Big Wave Contest at Jaws Includes First Women’s Event

Surfing mammoth walls of water is certainly not for the faint of heart. The towering 30-foot swells at the World Surfing League Big Wave Tour Pe’ahi Challenge put the dangers into stark reality.

For the first time ever on the WSL Big Wave Tour, a women’s division was included. The field included 24 men and 12 women among the most elite big wave surfers, and the conditions could not have been better.

The break, known as Jaws, lies on the north shore of Maui drawing huge ocean swells in the wintertime. During this year’s contest, swells heightened during one of the women’s heats leading to three of the competitors unable to finish the event.

Taking first place in the men’s division was defending champion Billy Kemper. On the women’s side, the finals only consisted of three women since the other three were eliminated due to injury. Taking first place was Paige Alms. Watch highlights from the action below brought to us by World Surfing League.

Photo credit: WSL/Richard Hallman