Meet the winners of the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards

Meet the winners of the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards

Nov 02, 2021

The World Surf League (WSL) has announced the official winners of the Red Bull Big Waves Awards. $350,000 in prize money will be shared across the four divisions: Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, Biggest Tow and Performer of the Year. 

More than 600 submissions reached this year’s Red Bull Big Wave Awards with some of the most incredible big waves captured during the 2020/2021 season. All were evaluated and punctuated by a judging panel formed by WSL judges, former pro surfers, big wave specialists and members of the WaveCo Science team. 

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards. We evaluated all submissions based on the size of the waves, of course, but we also took into account how heavy the waves were, as athletes are definitely pushing the boundaries of what’s possible by riding those giant waves.” -Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. 


Female Big Wave Awards highlights

Amongst winners, French Justine Dupont has strengthened her position as one of the best in big wave surfing with Ride of the Year, Biggest Tow and Performer of the Year honors. She keeps pushing boundaries and has earned the Performer of the Year Award for her second year in a row. 

“I think it was my best season so far, so I’m really stoked. In Nazaré it was one of the biggest swells, it was almost too big. I got a crazy wave with Garrett McNamara who towed me. I went so fast and I could feel the explosion behind me, it was definitely one of the biggest waves I’ve had out there.” -Justine Dupont

You might like: Watch Garrett McNamara & The Essence of Big Wave to get into the eyes of these surfers at Nazaré.

Moreover, Paige Alms has earned two WSL Big Wave World Titles and has earned the Big Wave Award nominees each year since 2012. The 33-year-old has three Big Wave competition wins at Jaws and is this year’s Biggest Paddle Award winner following her incredible wave at Todos Santos, Mexico. 


Men’s highlights at the Big Wave Awards 2021

In the Men’s category Kai Lenny (29) has been consolidated as one of his generation’s best surfers, pushing the boundaries in the sport. He now adds Biggest Paddler and Performer of the Year to his Big Wave prowess. 

“I feel over the moon, I just remember watching all my heroes win Big Wave Awards so for me it’s still a big achievement. I’m just trying to keep up and do my best!” -Kai Lenny

Also, Sebastian Steudtner who has a particular affinity for Nazaré and its waves is one of the surfers who stepped up in this year’s edition. The surfer has multiple Big Wave Awards to his name and has shown what he is capable off by winning this year the Biggest Tow Award. 


Winners List of the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Awards

Ride of the Year

Women's Winners

  1. Justine Dupont at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021. Captured by Slater Berosky.
  2. Maya Gabeira at Nazaré, Portugal on February 5, 2021. Captured by Cesinha Feliciano.
  3. Keala Kennelly at Himalayas, Hawaii on December 2, 2020. Captured by Ken Kosada.
  4. Paige Alms at Todos Santos, Mexico on January 11, 2021. Captured by Mike Nulty.
  5. Michelle de Bouillons at Nazare, Portugal on February 22, 2021. Captured by Cesinha Feliciano.

Men's Winners

  1. Peter Mel at Mavericks, California on January 8, 2021. Captured by Curt Myers.
  2. Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020. Captured by Elliot Leboe.
  3. Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021. Captured by Marcus Rodrigues.
  4. Grant Baker at Mavericks, California on December 11, 2020. Captured by Richard Hallman.
  5. Conor Maguire at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on October 28, 2020. Captured by Clem McInerney.


Biggest Paddle

Women's Winners

  1. Paige Alms at Todos Santos, Mexico on January 11, 2021. Captured by Ryan Craig.
  2. Keala Kennelly at Himalayas, Hawaii on December 2, 2020. Captured by Ken Kosada.
  3. Justine Dupont at Mavericks, California on December 8, 2020. Captured by Pedro Bala.
  4. Bianca Valenti at Mavericks, California on January 12, 2021. Captured by Curt Myers.
  5. Justine Dupont at Jaws, Hawaii on January 17, 2021. Captured by Maui Cartel.

Men's Winners

  1. Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020. Captured by Sebastian Tronolone Jr.
  2. Peter Mel at Mavericks, California on January 8, 2021. Captured by Pedro Bala.
  3. Billy Kemper at Jaws, Hawaii on December 2, 2020. Captured by Sebastian Tronolone Jr.
  4. Grant Baker at Mavericks, California on December 11, 2020. Captured by Richard Hallman.
  5. Peter Mel at Mavericks, California on December 8, 2020. Captured by Marcus Chambers.


Biggest Tow

Women's Winners

  1. Justine Dupont at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021. Captured by Sebastian Tronolone Jr.
  2. Maya Gabeira at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020. Captured by Jorge Leal.
  3. Justine Dupont at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020. Captured by Above Creators.
  4. Maya Gabeira at Nazaré, Portugal on February 5, 2021. Captured by Luis de Sá.
  5. Justine Dupont at Mavericks, California on January 1, 2021. Captured by Pedro Bala.

Men's Winners

  1. Sebastian Steudtner at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020. Captured by Jorge Leal.
  2. Kai Lenny at Jaws, Hawaii on January 16, 2021. Captured by Marcus Rodrigues.
  3. Conor Maguire at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on October 28, 2020. Captured by Clem McInerney.
  4. Sebastian Steudtner at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020. Captured by Jorge Leal.
  5. Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca at Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020. Captured by Pedro Miranda.


Performer of the Year

Women's Winners

  1. Justine Dupont
  2. Maya Gabeira
  3. Paige Alms
  4. Keala Kennelly
  5. Michelle de Bouillons

Men's Winners

  1. Kai Lenny
  2. Peter Mel
  3. Grant "Twiggy" Baker
  4. Sebastian Steudtner
  5. Conor Maguire

To watch the winning videos you can access the WSL webpage.

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