Bianca Valenti: the surfer from San Francisco won Performer of the Year, Ride of the Year, and Biggest Wave in the women's division

Bianca Valenti, Alo Slebir, Wilem Banks, and Jojo Roper were the standout wave riders of the 2024 Mavericks Surf Awards.

Since the World Surf League (WSL) stopped running competitions at Mavericks in 2019, citing "various logistical challenges," the legendary surf break has been off the radar.

But the swells kept coming, and the epic sessions never ceased to provide memorable moments.

That's also good news for the local community, who has enjoyed the cold water surf spot a little bit more for themselves.

Five years ago, Jeff Clark, the eternal Mavericks pioneer, found a way to dodge the expensive permit to run a contest at his dear wave.

Clark, alongside Chris Cuvelier, created the Mavericks Surf Awards.

The video performance contest invites surfers and videographers to submit their best videos of Mavericks throughout the winter season.

At the end of the competition window, a panel of judges analyzes the rides and reaches a verdict based on specific criteria.

The winners are announced, and the $25,000 prize money split between the surfer (60 percent) and the videographer/photographer (40 percent).

The Mavericks of 2024

The best-performing surfers of the 2024 season at the infamous Northern California surf break have been decided.

The winners' ceremony was held at San Benito House in Half Moon Bay.

The Awards Show featured five video segments, including "A Day To Remember," which covered the historic tow session on December 28, a "Humans vs. Mavericks" wipeout reel, and a "Raw Highlights" section featuring some of the best rides of the season at Mavericks.

"This season, we watched some of the gnarliest Mavericks conditions ever ridden," stated Jeff Clark.

"There were many different swells coming into Half Moon Bay with difficult and challenging conditions, some much bigger than forecasted."

"The surfers that stuck around waiting for the wind to die or switch direction were rewarded with some magical windows of surf. I wish we could give all of them trophies."

In the men's division, Alo Slebir won the Performer of the Year award for the second consecutive year.

"It's been a pleasure surfing Mavericks with some amazing humans the last few years," expressed Slebir.

"The level continues to get pushed from both the younger and aspiring older generations."

With an air-drop, Wilem Banks from Santa Cruz took home the Ride of the Year award.

On March 11, 2024, Jojo Roper took off on a liquid monster that earned the Biggest Wave award.

In the women's division, Bianca Valenti dominated the event for the third year and collected all three trophies.

"Two things I did this weekend were impossible ten years ago: I won all the Mavericks awards and got equally paid," the big wave surfer added.

In her acceptance speech for the honors, Valenti spoke highly of Zoe Chait, the runner-up from Half Moon Bay, and how the 18-year-old is catching up fast.

She also mentioned that their all-female tow team (the first of its kind at Mavericks) is in the works, and she is sure that they will soon be "a force to reckon with, a force of fun."

Valenti was joined on stage by a local 9-year-old who told the audience that she wanted to be like Bianca when she grew up.

The inspiration was contagious, and the empowerment of female athletes was clearly noted as a conversation unfolded about how the community could support the growth of women's surfing.

During the show's finale, Clark and Cuvelier thanked all the videographers and photographers who submitted content, the volunteer Mavericks Rescue Team who put their lives on the line to keep the surfers safe, and all the event sponsors and organizers.

The 2024 Mavericks Surf Awards ran from October 1, 2023, to April 15, 2024.

2024 Mavericks Surf Awards | Winners

Men

  • Performer of the Year: Alo Slebir
  • Ride of the Year: Wilem Banks 
  • Biggest Wave: Jojo Roper

Women

  • Performer of the Year: Bianca Valenti
  • Ride of the Year: Bianca Valenti
  • Biggest Wave: Bianca Valenti

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