Greg Long: ready to defend the 2015 Big Wave Tour title | Photo: Hallman/WSL

The Puerto Escondido Challenge 2016 gets underway on Friday, June 24th, in Oaxaca, Mexico.

According to the surf forecasters, the first stop on the 2016/2017 Big Wave Tour (BWT) season will deliver 25-to-40-foot waves.

Twenty-four big wave riders will compete at Puerto Escondido for the first time in the history of the World Surf League's Big Wave Tour.

The most powerful beach break in mainland Mexico is known for its shifty peak and powerful closeouts.

"We have the best big wave surfers on the planet traveling to Mexico from all over the world in anticipation of the event. Puerto Escondido is a heavy and challenging break that will test the competitors and set the tone for this season," notes Peter Mel, the BWT commissioner.

The 2016/2017 Big Wave Tour agenda features six stages located in the northern and southern hemispheres, plus two additional Qualifying Series events in Nelscott Reef and Punta Galea.

Although Mexico is located in the northern hemisphere, WSL has inexplicably put Puerto Escondido in the southern hemisphere schedule alongside Pico Alto (Peru) and Punta de Lobos (Chile).

The southern hemisphere window runs from April 27th through August 31st, 2016. The northern hemisphere events will get underway between October 15th and February 28th, 2017.

Only 10 of the 24-man field for the Puerto Escondido Challenge are athletes who competed in the past season. The remaining 14 surfers are six event wildcards, three BWT wildcards, one injury wildcard, and the Top 4 "Overall Performance of the Year Performance Award" recipients.

Puerto Escondido Challenge 2016 | Invitees

Greg Long (USA)
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Carlos Burle (BRA)
Damien Hobgood (USA)
Cristian Merello (CHL)
Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Trevor Carlson (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Pedro Calado (BRA)
Will Skudin (USA)
Rusty Long (USA)
Koa Rothman (HAW)
Tom Lowe (GRB)
Coco Nogales (MEX)
Oscar Moncada (MEX)
Jose Ramirez (MEX)
Angelo Lozano (MEX)
Rogercin Ramirez Jr. (MEX)
Jimel Corzo (MEX)

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