It's that time of year – the close to our thumping winter waves and time to recognize some of the burliest big wave chargers around the world. Ours truly, Paige Alms, from Haiku, Maui has been nominated for Billabong XXL's Big Wave Women's Performance award for the 2011-12 season. We are proud of our local charger, representing with the best surfers in the world at Maui's Peahi, "Jaws".
Here's Paige Alms, paddling into a beauty at "Jaws"! The right is super challenging to paddle in to and Paige is making it look easy.
For the past two years, more and more big wave chargers have been paddling into the right at Jaws. Since as far back as 2007, Andrea Moller has paddled into the left with a small group of Brazilian big wave chargers. Recently it's starting to look like Waimea Bay, with a line up of about 20+ surfers now! It's unbelievable how many surfers are paddling into "Jaws" today & with a prize purse of $15,000 it's no wonder why these surfers are throwing themselves off the ledge of 15-20 footers.
The Billabong XXL contest has been acknowldeging big wave chargers for the past decade and has sparked a worldwide search for riding the biggest waves on the planet. These men and women risk their lives to surf the wave of their life, and score a substantial amount of prize money. When the contest began, Billabong awarded $1000 for every foot wave to the man who was photographed on the biggest wave of the season. In 2004 Pete Cabrinha won $70,000 on a beastly left at "Jaws". Now the contest has evolved into other catagories — Biggest Wave, Monster Paddle in, Worse Wipeout, Men's and Women's Performance awards. Presently the prize purse is $50,000 for the biggest wave ridden and sadly, the women's performance award is a mere $5000. This huge prize money discrepency between men and women in all sports across the board, needs to change! Hopefully the women, who equally risk their lives in big surf, will be equally rewarded with money and sponsorships.
To check out the inspiring entries and nominee's check out the Billabong XXL site.
And check out the bombs that Paige Alms scored at "Jaws". Women's Performance Nominees
Here's my favorite pics on the Billabong XXL site: