The 2011 Billabong XXL Awards are over. Tito Ortiz was there. So was Ms. April. I’m not sure who had the bright idea of sprinkling random c-list celebrity dust over everything, but sparkle it did not. Rohan Marley? Really?
If you were patient enough to endure the lame start to the webcast, there were a bunch of funny and endearing moments, as well as a few that probably won’t make Sunday’s Fuel broadcast. Just to be nominated is a huge achievement, but it’s an awards show and there’s money to be had, so someone’s got to lose, er, win. Here are the results, in semi-particular order…
Shane Dorian’s Jaws beast snagged both the Monster Paddle and Monster Tube awards, setting a new world record for biggest wave ever paddled at 57 feet. Remember when a bunch of badasses pioneered “tow-in” surfing because this wave was too big to paddle. Yeah, right.
Everyone’s been bitching about how slopey and fat this wave is, but let’s get one thing straight, it’s gigantic. Sure it’s wider than a lot of other entries, but apparently the judges also though it was bigger. Benjamin Sanchis takes the XXL Biggest Wave award back to France with him, and invites us all to join him there.
Mark Mathews doesn’t need a Wipeout of the Year award, he’s clearly already made a deal with the Devil during his trip to Hell at Shipstern Bluff. All this clip is missing is an audience laugh track.
In May of 2010 Keala Kennelly got this ridiculous shack in Puerto. Then in November, she won the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic in Oregon. She may not be as dedicated as some of the other big wave ladies, but she blows doors on them when she shows up. Tonight she took home a well-deserved Girls Performance award.
The most touching moment came when Sion Milosky’s father accepted his posthumous Mens Performance award, and gave the most well-spoken acceptance speech of the evening. Si was a friend and inspiration to many, including myself, and his spirit lives on in our hearts and minds. Live like Sion!
Danilo Couto may have side-slipped his way to Ride of the Year victory, but we’ve still got mad love for Mikey Brennan’s air drop inside the barrel at Shipstern. We’ve also got mad love for Australia’s David Scard, who had the awkward pleasure of closing out the show after Couto’s winning acceptance speech. Oh yeah, and in second place… Good on ya for being a little pickled mate, like Healy said, “I’m just a sea donkey having fun.”