The World Surf League’s Jaws Big Wave Championship commenced this morning on building 25- to 35-foot waves at the famed Peahi surf break on Maui.
The competition, the world’s premier, paddle-only big wave event, began at 7:30 a.m. and will continue through the early afternoon, concluding with the men’s and women’s final today.
In the men’s division, 24 competitors are divided into four heats of six surfers for the first round. Heats are generally 45 minutes and surfers may catch as many waves as they wish.
A panel of five judges scores each ride on a scale of 1 to 10. Each competitor’s two best waves are counted, with their best wave score doubled. The three highest-scoring surfers advance to the semifinals, and the top three advance to the final.
The women’s division has 10 competitors participating in two five-surfer semifinals. The top three in each heat advance to the final.
Due to safety and environmental concerns, there is no on-site location for spectators to watch the event. Fans are invited to watch the competition broadcast live on WorldSurfLeague.com, on the free WSL app or from WSL’s local broadcast partners.