Open Season: Big Wave Tour Set to Charge

The World Surf League (WSL) announced the schedule for the 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour (BWT), showcasing the world's premiere big wave surfers, the planet's most harrowing venues and an unparalleled display of adventure, competitive drama and athleticism.

Big Wave Tour Trailer
The best big wave surfers prepare, plus two new locations join the prestigious WSL Big Wave Tour schedule.

Comprised of seven potential event sites across three continents, the BWT will test the skills of the 24 best big wave surfers in the world. Contests only require one day of extraordinary surf to complete. The catch -- events are only called ON 72 hours in advance when commissioner Peter Mel announces a Green Alert -- signaling the anticipation of contest site swell to arrive in excess of 25 feet.

2015/2016 WSL Big Wave Tour Schedule:

  • Quiksilver Ceremonial: Punta de Lobos, Chile (April 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015)
  • Billabong Pico Alto: Pico Alto, Peru (May 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015)
  • Puerto Escondido Challenge: Puerto Escondido, Mexico (May 15, 2015 - August 31, 2015)
  • Oregon Challenge: Lincoln City, Oregon (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016)
  • Punta Galea Challenge: Punta Galea, Basque Country Spain (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016)
  • Pea'hi Challenge: Haiku, Hawaii (October 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016)
  • Todos Santos Challenge: Todos Santo, Mexico (November 15, 2015 - February 28, 2016)

"The Big Wave Tour is entering into its second full year under the WSL banner and the enhancements made to this upcoming season are designed with one goal in mind - run as many events as possible in the largest surf on offer," Peter Mel, former BWT Champion and WSL BWT Commissioner, said. "The schedule is designed with this in mind and we're excited about the addition of Puerto Escondido and Lincoln City as full-fledged members of the 2015/2016 BWT season. It's never been a more exciting time for big wave surfing."

The 24 man fields will be comprised of the Top 10 finishers from the 2014/2015 BWT rankings, six event wildcards, six BWT wildcards and two of six qualifiers from last season's #ProveIt Challenge including: Trevor Carlson (HAW), Nick Vaughan (USA), Mark Mathews (AUS), James Taylor (ZAF), Jamie Sterling (HAW) and Derek Dunfee (USA).

65-year-old WSL Big Wave Tour Vice President Gary Linden drops in at Jaws on January 22, 2015. Photographer: Fred Pompermayer. 65-year-old Gary Linden backing up his legendary status with a recent drop in at Jaws. - WSL / Fred Pompermayer

Founded by renowned big wave legend Gary Linden in 2009, the BWT was acquired by the WSL in 2013 with the goal of bringing the planet's best big wave surfers and some of the most treacherous big wave venues in the world to the largest audience possible.

"Last year was an excellent year in which we saw two BWT events run in Peru and the Basque Country and the emergence of a new World Champion in Makuakai Rothman," Linden said. "The platform to which big wave surfing has been raised has been fantastic and we're all committed to running the most events possible this upcoming season in the best surf possible."

The acquisition of the BWT by the WSL will allow for top WSL surfers such as 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) among others to potentially join respected BWT surfers like Greg Long (USA), Grant Baker (ZAF), Gabriel Villaran (PER), Nic Lamb (USA) and Makuakai Rothman (HAW) in competition with waves in the 25-foot-and-above range.

The Quiksilver Ceremonial at Punta Lobos in Chile will open on April 15 one month ahead of the additional Southern Hemisphere events in order to maximize the potential window for the location.

Don't miss the latest Big Wave Tour event video and photography on the World Surf League website and WSL App.