Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards Gallery

All photos by Pete Taras

These people won:

Danilo Couto, Ride of the Year
Benjamin Sanchis, Biggest Wave
Shane Dorian, Monster Paddle
Shane Dorian, Monster Tube
Mark Mathews, Wipe-out of the Year
Keala Kennelly, Girls Overall Performance
Sion Milosky, Mens Overall Performance

It was same same, but different. Same same because it was the world’s best big-wave riders gathered at the Grove in Anaheim to celebrate their testosterone-packed year, get all glassy-eyed and slap backs and laugh. But different because this year they also cried. Kenny “Skindog” Collins, who was surfing with Sion Milosky at Maverick’s the day Sion passed, gave an emotional speech remembering his friend and honoring his family, and ended it by raising a mini-bottle of whiskey towards the sky and downing it. Sion’s wife, kids, and father later took the stage in front of a standing and tearful crowd. Also remembered were Flippy Hoffman, Andy Irons, and Noel Robinson. Most of the winners donated a portion, if not all, of their prize money to the Sion Milosky foundation, in a showing of generosity that just reaffirmed how much of a family the big-wave community is.