2022 Red Bull Big Wave Award Winners Announced, Annie Reickert and Billy Kemper Claim Biggest Paddle
Updated: Jul 13
LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA (Thursday, July 7, 2022) - Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the official winners for the 2022 Red Bull Big Wave Awards. $350,000 in prize money has been awarded across three categories for men’s and women’s divisions: Ride of the Year, Biggest Tow, and Biggest Paddle. The winning photographers and videographers were also awarded prize money.
This year’s Red Bull Big Wave Awards received over 300 submissions with some of the heaviest and most amazing big waves ridden throughout April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022 Big Wave Awards season window.
All submitted waves were evaluated by a comprehensive judging panel formed by WSL judges, former pro surfers, and big wave specialists.
“Huge congratulations to this year’s Red Bull Big Wave Awards winners,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “The level of commitment we’ve seen this season has been amazing and I’ve been really impressed with all the nominated rides. Justine Dupont has to be the standout for me this season, with two award wins and nominations in every category, she’s really cemented her dominance on the big wave world!”
The 2022 Men's Biggest Paddle winner, Billy Kemper (HAW), for his wave at Jaws (Pe'ahi) on November 2, 2021.Credit: © Marco Arellano
The 2022 Biggest Paddle Award 2022
The Biggest Paddle Award goes to the surfers who paddle into, and successfully ride, the biggest wave of the year.
Both winning rides were from Jaws, Hawaii on November 2, 2021 and the winners were Annie Reickert (HAW) and four-time Pe’ahi Challenge Champion Billy Kemper (HAW).
1 - Annie Reickert at Jaws on November 2, 2021
2 - Justine Dupont at Nazaré on November 19, 2021
3 - Katie Mae McConnell at Himalayas on January 22, 2022
4 - Paige Alms at Jaws on November 2, 2021
5 - Raquel Heckert at Himalayas on January 22, 2022
1 - Billy Kemper at Jaws on November 2, 2021
2 - Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca at Nazaré on January 12, 2022
3 - Pedro Calado at Nazaré on January 12, 2022
4 - Jamie Mitchell at Nazaré on February 9, 2022
5 - Ben Andrews at Mavericks on January 11, 2022
2022 Ride of the Year
The Ride of the Year is awarded to the surfers who demonstrate the most advanced and committed level of big wave surfing during a successful ride, as judged by available video footage. While raw size is taken into consideration, it is ultimately the level of performance that is rewarded. Justine Dupont (FRA), who was nominated twice in this category, won the women’s award for her ride at Teahupo’o, Tahiti on August 13, 2021. Francisco Porcella (ITA) is the men’s winner for his ride at Jaws, Hawaii on November 2, 2021. Women’s Winners: 1 - Justine Dupont at Teahupo’o on August 13, 2021 (photo and video captured by 2 - Paige Alms at Jaws on January 9, 2022 3 - Justine Dupont at Teahupo’o on October 6, 2021 4 - Annie Reickert at Outer Reef Kahului on December 5, 2021 5 - Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré on February 10, 2022 Men’s Winners: 1 - Francisco Porcella at Jaws on November 2, 2021 2 - Billy Kemper at Jaws on November 2, 2021 3 - Mikey Brennan at Shipstern Bluff on March 26, 2022 4 - Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca at Nazaré on February 25, 2022 5 - Pedro Scooby at Nazaré on December 13, 2021
In addition to winning Ride of the Year, Justine Dupont (FRA) has won the 2022 Biggest Tow Award from this ride at Nazaré, Portugal on January 8, 2022. Credit: © Thomas Slavik
2022 Biggest Tow
The Biggest Tow Award goes to the surfers who, by any means available, catch and ride the biggest wave of the year.
This year’s winning rides were both from Nazaré in Portugal, where Dupont claimed her second award this year in the Biggest Tow category for one of three waves on January 8, 2022, while Mason Barnes (USA) took the men’s award for his wave on February 26, 2022.
1 - Justine Dupont at Nazaré on January 8, 2022
2 - Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré on December 11, 2021
3 - Justine Dupont at Nazaré on January 8, 2022 (wave two)
4 - Justine Dupont at Nazaré on January 8, 2022 (wave three)
5 - Michelle des Bouillons at Nazaré on December 13, 2021
1 - Mason Barnes at Nazaré on February 26, 2022
2 - João Macedo at Nazaré on February 25, 2022
3 - Pedro Scooby at Nazaré on January 8, 2022
4 - Nic Von Rupp at Nazaré on January 8, 2022
5 - Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca at Nazaré on January 8, 2022
As part of the 2022 Red Bull Big Wave Awards, the WSL officially announced the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title for Men’s Largest Wave Surfed (Unlimited) for Sebastian Steudtner (GER) for his award-winning 86 feet (26.21 meters) ride at Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal on October 29, 2020.
Official Holding Period for 2022/2023 Big Wave Season Opens November 1, 2022
The window for the WSL 2022/2023 Big Wave season will officially open on November 1, 2022 and will run through March 31, 2023. This year's big wave season will feature the TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa and the Quiksilver JAWS Big Wave Challenge presented by TUDOR, where each competition will showcase the best of big wave surfing in the tow-in and paddle disciplines, respectively.
Event officials will monitor swell-producing storms, watching for the precise conditions that will produce waves in the competition range. Once the call is made by the event officials, competitors will have 72 hours' notice to be ready to compete.