Are We Seeing the Changing of the Big Wave Guard?

Catching up with Greg Long on the eve of the 17th annual WSL Big Wave Awards

By Marcus Sanders/
This Saturday, the 17th annual Big Wave Awards will descend on Huntington Beach, CA. Hundreds of heavies are flying in from all corners of the globe and driving from all over the state. Beer will be drank. Crazy rides, projected on big screens with loud music, will be hooted at. Shit will be talked. A ton of money will be given out. For some men, this is the only night of the year to wear a collared shirt. For many, given the scattered and fickle nature of chasing XXL surf, it’s like the annual class reunion.
Also, someone new will win the Ride of the Year. This category has been utterly dominated by Shane Dorian (four-time winner) and Jaws, but nothing from him this year — and only one of the five finalists is from Jaws (Billy Kemper). Dorian’s currently in Japan and won’t make the red carpet, either. Former winner Grant “Twiggy” Baker is staying home, as well. “Bit far to come from South Africa for a party,” he laughed. Mark Healey, another perennial standout, is not up for any awards, apart from Overall Performer. Ditto for Greg Long. Also, four of the five dudes up for Biggest Paddle have never won. Ditto for Biggest Wave.

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