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Hawaii surfers take top prizes at WSL Big Wave Awards


    Keala Kennelly on her winning wave at Teahupoo, Tahiti. Kennelly won the Pure Scot Barrel of the Year Award at the XXL Big Wave Awards in California on Saturday.


    Aaron Gold secured the Best Paddle Award for his ride at Jaws, Maui, at the XXL Awards in Aneheim, California on Saturday.

Hawaii surfers picked up four awards at the 2016 World Surf League Big Wave Awards in Anaheim, Calif. Saturday night.

Kailua-Kona’s Shane Dorian won the Billabong Ride of the Year award for a wave at Maui’s Jaws on Feb. 10. He also won the Surfline Men’s Overall Performance of the Year award.

Kauai’s Keala Kennelly won the Pure Scot Barrel of the Year Award, the first woman to win an the open-gender category, for a tube ride at Teahupoo, Tahiti.

“When I was a little girl, I kept getting told I could not do things because I was a girl,” Kennelly said in a WSL news release. “I was told that women can’t surf, and I was told this about getting barreled, surfing big waves, surfing Pipeline, paddling in a Jaws, and the list goes on. So who I really really want to thank is everyone who told me you can’t do that because you’re a woman. Because that drove me to dedicate my life to proving you wrong and it’s been so damn fun.”

Haleiwa’s Aaron Gold picked up the Best Paddle Award for a ride at Jaws on Maui. Gold’s ride broke the record for the biggest wave ever paddled into, with a wave height of 63 feet.

Maui surfer Niccolo Porcella took the TAG Heuer Wipeout of the Year Award for an over-the-falls drop at Teahupoo, Tahiti.

After winning the performance award, Dorian said: “It is a huge honor as this is probably the hardest award to win and probably the most prestigious because it is not based on one wave or one session. Just to be nominated with these guys is incredible to me. I thought that all nominated had standout seasons. It was just an amazing season, a lot of people had a lot of opportunities, and I’m extremely grateful.”

Brazilian surfer Yuri Soledade’s ride at Jaws captured the TAG Heuer XXL Biggest Wave Award and fellow Brazilian Andrea Moller won the Woman’s Performance of the Year Award.

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