After what was a stellar introductory year of the ABA Big Wave Awards in 2015, the 2016/17 season of the Nomad Big Wave Awards Presented by Emerald is set to be bigger and better this year.

With historymaking swells already battering the coast of Australia, and with the Northern Hemisphere winter only a short few months away we prepare for what will be one of the most spectacular shows in big wave bodyboarding. 


Last Years winner Michael Novy.

Last year saw Michael Novy take out the award in spectacular fashion with a massive bomb at The Right.

The Nomad Big Wave Awards highlight the commitment and skill level of the big wave bodyboarders who explore, discover and surf some of the biggest and heaviest waves around the globe. The awards show side of the sport that goes beyond both the realms of the mainstream professional competitive stadium to an area where seemingly normal riders take extraordinary  risks, with little concern for fame or glory. 

Shane Britten from Nomad Bodyboards said of the event “We are stoked to be part of the Big Wave Awards again in its second year. It is such a unique event to allow competitors to free surf monster waves anywhere in the world. It is one of the pinnacles of our sport and so awe inspiring to watch. I can’t wait to see this years entries!”. 

The official Nomad Big Wave Awards presented by Emerald waiting period extends from June 1st 2016 to February 1st 2017 which will provide the opportunity for riders in the northern hemisphere a chance to chase the biggest waves in their prime swell season.

Only waves bigger than 8ft on the face will be considered for entry.

Judging of the awards will occur after the event period concludes with winners announced in March 2017. 

Judging will be made out of a total of 100 points.

Within the 100 points there are sub categories; this allows us to put tow and paddle surfing against each other to create the fairest and most allrounded competition.

The criteria will be broken down to the following.

10 points: Tow/Paddle

10 Points: Size

10 Points: Commitment and control.

10 Points: Moves and progression.

10 Points: Make or wipeout.

10 Points: Consequence.

20 Points: This will be about the overall wave. This is judges’ own discretion of how the wave impressed them.

This season the ABA have made changes the requirements of entry in the Awards making it FREE to enter the awards. The ABA’s hope that this will open up the Nomad Big Wave Awards to be truly global big waves chase that all bodyboarders from every corner of the globe can enter. 

– Each rider must be a member of the ABA to be eligible for their wave to be judged. Membership can be obtained through

– The Membership may be made before or after the wave was caught. Although membership must be submitted prior to entering the clip for judging.

* We do recommend surfing specific insurance prior to surfing waves of consequence. All insurances can be provided through each Surfing Australia State Branch.