Choosing the five hardest-charging and most impressive big-wave surfers of the year can be a daunting task–and this year it definitely was. The world’s foremost big-wave surfers seem to be constantly traveling the globe in search of the world’s most terrifying waves, and by the look of things, seem to be going bigger and bigger at each session. After last year’s Surfer Awards entry cut-off date, all the way through November 1st of this year, the nominees below gave standout performances in various heavy-water arenas around the world.

The nominations are chosen based on a person’s year-long overall performance in big, heavy waves, but below are each person’s highlights over the past 12 months.

TWIGGY BAKER

MATT BROMLEY

LUCAS “CHUMBO” CHIANCA

NATHAN FLORENCE

JOJO ROPER

For the 2018 SURFER Awards, present by PAU Maui Vodka, Best Barrel nominees, click here.

For the Best Maneuver nominees, click here.