Dave Wassel: surfing big waves and huge lips

The nominees for the 2012 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards have just been announced. In the all-important Billabong XXL Ride of the Year category, there are five very different waves in contention, all ridden in very different regions around the planet.

In consideration for the $50,000 winner's prize are a pair of Southern Californians: Nathan Fletcher for his earth-shattering barrel at Teahupoo, Tahiti and Greg Long for his paddle-in tube at Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

Two Australians are also represented, including Ryan Hipwood for his long, spitting pipe of a wave at Cloudbreak, Fiji and upstart Jeff Rowley for a hair-raising late paddle drop and pocket ride at Jaws on Maui (a spot generally believed to be a tow-surfing-only location prior to the last two winters).

Rounding out the five is the lone Hawaiian, Garrett McNamara, for his plunge into a massive face off the coast of Portugal, a feat that earned the big wave veteran global headlines in November. A video summary of all Billabong XXL nominees.

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Kate Upton: ready for surfing and in the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2012

Kate Upton is the newest queen of sports. The hot chick has been everywhere. She's the Beach Bunny, she is the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model and, recently, she joined Skullcandy, the iconic lifestyle audio brand.

Kate Upton has been taking the place that was once occupied by Irina Shayk, Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend. The supermodel has been swimming in the bikini modeling circuit showing us the path to summer.

Sports Illustrated even decided to create special edition photograph surfboards with cover model Kate Upton and other top models' image screen printed on them.

Upton also tells us that wave curves can mean more than simple ocean waves. The blue-eyed US girl from Michigan has already modeled for Victoria's Secret and was even named "The Woman of the Summer" by Esquire. Sports Illustrated created 10 special edition photograph surfboards with cover model Kate Upton and other top models.

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Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson opens the book of surfing to teach how a bottom turn looks like in photography.

Michael Peterson

The famous picture in "Morning of the Earth".

Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson with his eyes on the horizon. He always looked worried.

Michael Peterson

The Kurt Cobain years.

Michael Peterson

The Michael Peterson moustache was a hit in the 70's.

Michael Peterson

Preparing to win another surf contest in Australia.

 

Michael Peterson

Relax, Michael Peterson. The surf journalists are cool. Still from "Ocean Rhythms," a movie by Steve Core. 

Michael Peterson

Smile, you've got new surfboard tails to test.

Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson with the ladies' rash guard.

Michael Peterson

Waves were Michael Peterson's ultimate destiny.

Michael Peterson

The iconic "Searching for Michael Peterson" hair look.

Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson dominating another wave curtain. Australia will never forget him.