances key skills and fitness needed for all board sports, without having to get wet. Brushboarding builds core strength and fitness while improving balance and coordination, in an exciting and innovative way.

The new sport is going global and has already been tested in several countries, such as UK and Portugal. Curious? Find out more about brushboarding.

Watch how to enjoy brushboarding.

Nat Young: an historic surname

A building swell continues to deliver a smorgasbord of waves for the Oakley ASP World Pro Junior, event no.1 on the ASP World Junior Tour (WJT), with competition being run for the fourth day in a row at Canggu in Bali today.

In clean 4 ft (1-1.2m) waves, Contest Director, Beau Emerton, decided on completing Round 2 of the men’s, before sending out the first 8 heats of Round 3.

And, albeit the steamy conditions, the sophomores of the surfing world were cool under pressure, throwing plenty of big, modern moves on a stellar day of progressive surfing.

Setting the pace was Santa Cruz star Nat Young (USA), who lifted the performance bar with the event’s first perfect 10-point ride in the opening heat of Round 3. 

After a slow star against Kaimana Jacquias (HAW), Young got busy, jagging a set wave before depositing a variety of powerful backhand moves to land a 9.47 (out of a possible 10). 

“It was kind of a slow start,” he said. “We were both trying to hold position but I kept getting the good waves. I felt I was in rhythm and focused on building bigger scores.”

The young Californian then asserted his dominance, performing a radical ‘Gorkin Flip’, a backside double grab inverted 360 air, to score a 10.00 and finish with the event’s highest combined heat total of a 19.47 (out of a possible 20).

“I try them a lot at home,” he said. “I’ve had a few big scores with them so I just went for it and got lucky. I was kind of nervous as the natural footers can do air reverses so easily out there.”

He’ll now take on Tyler Newton (HAW), who dispatched of Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), in Round 4. Kauai young gun Newton asserted his dominance in both his Round 2 and 3 heats to advance to Round 4.

Newton unloading an electric mix of powerful rail carves and new-school moves in Round 2, notching an 8.83 in the early stages of the 25-minute showdown againstAndrew Doheny (USA)before waiting till the final minutes to land a heat winning 8.13.

“It felt good on the outside, but I didn’t want to fall through the inside break,” he said.  ”I was like Bali, please be good to me and just hoped I would get the score.”

The Hawaiian charger then collected a 9.17 and a 7.50 to beat South African De Vries - 16.67 to 16.13, in their tight Round 3 heat. No.1 seed Alejo Muniz (BRA) was the day’s biggest casualty, going down to Conner Coffin (USA) in the last heat of Round 3.

Coffin laid down a 14.90 total (out of a possible 20) to Muniz’ 13.60. Other Round 3 standouts included Kolohe Andino (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Caio Ibelli (HAW), Shaun Joubert (ZAF) and Krystian Kymerson (BRA).

Heat 10: Chris Salisbury (AUS) 13.66 def. Hiroto Arai (JPN) 13.23
Heat 11: Tyler Newton (USA) 16.96 def. Andrew Doheny 15.27
Heat 12: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 15.67 def. Kento Takahashi (JPN) 6.43
Heat 13: Alex Smith (HAW) 14.67 def. Arashi Kato (JPN) 9.43
Heat 14: Ty Watson (AUS) 14.60 def. Luke Davis (USA) 12.50
Heat 15: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 16.66 def. Filipe Jervis (PRT) 9.33
Heat 16: Albee Layer (HAW) 18.40 def. Kaito Ohashi (JPN) 6.50

Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 19.47 def. Kaimana Jacquias (HAW) 12.76
Heat 2: Tyler Newton (HAW) 16.67 def. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 16.13
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.07 def. Chris Salisbury (AUS) 11.26
Heat 4: Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.23 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.66
Heat 5: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.30 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.37
Heat 6: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 13.93 def. Albee Layer (HAW) 13.34
Heat 7: Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 15.50 def. Evan Geiselman (USA) 14.00
Heat 8: Connor Coffin (USA) 14.90 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.60

Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) vs. Tyler Newton (HAW)
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Shaun Joubert (ZAF)
Heat 12: Krystian Kymerson (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 13: TBC
Heat 14: TBC
Heat 15: TBC
Heat 16: TBC