Billabong Pico Alto

BWT Event Windows Open

2015/2016 Big Wave Tour
Get ready to drop in to the world's biggest waves. Plus: Two new locations are now on the WSL Big Wave Tour schedule.

The world's best big wave surfers are on alert as the event windows for both the Billabong Pico Alto and Puerto Escondido Challenge are now open, and the Big Wave Tour (BWT) is in full swing.

The BWT season is comprised of two halves: The Southern Hemisphere event window runs April 15 to August 31, with three events that can run if conditions allow. The first of the three, the Quiksilver Ceremonial Chile, ran at Punta de Lobos in April, and saw reigning WSL BWT Champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) surf his way to victory.

The second half of the BWT season is comprised of four potential events in the Northern Hemisphere; their event window runs from October 15, 2015 to February 28, 2016. The potential contests include breaks at Nelscott Reef, Orgeon; Punta Galea, Spain; Pe'ahi, Maui; and Todos Santos, Mexico.

"Our goal this season is to run as many Big Wave Tour events as possible in the largest surf on the planet," said BWT Commissioner Peter Mel. "We had great waves in Chile and we're very excited about what looms on the horizon, including the addition of Puerto Escondido."

Official Trailer: Puerto Escondido Challenge
Get ready for the Big Wave Tour's newest contest site, Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

Each event features a competitive field of the 24 best big wave surfers in the world. The roster includes the Top 10 finishers on the 2014/2015 BWT season, six event wildcards, six BWT wildcards and the two of six qualifiers from last season's Video Qualification Challenge including Trevor Carlson (HAW), Nic Vaughan (USA), Mark Mathews (AUS), James Taylor (ZAF), Jamie Sterling (HAW) and Derek Dunfee (USA).

Last season, the Billabong Pico Alto was the only Southern Hemisphere event that ran, as it was the only break that had waves of the required, 25-foot minimum. The 2014 contest ran July 3 in 40-foot waves. Rothman claimed his first-ever BWT victory, the first on his road to win the Title.

His next win in Chile was not televised. While the intention there was to deliver quality highlight packages soon after each heat, the WSL has evolved its position to ensure that all BWT events will be webcast LIVE at

2015/2016 BWT Season Rundown:
Quiksilver Ceremonial: Punta de Lobos, Chile (ran April 30, 2015 - May 1, 2015, won by Makuakai Rothman (HAW)) $50,000
Billabong Pico Alto: Pico Alto, Peru (May 15, 2015-August 31, 2015) $50,000
Puerto Escondido Challenge: Puerto Escondido, Mexico (May 15, 2015-August 31, 2015) $75,000
Oregon Challenge: Lincoln City, Oregon (October 15, 2015-February 28, 2016) $50,000
Punta Galea Challenge: Punta Galea, Basque Country Spain (October 15, 2015-February 28, 2016) $50,000
Pe'ahi Challenge: Haiku, Hawaii (October 15, 2015-February 28, 2016) $100,000
Todos Santos Challenge: Todos Santo, Mexico (November 15, 2015-February 28, 2016) $75,000

Trailer: Billabong Pico Alto
Get pumped for Peru's Big Wave Tour stop the Billabong Pico Alto.

In addition to the BWT events, the WSL has activated this season's Video Qualification Challenge that will reward outstanding big wave performances from outside of competition with the chance to contest with the elite next season.

The Video Qualification Challenge invites aspiring BWT surfers to submit video footage of themselves taking on huge surf to the WSL Big Wave Awards (BWA). A special committee will review the performances and select four qualifiers to will compete full time on the 2016/2017 WSL tour.

"One of the biggest challenges we've had in big wave surfing for decades is the development of a career pathway," Mel continued. "The setting of the Big Wave Tour provides an environment for the world's best big wave surfers to perform and the Video Qualification Challenge not only embraces technological advancements but also provides an opportunity to reward those committed to chasing the world's best big waves throughout the year."

Go behind the scenes of the BWT with founder Gary Linden's Big Wave Diaries: Puerto Escondido.

The following surfers have received invitations to compete alongside the BWT Top 10.

BWT Alternates
Carlos Burle (BRA)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)
Ken Collins (USA)

BWT Wildcards
Josh Kerr (AUS)
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Jamie Sterling (HAW)
Ben Wilkinson (AUS)

Event Alternates
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Ryan Hipwood (AUS)
Albee Layer (HAW)

Event Wildcards
Miguel Tudela (PER)
Sebastian Correa (PER)
Alejo Loret De Mola (PER)
Sebastian De Romana (PER)
Luis Gomez de la Torre (PER)
Cristian Merello (CHL)

Event Alternates
Fabio Castagnino (PER)
Carlos Mario Zapata (PER)
Jamie Venegas (PER)

Video Qualifiers
James Taylor (ZAF)
Trevor Sven Carlson (HAW)

Video Qualifier Alternate
Nic Vaughn (USA)

BWT Alternates
Carlos Burle (BRA)
Miguel Tudela (PER)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)

BWT Wildcards
Kelly Slater (USA)
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Garrett McNamara (HAW)
Rusty Long (USA)

BWT Alternates
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Francisco Porcella (HAW)
Will Skudin (USA)

Video Qualifiers
Nic Vaughn (USA)
Derek Dunfee (USA)

Alternate Video Qualifier
Jamie Sterling (HAW)

Event Wildcards
Coco Nogales (MEX)
Oscar Moncada (MEX)
José Ramirez (MEX)
Angelo Lozano (MEX)
Roger Ramirez Jr. (MEX)
Jimel Corzo (MEX)

Event Alternates
Marcial Monreal (MEX)
Gregorio Cruz (MEX)
Will Dillon (MEX)