Big Wave Tour includes women, Nazare

Big Wave Tour

A women’s event has been added to the Big Wave Tour and we’d guess Keala Kennelly will be on the invite list. Here, she conquers a massive barrell at Teahupo’o last July. Photo: Courtesy of WSL/ Tim McKenna

The 2015- 2016 Big Wave Tour saw some huge events, literally.

The Pe’ahi Challenge was held for the first time ever and the Eddie went for the first time in 7 years.

World Surf League officials are hoping to keep the momentum going into 2016 with new additions to the tour.

After facing criticism for a lack of women in the events, they’ve added a Women’s Championship.

The women’s event will run alongside one of the men’s events, either at Pe’ahi, Hawaii, or Todos Santos, Mexico. The Commissioner’s office will make the decision to run the women’s contest 72 hours prior to the event and will pick the competitors for the first event.

Each subsequent event will follow a rankings system.

Big Wave Tour

Garrett McNamara is dwarfed at Nazare in November 2015. Photo: Courtesy of WSL/ Bruno Aleixo

Another addition is a potential stop at Nazaré, Portugal, where some of the most giant waves in the world come through to overshadow a tiny fishing village.

“Nazaré has been long considered a spot unaccessible to paddle-in-surfing, but those barriers have been broken and it is time for the true test, a Big Wave Event,” Founder and Vice President of the Big Wave Tour Gary Linden said.

Nazaré is part of the second half of the season which takes place in the Northern Hemisphere from October 2016 to February 2017.

In order for a big wave event to be held, wave heights have to reach a minimum of 25 feet and have to hold that height for the duration of the contest, usually about eight hours.

The Big Wave Tour’s Southern Hemisphere window opens April 27.

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