The Inertia Contributing Editor

The Inertia

The Mavericks Awards went down last night at Old Princeton Landing in Half Moon Bay, Calif. The contest ran from November 1, 2021 to April 15, 2022 and was open to anyone capable of riding the dangerous wave. A digital video performance contest, the Mavericks Awards allowed surfers and videographers to submit their best surf content at Mavericks from the winter season.

The contest followed three basic rules. First, the surfer must make it all the way to the shoulder in order to be considered for an award. Second, only prone paddle waves were accepted. Lastly, waves had to be ridden during the contest time period.

The contest offered three categories for men and three for women, with equal prize money for all — 60 percent of winnings went to the surfer and 40 percent was paid to the photographer. Categories included Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year, and Performer of the Year with $30,000 in prize money on the line.

Waves were judged by a panel of world-class big-wave surfers: Maya Gabeira, Grant Washburn, Chris Bertish, Jeff Clark, and Darryl “Flea” Virostko. Judges evaluated the videos at the end of the season to determine the winners. If they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision on a winner, then the surfer with the majority of votes from the panel won.

On the men’s side, Grant “Twiggy” Baker (captured by Dom Padua) took home the Biggest Wave award. Jamie Mitchell, also captured by Dom Padua, clinched the Ride of the Year award. And the coveted Performer of the Year award was given to Luca Padua, photographed by Dom Padua, Drake Stanley, Euan Rannachan, Tucker Wooding, and Kyle Hulse.

On the women’s side, Bianca Valenti took home all three awards. Her Biggest Wave award was captured by Euan Rannachan, Ride of the Year by Tucker Wooding, and Performer of the Year by Euan Rannachan and Tucker Wooding.

The night was 0ne for the books and was full of food, music, and fun. Eighty percent of the net proceeds funded prize money for the Mavericks Awards and 20 percent went to Sea Hugger and its mission to end marine plastic pollution. Watch the above video for a recap of everything that went down last night.


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