Mark Healey: go for it, dude | Photo: Fred Pompermayer

The heat is on and the waves are huge. High surf has been hitting the Northern Hemisphere and the entries for the 2011 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards are picking up.

The rides come from everywhere. Mavericks, Tasmania, Nelscott Reef, Chile, Mexico, Cloudbreak, Fiji and Peru are some of the spots where big wave surfing has been identified.

The quality of the photos and videos is simply great. Mike Brennan, James Hollmer-Cross, Shaun Wallbank, Dave Scard, Shaun Lopez, Laurie Towner, Kohl Christensen, Mark Healey, Rodrigo Koxa, Al Mennie and Jeremy Johnson are some of the early standout surfers.

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Jay Moriarty: he lived the feeling of Mavericks

Jay Moriarity, the Mavericks surfer who died in 2001 after a diving accident, must be smiling as he watches his fellow riders prepare for The Jay at Mavericks Big Wave Surfing Invitational.

The opening ceremonies of the big-wave surfing event has been concluded. Northern California is prepared to live one of the most incredible surfing contests on Earth.

There are several changes being set for Half Moon Bay. Grant Washburn is leading the organization behind Mavericks and there are new rules for spectators. Last year, a bigger wave injured many surfing fans.

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Cork surfboards: they float

When Archimedes designed the first buoyancy principle, he simply must have been thinking of how to get a surfboard into the water.

"Any object, wholly or partly immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object," stated the Greek mathematician. Today, computers do his job quite well.

From the first surf on, board shapers have been testing materials in ever-progressive attempts to acquire top performance, lighter weight, efficient design, and resistance to impact.

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