The 5 worst big-wave wipeouts from the past year

Is there anything more mesmerizing and cringeworthy in surfing than the big-wave wipeout? Certainly not.

With the World Surf League’s Big Wave Awards just around the corner, we thought it was a good idea to take a look at the Wipeout of the Year Award nominees — which are essentially the 5 worst big-wave wipeouts from the past 12 months.

Taking place this Saturday in Huntington Beach, California, you can tune into GrindTV social media accounts for coverage of the biggest night in big-wave surfing, as well as watch it all live on In case you haven’t yet, catch up on all the Big Wave Award nominees here.

1. Wilem Banks, Mavericks

Imagine jumping off a 25-foot roof only to have multiple tractor trailers dump their tractors full of water on top of you, catching you on the way down to slam you into the ground. Well, that’s essentially what Wilem Banks had happen to him at Mavericks. Banks gets our vote for Wipeout of the Year Award.

2. Nathan Florence, Mavericks

This winter Nathan Florence (brother of current world champ John Florence) took one of the world’s coldest and most brutal pencil dives we’ve ever seen at Mavericks.

3. Danny Griffith, Shipstern Bluff

In this video, Danny Griffith is a victim of the infamous Shipstern Bluff steps. This mutant wave creates a bunch of different lips and levels due to the extreme force of water being thrust upon the shallow reef, forcing Griffith try to climb the ladder to abort. But once he gets to the top, he’s thrown all the way back down to the bottom.

4. Tom Lowe, Nazaré

Tom Lowe does the only viable thing he can do on this Nazaré beast – hit the eject button. But that doesn’t come without consequences, as he does a two-footed flying kick into the wave and gets sucked up and around and all over.

5. Rafael Tapia, Nazaré

Rafael Tapia gets a bad case of the speed wobbles heading down this Nazaré mountain. And we all know that the speed wobbles usually lead to a vicious slam. Tapia gets rag-dolled and tossed off, giving the impending avalanche of whitewater some time to catch up to him and give him a further thrashing.

Wilem Banks taking the plunge at Mavericks. Photo: YouTube

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