Sorry DK, Ian is taking the title. The most recent World Surf League Big Wave Challenge was epic. Not only was the swell quick, full, and plentiful, but the riding has come so far in the past few years. Top-level training, technology, safety education and equipment have enabled these big wave chargers to really go for it. They were surfing 35ft lefts like they were Back Door.
Heat 2 of the semi-final on Saturday was easily the best big wave competitive surfing heat of all time. — 30 foot barrels— So big, so fun, so gnarly, so awesome. That’s the best I can do. You just have to watch it:
In an event with multiple 10 point rides, Ian’s perfect wave would clench the title for him. It was well-deserved. Ian is a focused athlete who has put in more hours at the wave than any in the field. Red Bull chronicled Ian’s training and ethos in last year’s Distance Between Dreams, shot during the El Nino swell of 2015. All of that hard work added up to this, the best wave ever ridden in competitive surfing: