Grassroots Rushing: The North Shore Big Wave Challenge


The following is a press release from Hawaii’s Evan Valiere about a grassroots surfing contest. For the full read on the homespun event, check it out below.

With more giant swells looming on the horizon and all eyes on the ocean, El Niño seems to be fulfilling its promise. For a passionate few, it means the possible realization of long awaited dreams of riding giants.

During the Eddie at Waimea Bay every drop of water was analyzed and documented by media from around the world, an army of photographers and thousands of onlookers. Twenty-eight lucky surfers had the chance to win the most prestigious big wave event on the planet…

But, they weren't the only ones charging huge waves that day. At the same time, a handful of underground chargers were riding the same sets just a short distance away at an outer reef with just one photographer on a jet ski. They paddled into the giant sets rivaling Waimea that day on their own power. One of these surfers, Evan Valiere, was fortunate enough to realize his dream of paddling into the biggest wave he had ever ridden. And he's hungry for more.


Most of the world's best big wave riders know they will never even put on a contest jersey, let alone compete against the world's best. Evan has had the opportunity to compete in many events around the world, but not in the giant waves he loves to charge. So he has decided it's time to put on an event that includes everyone from the world's most famous surfers to all of the unsung heroes who are already out there putting their lives on the line for the pure love of surfing.

"The North Shore Big Wave Challenge" is a grassroots event. To compete, anyone can paddle into the biggest wave on his or her own power anywhere in the Hawaiian Islands anytime from December through the end of March. Judging will be based on the documented entries posted on the SURFER blog.

The winner will receive Evan's trophy for winning the Sunset event. Evan is also putting up his Todd Chesser trophy, awarded to him for the surfer with the biggest heart "charging" at the Pipeline event. Winning these trophies in Hawaiian waters makes them among his most prized possessions. Evan's father, renowned artist Steven Valiere, is also donating a painting worth over $10,000 to the winner. The heaviest wipeout will receive a beautiful gicle'e, a photographic art piece, by photographer Mike Coots worth $4,000.00. Another gicle'e will be presented to the largest wave ridden by an unsponsored surfer. As far as monetary awards, Evan hasn't figured out a way to change the lint in his pocket to cash, but negotiations are currently in the works for all of the winners.

Since many winters go by with the biggest waves ridden by underground surfers who receive no credit whatsoever; anyone who paddles out in huge surf is in contention for this event.

Evan believes in giving "all the surfers who have a passion for riding big waves a shot at winning an event. Already the word is out. The opportunity is here for anyone to win an event, to pit themselves in nature's heaviest conditions with the shot at going big."

In this unique event, GoPro is donating surfboard mounted video cameras for some of the contestants to mount on their boards so viewers can experience riding a big wave along with their wipeouts firsthand. Photos and video clips of the biggest waves ridden in Hawaiian waters will be uploaded on Anyone interested in following the event can watch the showdown as it unfolds along with the interviews with the world's best big wave riders. Log on and check it out, your wave could be in contention for the win or… heaviest wipeout.