SurferToday.com has announced the best wave riders of the year 2011.
The last 12 months were pretty intense and have raised new faces and old talents in the surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and bodyboarding categories. Their time is now.
The "Athletes of the Year 2011" by SurferToday.com are:
He's 44 years old and he surfed the biggest wave ever, in Praia do Norte, Nazare, Portugal. Despite all the controversy surrounding the size of the wave, we stand by GMAC because he's keeping surfing at very high levels, even when you're not 18. Those who think McNamara has done everything that he could possibly do, stay tuned in for the next couple of years.
Yes, he's Dutch. Yes, he was born in 1989. Youri Zoon is the 2011 PKRA Freestyle champion, after winning six consecutive World Tour events. The young rider is setting new standards in the aerial portfolio of creative tricks. Zoon may dominate the world of freestyle kiteboarding for long time.
Jason Polakow has been in pro windsurfing for more than 20 years. The Australian rider is one of the last Titans of extreme windsurfing. In 2011, 40-year-old legend stormed Jaws, Gnarloo and Cloudbreak in the gnarliest conditions possible. The infamous Fiji session, on the 12th July, offered a photograph that speaks for itself: Jason Polakow's face full of blood in a relaxed mode.
Dreams exist to become reality. Eunate Aguirre fought 15 years to clinch her maiden world bodyboarding title. The Spanish Basque Country rider is the first woman to be elected "Athlete of the Year" by SurferToday.com because of simple life values: perseverance, determination and positivity. Aguirre is a great and agile bodyboarder and she is clearly the bodyboarder of the year 2011.
Congratulations to the winners of SurferToday's "Athletes of the Year 2011"!