This year’s inaugural WickrX Super Sessions Invitational wrapped up its final webcast showcasing at Mavericks. The first event of its kind, WickrX Super Sessions featured 15 of the world’s best female big wave surfers. Super Sessions followed these elite surfers throughout their three-month big wave season at breaks around the globe. WickrX gave the women the tools to document and share the best waves of the season, as well as all the hard work they put in along the way.
The project culminated this past week at the Mavericks, Northern California’s premier big wave spot. The fifteen women gathered for an expression session, and the shared the lineup only with each other. While conditions were less than desirable, the ladies made quite a statement taking over the main peak. With plenty of waves coming through, the women were given a chance to master the lineup and swap waves with one another. This expression session was the first time many of these elite riders had come together, as the sport of women’s big wave surfing remains primarily underground. Maverick’s local and WickrX Super Session surfer, Sarah Gerhardt, expressed that despite the conditions, “to be out there with all these amazing women was, wow, history.”
Although all the women surfed Maverick’s together, the event was not a competition; rather, it was a celebration of women’s big wave surfing. However, WickrX decided to up the stakes a little bit, and the event awarded the best performances throughout the duration of the project. Additionally, the women evenly split a $55,000 prize purse.
Check out some of this year’s winners:
Best Overall: Keala Kennelly
Big wave surfers all around the world, both male and female, respect Keala for her hard charging antics at Teahupoo in Tahiti and Jaws on the north shore of Maui. Keala is originally from the island of Kauai, and she has been surfing since she was 6 years old. The winner of three Billabong XXL Women’s Best Performance awards, this is certainly not the first of Keala’s big wave accolades, and it’s not likely to be the last.
Biggest Wave: Paige Alms
Originally from the Hawaiian island of Maui, Paige Alms is one of the best out at her favorite surf spot, Jaws. The self-taught charger has no problem taking on one of the heaviest waves in the world that just happens to be in her back yard. At the young age of 25, Paige has proven herself one to watch on the women’s big wave scene.
Most Viewed Video: Bianca Valenti
The San Francisco native earned top honors for her most viewed video performance at Mavericks. Bianca’s surfer page on WickrX.org features a variety of videos showcasing everything from how to airdrop Mavericks, to land barrels under the Golden Gate Bridge. Even from the water at Mavericks, Bianca’s videos exude her fun-loving personality and witty sense of humor. Bianca loves surfing the beach breaks of Ocean Beach, but she has also quickly become a regular at the big wave breaks of Northern California.
Best Lifestyle Videos: Andrea Moller
This hard charging mother of three showcased exactly how much training goes into being a big wave surfer. The fitness fanatic trains every way possible: from swimming, to stand-up paddling, to paddling an outrigger canoe, to biking, to hitting the gym, to rock running. Originally from Brazil, Andrea currently resides on Maui working as a paramedic. She’s known as being one of the first women to pioneer Jaws.
Surfer’s Choice: Sarah Gerhardt
Sarah Gerhardt shocked the world when she became the first woman to surf Mavericks in 1999. The wife of big wave surfer, Mike Gerhardt, Sarah has been a fixture at Mavericks for the last fifteen years. In addition to being a mother of two and holding a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, today Sarah is one of the most respected female big wave riders, and she never misses a big swell at Mavericks.