THE much anticipated 2013 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards is set to raise the bar again big time in the most awesome visual documentation of the world's fearless big wave riders in all their glory and at their worst.
The annual competition celebrates the best and biggest moments in the sport at every surf break in the world over the last 12 months, all based on the action being caught on camera.
The winning nominees in seven award categories will be revealed at a gala awards presentation night on Friday, May 3, at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim, California, in front of an invitation-only crowd of 2000.
Surfing fans can decide their own favourite among hundreds of still photos and video clips now on display on the event website at www.billabongxxl.com.
The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards features a variety of divisions including the $50,000 Ride of the Year, Pacific Paddle, Pacifico Tube, XXL Biggest Wave and the XXL Wipe-out of the Year.
There are also 'world champ' awards for the Surfline Best Overall Performance (male) and the Billabong Girls Best Performance (female).
The 13th annual edition of the event features over $120,000 in cash prizes for the surfers and photographers.
The leading contenders this year are indeed global in nature, with potential nominees emanating from surf sessions in locations such as Cloudbreak in Fiji, Jaws in Hawaii, the Cortes Bank off of California, the Right in Western Australia, Mullaghmore Head in Ireland and Nazaré in Portugal.
"This has been yet another extraordinary year for the XXL Awards," said event director Bill Sharp.
"The boundaries of performance continue to be pushed back. The number of serious, successful tube rides in huge waves - especially when paddled in to instead of towed in - is completely unprecedented. Some of the entries you have to watch over and over to make sure they are real."
Obviously Bill Sharp is referring to that memorable day at Cloudbreak, Tavarau, Fiji with some of the biggest roundest freight-train barrelling boomers ever seen at Cloudbreak.
Peter 'Joli' Wilson multi award winning photography said in the 15 years he has been to Tavarua he has never seen Cloudbreak turn it on like that!
During last year's Volcom ASP WT event in June, a mammoth swell hit in the 20ft plus range forcing organizers to call off the day's comp after two heats due to the cross-shore wind and the dangerous life-threatening risk to the World's best pro's.
Then as the afternoon wore on, suddenly the wind swung around to perfect offshore conditions and Mack truck size tubes where the big wave matadors took centre stage, paddling in and not towing in, amazing all with their heart in the mouth take-offs, risking life and limb on the spinechilling cavernous reef grinding waves.
One of the heroes of that epic session was Chile's Ramon Navarro, a well-respected and renowned big wave rider who took off on a perfect 20ft bomb, taking the high line to backdoor, a sensational thundering tube ride, to disappear and then reappear grinning from ear to ear.
There were many legendary rides that day from elite Hawaiians, big wave chargers such as Reef McIntosh, Mark Healey and Kohl Christenson and a brave assault from both Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning that will go down in the history books.
A vast assortment of video clips of from all the major big wave sessions can be accessed at www.youtube.com/billabongxxl.
The 2013 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards show will be televised by the ESPN Networks, airing on June 9 at Noon Pacific.
The awards ceremony will be carried on a live webcast on the evening of May 3, as well.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.