The South Bay may not be known as a big wave surfing area, but as many local surfers know, we do have certain spots that not only get big, they also have rideable shape and can get really good.

The South Bay Big Wave Challenge was established in 2011 to recognize a select group of surfers who chase and surf big waves. In order to qualify, waves captured on video or photo must be at least triple overhead and located in between Indicator in Palos Verdes, and Dockweiler State Beach in El Segundo. Each surfer is also required to sign a waiver of liability or submissions will not be accepted. The contest period begins November 1st and ends March 31st.

A panel of judges, made up of local big wave surfers, review photos and videos submitted by surfers, photographers, and videographers to choose the season’s winner. The winner is announced at the South Bay Surf Awards and Surf Film which takes place during the weekend of the Hermosa Beach Surfer Walk of Fame inductee announcements, and Spyder Surf Fest. The winning surfer is awarded $1000 and the photographer/videographer receives $500.

The winter of 2014 thru March 2015 did not deliver triple overhead waves and as a result no one received a Big Wave Challenge award. SBBC decided to add other worthy awards so that regardless of a sizeable winter or not, the South Bay could acknowledge stand-out surfers and individuals in our community each year. The awards now include all of the following:


  • Biggest Wave Award
  • Grom Hardest Charger (18 years old and younger) – largest wave surfed and captured on camera
  • Wipeout of the Year Award (self-explanatory)
  • Ride of the Year Award (video only)
  • Howard Eddy Memorial Award – acknowledges a surfer’s community service
  • Scholarship Award – high school senior surfers awarded based on their essay of how surfing has applied to their lives. The scholarship funds can be used for pursuing trade school, college, service,etc.



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