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!
MORE ON GRINDTV
- PHOTOS: Spectacular northern lights tapped during unique science mission
- ADVENTURE: Must-see destinations on your next trip to Joshua Tree National Park
- NEWS: 2011-12 ski season in U.S. most dangerous on record