Praia do Norte: Nazaré enters the Big Wave Tour | Photo: Praia do Norte

The 2016/2017 Big Wave Tour has officially opened the Northern Hemisphere season.

The second half of the competition runs from October 15, 2016, to February 28, 2017, and there are three extreme surf spots ready to welcome the fearless riders - Nazaré (Portugal), Peahi (Maui), and Todos Santos (Mexico).

Contests get green light when wave faces reach 40 feet, and surfers have 72 hours to travel to the spot. Nazaré's Praia do Norte is the newest option on the 2016/17 Big Wave Tour.

"Nazaré commands the respect and attention of the whole world. I'm most looking forward to putting on spectacular performances for the viewers. To prepare, I've upped my cardio and explosiveness. I'm all in, ready to risk it big," noted big wave surfer Nic Lamb.

The 2016/2017 Big Wave Tour only ran one event in the Southern Hemisphere. Grant "Twiggy" Baker won the Puerto Escondido Challenge and will try to defend his number one position in the rankings.

But the second half of the season brings an important surprise. Female surfers will have the opportunity to prove that they can perform at the highest level, even in extreme ocean conditions. There will be 12 chargers in the women's competition.

"I'm super stoked that the WSL is stepping it up and finally supporting the big wave women. I've been training pretty hard to prepare and feel like when November rolls around I'm going to be in the best shape I've been in years," revealed Paige Alms.

Will the Northern Hemisphere deliver magic swells? Will the Big Wave Tour run all three events? Will the girls outperform the boys?

2016/2017 Big Wave Tour | Top 10

1. Grant Baker (ZAF), 12500
2. Greg Long (USA), 10416
3. Pedro Calado (BRA), 8680
4. Carlos Burle (BRA), 7234
5. Will Skudin (USA), 6029
6. Makuakai Rothman (HAW), 5024
7. Kai Lenny (HAW), 3838
7. Jimel Corzo (MEX), 3838
9. Albee Layer (HAW), 2665
9. Jamie Mitchell (AUS), 2665