- WSL / Morris

LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA (Tuesday, November 15, 2022) - Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the WSL Big Wave Record Chase, the new model for verifying and celebrating Big Wave World Records. Through this new property, the WSL will continue its commitment to big wave surfing through a revamped strategy focusing on GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles for the women's and men's divisions across the paddle-in and tow-in categories. The WSL will host a total prize purse of $500,000, which will be allocated to athletes who achieve new world records for Men's Biggest Wave (Paddle), Women's Biggest Wave (Paddle), Men's Biggest Wave (Unlimited), Women's Biggest Wave (Unlimited).

"This shift is designed to elevate and refine the World Records property," said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP Tours and Head of Competition. "By creating a more transparent process, rewarding the achievements of the athletes, and shining a light on their incredible achievements, we hope to build a platform to showcase the immense talent of big wave athletes."

Billy Kemper (HAW) drops into a monster wave at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii. Billy Kemper (HAW) drops into a monster wave at Jaws - WSL / Hallman

WSL Big Wave Record Chase: Submission and Review Process Submissions will be open to all big wave surfers who surf and capture their rides within the eligibility window. The submissions will be open via the WSL's online portal WorldSurfLeague.com/worldrecord, and submissions must be registered by the designated timeframe to be analyzed and considered for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title.

Following the submissions, the Big Wave Panel, overseen and selected by the WSL's Tours and Competition team, will review each submission and compare it to the current World Records. Submissions deemed competitive to the current World Records will be further reviewed and analyzed by the WSL's Record Verification team. New Big Wave World Records for that season will be announced following the final evaluation.

The WSL will continue its partnership with Guinness World Records as the official verifier for surfing's world records.

The WSL will work with Box To Box Films, the award-winning production company behind the WSL's Make or Break series on AppleTV+ and the Formula 1: Drive to Survive series on Netflix, to produce a documentary about the World Record ride. Each documentary will feature a rich exploration of the athlete, their backstory and an intimate look at their lives, and their world record ride.

"We're thrilled our partnership with WSL continues to expand, this time to tell the compelling stories behind future big wave world records," said Paul Martin, Co-founder of Box To Box Films. "We're passionate about bringing historic moments to life and sharing the behind-the-scenes stories behind the achievements. These incredible athletes deserve to have their stories told, and we're so excited to work on that with them and the WSL."

Today also marks the opening of the WSL's Big Wave season, featuring the Quiksilver JAWS Big Wave Challenge pres. by TUDOR, and TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge pres. by Hurley. Jaws (also known as Pe'ahi), and Nazaré are two of the most renowned and well-respected waves in the big wave community. Each location is a significant proving ground for the paddle-in and tow-in disciplines, respectively, and the sites of multiple GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles for the largest waves ever ridden. With the waiting period open, the WSL Tours and Competition Team are closely monitoring swells and conditions needed to run these events. The best big-wave surfers in the world are on standby to activate at a moment's notice. The waiting period for both events is open through March 31, 2023.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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