LOS ANGELES, Calif./USA (Tuesday, May 24, 2022) - Today, the World Surf League (WSL) released the official list of nominees for the 2022 Red Bull Big Wave Awards. $350,000 in prize money will be awarded across three categories for men's and women's divisions: Ride of the Year, Biggest Tow, and Biggest Paddle. The winning photographers and videographers will also be awarded prize money. In addition to announcing the nominees, as part of the Red Bull Big Wave Awards, the WSL has officially announced the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title for Men's Largest Wave Surfed (Unlimited).

Sebastian Steudtner Sets GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title for Men's Largest Wave Surfed (Unlimited)

Sebastian Steudtner (GER) has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the largest wave surfed (unlimited) - male. As part of the Red Bull Big Wave Awards, the WSL has officially analyzed, measured, and verified Sebastian Steudtner's 2021 Big Wave Award-winning ride at Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020 at 86 feet (26.21 meters) from trough to crest.

The ride won the Biggest Tow Award at the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards making it eligible for World Record verification. Steudtner's wave was analyzed, measured, and confirmed as the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Largest Wave Surfed (Unlimited) - Male.

The achievement was announced at a special ceremony upon the grounds of the famous lighthouse that stands watch over the waves of Praia do Norte. An official Adjudicator of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS presented Steudtner with a certificate declaring him as the current record holder for men's largest wave surfed. Steudtner's record beat Rodrigo Koxa's previous record by 6 feet, which was caught on November 8, 2017 at the same location of Praia do Norte, Nazaré.

Several frames from the video footage were extracted and corrected geometrically based on the camera position and inclination. Using known objects such as the jet ski and actual measurement of Steudtner's body geometry, it was possible to calibrate the images for conversion from pixels to feet. The location of the trough and crest of the wave was determined from analysis of the video from two different angles.

2022 Red Bull Big Wave Nominees Announced

This year's Red Bull Big Wave Awards received over 300 submissions with some of the heaviest and most amazing big waves ridden during the April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 big wave awards season. All submitted waves were evaluated by a comprehensive judging panel formed by WSL judges, former pro surfers, and big wave specialists.

This year's nominees spanned the globe, with surfers representing countries like Brazil, Australia, the United States, Hawaii, Portugal and France. The majority of the nominated rides come from the infamous big wave breaks of Nazaré in Portugal and Pe'ahi (a.k.a. "Jaws") in Hawaii, USA, but this year's shortlist also sees rides from Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California, USA, Teahupo'o in Tahiti, Shipstern Bluff in Australia, Himalayas on Oahu's North Shore, and Outer Reef Kahului, Maui, both in Hawaii.

The winners of the awards will be announced on July 7, 2022.

Ride of the Year
The Ride of the Year is awarded to the male and female surfers who demonstrate the most advanced and committed level of big wave surfing during a successful ride, as judged by available video footage. While raw size is taken into consideration, it is ultimately the level of performance that is rewarded.

Female Nominees

  • Annie Reickert at Outer Reef Kahului, Hawaii on December 5, 2021
  • Justine Dupont at Teahupo'o, Tahiti on October 6, 2021
  • Justine Dupont at Teahupo'o, Tahiti on August 13, 2021
  • Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré, Portugal on February 10, 2022
  • Paige Alms at Jaws, Hawaii on January 9, 2022

Male Nominees

  • Billy Kemper at Jaws, Hawaii on November 2, 2021
  • Francisco Porcella at Jaws, Hawaii on November 2, 2021
  • Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca at Nazaré, Portugal on February 25, 2022
  • Mikey Brennan at Shipstern Bluff, Australia on March 26, 2022
  • Pedro Scooby at Nazaré, Portugal on December 13, 2021

Nominees in this category include Justine Dupont (FRA), with two separate rides at Teahupo'o, and Mikey Brennan at Shipstern Bluff, in addition to three nominations each from Jaws and Nazaré.

Biggest Tow
The Biggest Tow Award goes to the male and female surfers who, by any means available, catch and ride the biggest wave of the year.

Female Nominees

  • Justine Dupont at Nazaré, Portugal on January 8, 2022
  • Justine Dupont at Nazaré, Portugal on January 8, 2022
  • Justine Dupont at Nazaré, Portugal on January 8, 2022
  • Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré, Portugal on December 13, 2021
  • Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré, Portugal on December 11, 2021

Male Nominees

  • João Macedo at Nazaré, Portugal on February 25, 2022
  • Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca at Nazaré, Portugal on January 8, 2022
  • Mason Barnes at Nazaré, Portugal on February 26, 2022
  • Nic Von Rupp at Nazaré, Portugal on January 8, 2022
  • Pedro Scooby at Nazaré, Portugal on January 8, 2022

The tow category exclusively features nominations from Nazaré. The women's side features two rides from Michelle des Bouillons (BRA) alongside world-renowned Big Wave charger Justine Dupont (FRA). Dupont is setting a high standard this year, with nominations in each of the three categories.

The men's category includes the winner of this year's TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa, Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca, along with his teammate at the event, Nic Von Rupp. Chianca showed how comfortable he is in the massive surf at Nazaré and continues to push the limit of what's possible. One of the standout surfers at the famed Portuguese break, Pedro Scooby (BRA) also teamed up with Von Rupp during one of the first big swells of the year, and both earned a nomination for their respective rides.

Biggest Paddle The Biggest Paddle Award goes to the male and female surfers who paddle into, and successfully ride, the biggest wave of the year.

Female Nominees

  • Annie Reickert at Jaws, Hawaii on November 2, 2021
  • Justine Dupont at Nazaré, Portugal on November 19, 2021
  • Katie Mae McConnell at Himalayas, Hawaii on January 22, 2022
  • Paige Alms at Jaws, Hawaii on November 2, 2021
  • Raquel Heckert at Himalayas, Hawaii on January 22, 2022

Male Nominees

  • Ben Andrews at Mavericks, California on January 11, 2022
  • Billy Kemper at Jaws, Hawaii on November 2, 2021
  • Jamie Mitchell at Nazaré, Portugal on February 9, 2022
  • Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca at Nazare, Portugal on January 12, 2022
  • Pedro Calado at Nazaré, Portugal on January 12, 2022

This year's nominees include big names like two-time WSL Big Wave World Champion Paige Alms and four-time Pe'ahi Challenge Champion Billy Kemper. Hailing from Hawaii, both Alms and Kemper have stamped their authority in big waves with previous Big Wave Award wins and they continue to produce excellent rides at Jaws. No stranger to Jaws either, Raquel Heckert (BRA) has been putting in the time in Hawaii and it's showing as she earned a nomination for her ride at Himalayas on the North Shore.

The 2022 Red Bull Big Wave Awards winners will be announced on July 7, 2022 on WorldSurfLeague.com/redbullbigwaveawards. The winning rides of the 2022 Red Bull Big Wave Awards will be eligible for World Record verification if the judging panel determines the wave(s) challenge the current World Records. World Record verifications will be announced on November 1, 2022.

To watch all the nominated rides, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com/redbullbigwaveawards.

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