The idea was to be uploading photos in real time via Instagram. Snap! Rusty Long on the blue carpet. Snap! Savannah Shaugnessey all dolled up in a dress. Snap! Dave Wassel on stage telling Healey "you could be the next Laird — but you're half the size with twice the freckles." It would be immediate satisfaction for the thousands of loyal followers of @surfingmagazine and a more lightweight, gonzo approach to a tipsy evening. So @tsherms (Steve Sherman) and @jimmicane (Jimmy Wilson) went trigger-happy happy before, during and after the event, Sherm even sported a little fish-eye lens to his recently bought iPhone. But with the influx of people (who also had iPhones, and also had Instagram), uploading photos was a near impossibility. But they kept shooting — up close on the red carpet, in the press pit next to guys with huge cameras and flashes — and we banked 'em for a good ol' fashioned web post. —Taylor Paul
And the winners were…
Nathan Fletcher won Ride of the Year and Monster Tube for his Teahupoo wave heard round the world, and also the Performer of the Year.
Dave Wassel won Monster Paddle for his 53 footer at Jaws.
Garrett McNamara won Biggest Wave for his 78 footer at Praia do Norte (not 90, as was previously claimed. Although many believe even calling it 78 feet is a stretch).
And everyone in attendance won a free show from the Foo Fighters after the awards wrapped. Best surprise ever. Well done, Billabong. Thank you for the show, and an amazing night.