Is this big enough? Mark Mathews won last year's Oakley Surfing Life Big Wave Awards

We’re now down to six Biggest Wave nominees, four Biggest Paddle-In contenders, and six possible Biggest Slabs from the 50-plus entries registered with organizers over the past eight months.

In just 10 days, Mark Mathews will know if he’s repeated his Biggest Wave win from 2009, or if he’s taken out the new category of Biggest Slab – or both! He’s been nominated in two divisions for a wave he rode off southwest Oz in June last year.

‘When I saw the wave coming I knew it was going to be the biggest barrel I’d ever ridden. I’m so stoked I made it through to the finals two years in a row, not to mention in two categories.

In Australia, we get big waves, but absolutely huge barrels, almost leading the world in that arena, so it’s great to have a reward (Biggest Slab) for riding those waves!’

But Mathews faces super-tough opposition, notably from Aussie junior star Dean Bowen, who got an absolute monster recorded as part of a special juniors-only to surfing contest late last year off a remote piece of South Aussie coast.

Biggest Slab challengers include BWA perennial Alfy Cater, and several rides from the notorious Tasmanian spot, Shipstern Bluff, while Paddle-in contenders include two New Zealanders – one being two-time Paddle-in winner Doug Young.


Biggest Wave
Dean Bowen (South Australia)
Laurie Towner (Western Australia)
Mark Visser (Western Australia)
Mark Mathews (Western Australia)
Marti Paradisis (Tasmania)
Damon Gunness (New Zealand)

Biggest Paddle-in
Doug Young (New Zealand)
Sandy Ryan (Tasmania)
Ian Chalmers (Tasmania)
Shayne Baxter (New Zealand)

Biggest Slab
Mark Mathews (Western Australia)
Alfy Cater (Western Australia)
Ryan Hipwood (Tasmania)
James Hick (Tasmania)
Paul Morgan (Southern NSW)
James Holmer-Cross (Tasmania)

The judging panel will now go into overdrive to pick these amazing rides to pieces in time to present the Awards at a star-studded evening at Bondi’s Open Air Cinema on February 17.

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