The Big Wave World Tour

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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Mavericks Invitational

Surfs up! The BWWT’s Mavericks Invitational calls on 45 ft. waves and fearless surfers.

by Jonathan Spielman, Staff Writer & Surfer

The Big Wave World Tour ( BWWT), a worldwide surfing event, has been undergoing development and has finally developed into a formal event. The format is a spinoff of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world tour. The tour goes on from November 9 to March 31 and is called to meet when specific weather and tidal conditions all coalesce.

The top 24 most daring surfers in the world will attempt to tame some of the most massive swells of the winter. Some of the new/young surfers that have been invited are Alex Gray, John John Florence, Albee Layer, and Ian Walsh. Even though the BWWT is all about big waves around the world, the Mavericks Invitational is the high light of the tour.

The Mavericks Invitational (in Half Moon Bay, CA) starts with the opening memorial ceremony to commemorate Mark Foo and Sion Milosky both who died while surfing at Mavericks.  According to Mavericks Invitational, “The Opening Ceremony is a special ceremony to gather the tribe, this family and community of surfers, to join hands and bless the event. It’s a chance to bring the competitors and Mavericks community together on a non-contest day, away from the spotlight and commotion of a contest. It’s a time for us to come together in the spirit of family and remember why we do what we do.”

The judging criteria is how big the wave is, how well the wave was surfed, how much risk was involved, and the wave itself — with a possible top score of 100. Remember, the wave itself is heavy: you’re in the wrong spot if you’re afraid to get pounded by 45 ft. (plus) waves. Experienced surfers agree that one literally must be right under the lip (of the wave) to drop in.

There will be an award ceremony for Mavericks Barrel (referring to the shape of the wave) of the year, bomb of the year, photo of the year, Female performer of the year, overall performer of the year, and 5150 awards (for the most “insane” of the year at Mavericks).

The “Eddie Akau” is also a big event on the BWWT; its opening ceremony honors Eddie Akau and his contribution to big wave surfing. The contest is not called-on unless there are, at minimum, 50 ft. waves, or an “Eddie day” as it is more commonly referred to. The event commemorates Eddie and his contribution to the big wave surfing that he loved.