Athletes of the Year 2015: Mick Fanning, Nick Jacobsen, Antoine Albeau and Pierre-Louis Costes

The winners of SurferToday's "Athletes of the Year 2015" award have been named.

Wave riding had a pretty intense year. The most skilled surfers, kiteboarders, windsurfers and bodyboarders have, once again, pushed the boundaries of water sports.

Drama, innovation, records, stunts, and impressive personal achievements. The season was full of surprises, emotions, and changes. But there could only be four winners.

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Will Skudin: paddling into fear at Nazaré | Photo: Pedro Constantino/WSL

Will Skudin may have paddled into the biggest, and most critical wave ever at Praia do Norte, in Nazaré, Portugal.

Wave measuring is not a science. You can never accurately tell how big an ocean wave is, but you can definitely make comparisons. And the surfer from Long Beach, New York, has reasons to celebrate his latest feat.

With a huge North Atlantic swell hitting the local underwater canyon at the right angle, Will and his brother Cliff teamed up to deliver another winter gem. It's Nazaré at its best.

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Nuno Santos: violinist and big wave charger | Photo: Red Chargers

It can't get any crazier. Portuguese surfer Nuno Santos has ridden the big waves of Nazaré, in Portugal, while playing the violin.

He wrote the music for Garrett McNamara's Red Chargers project. And he loves huge waves, too. Nuno Santos, a Portuguese teacher, decided to ride and play the fiddle in one of the most dangerous natural arenas on the planet.

So, what is he doing in the water with a musical instrument? Santos has a goal. He aims to play a violin in the most unlikely places. He played it in castles, cliffs, beach clubs, churches, volcanoes, and supermarkets. But, this time, he could've chosen a more friendly environment.

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