For anyone seeking heart-pounding action, Big Wave is a place where humans push the boundaries of what's possible in every moment. Officially kicked off on November 1st, the 2019/2020 Big Wave season will showcase the premier paddle-only event at Jaws, a non-stop tow session at Nazaré, and hard-charging action from swells across the globe.
2019/2020 Big Wave Championship Events
- Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge
- cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championship
When: November 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020. Events are called on with 48 hours notice.
The Call: During the Big Wave season window, the WSL Big Wave team is constantly monitoring an array of weather charts and tracking big storms crossing the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with the help of our forecasting partner, Surfline. The waves must be a consistent minimum 25 feet on the face of the wave throughout the entire time of competition. Wind, tide and the effects they have will play a part when making the call.
- Yellow Alert: If a large swell is being generated towards one of our contest locations in combination with the right local weather conditions, we may go on Yellow Alert as far as 4 days out from the potential event run date.
- Green Alert: 48 hours from the potential run date, WSL Big Wave Team in consulation with the Surfer Reps will make the final call. Green Alert means that the Big Wave Tour event is ON.
Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge
Venue: Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Leiria, Portugal
Team World: Sebastian Steudtner (DEU) & Maya Gabeira (BRA)
Team Brazil: Rodrigo Koxa (BRA) & Pedro Scooby (BRA)
Team Great Britain: Andrew Cotton (GBR) & Tom Butler (GBR)
Team Australia: Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS) & Mick Corbett (AUS)
Team Portugal: Alex Botelho (PRT) & Hugo Vau (PRT)
Team Young Bulls: Lucas Chianca (BRA) & Kai Lenny (HAW)
Team Europe: Nic von Rupp (PRT) & Francisco Porcella (ITA)
Team France: Benjamin Sanchis (FRA) & Eric Rebiere (FRA)
Team Atlantic: Grant Baker (ZAF) & Antonio Silva (PRT)
Team Justine: Justine Dupont (FRA) surfer only/Fred David driver only
Event Format: The Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge features a unique tow team "expression session" format with delayed video judging. Ten two-surfer teams will participate with the athletes taking turns by their own choice of who will surf and who will drive. (Each surfer must ride at least two waves,) There will be four one-hour heats with five teams per heat, each team will participate in two heats, with a priority system indicating which pair has their preferred choice of an incoming wave at any moment.The event will be broadcast live and captured on video from multiple angles. At the conclusion of the competition a nominating panel will examine the video evidence and select the biggest, best-ridden waves of the day as finalists. At an awards ceremony later in the day the athletes themselves, along with a group of expert judges, will review the nominated rides and place their votes in an assortment of categories including Men's Wave of the Day, Women's Wave of the Day and Team Champions with the winners being crowned at that time.
cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championships
Venue: Pe'ahi, Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Alex Botelho (PRT)
Russell Bierke (AUS)
Lucas Chianca (BRA)
Trevor Carlson (HAW)
Nathan Florence (HAW)
Natxo Gonzalez (EUK)
Greg Long (USA)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Tyler Larronde (HAW)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Tom Lowe (GBR)
Torrey Meister (HAW)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Jojo Roper (USA)
Koa Rothman (HAW)
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Nic von Rupp (PRT)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Plus Two Wildcards TBD
Paige Alms (HAW)
Justine Dupont (FRA)
Emily Erickson (HAW)
Raquel Heckert (BRA)
Keala Kennelly (HAW)
Andrea Moller (BRA)
Felicity Palmateer (AUS)
Bianca Valenti (USA)
Plus Two Wildcards TBD
Event Format: In the men's division, 24 competitors are divided into four heats of six surfers for the first round. Heats are generally 45 minutes and surfers may catch as many waves as they wish with a panel of five judges scoring each ride on a scale of 1 to 10. Each competitor's two best waves are counted, with their best wave being doubled. The three highest scoring surfers advance on to the semifinals, which run in the same format. The final heat is generally one hour in length.
The women's division runs on a similar format with 10 competitors participating in two five-surfer semifinals with the top three in each advancing to their final.