The five most spectacular surfing wipeouts of past year (video)
If a fantastic ride on an enormous wave is a thing of beauty, what is a monumental wipeout? For most people -- certainly for surfers with a front-row seat -- wipeouts are at least equally entertaining, as long as the person receiving the beating is not injured. The following video shows five finalists deemed by organizers of a yearlong competition to have endured the most spectacular surfing mishaps during the past 12 months.
The annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards also honors surfers in performance categories such as Ride of the Year, which are more prestigious and financially rewarding. But wipeouts can be more fun to watch, and to be named winner of this category, during an awards ceremony each spring, is to be presented with sort of a badge of honor.
After all, these are vicious thrashings, and how the world's premier big-wave surfers are able to withstand them is testament to their training, ability and knowledge of wave dynamics.
So who will be named wipeout king this year?
Australian Mark Mathews
bravely accepted his fate on this Tasmanian monster, riding out the hopeless situation to the end. To see what happened watch the video. Frame-grab from Tim Bonython
Brazilians Felipe Cesarano
and Rodrigo Koxa
should be regarded as favorites, based on the absurd thickness of the waves at Teahupoo (in Tahiti
) last Aug. 27, when several lesser-known surfers were left scraped and bruised. But from the non-Teahupoo wipeouts, Danny Griffith appears to have endured the worst after spinning out on a sucking ledge at the bottom of a wave that literally exploded atop the surfer last Oct. 26 at Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania.
However, Garrett McNamara
skipping down the towering face of Jaws, Maui, has merit. So does footage of Mark Mathews
tucking into a collapsing tube at a spot called The Right in Western Australia (see image). It'll be up to judges and surf media to vote on a winner, who will be thoroughly ridiculed, but also congratulated, during the May 4 ceremony.
May the best wipeout victim win!
A strange wave breaks in Portugal
, near Lisbon
: one-wave sets, long lulls, no crowds, and the left looks quite rippable.
Our friend Luis sent us this mysterious little video, explaining that the surfers wait for the big catamaran to pass by this sand bank. A similar concept by Australian shaper Greg Webber
has led to a wave-ring project, and subsequent legal battle with the Kelly Slater Wave Company for rights to the idea. Webber and crew achieved the design with a prawning..
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