2008 Billabong XXL Awards Night

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Shane Dorian takes home $50,000 for Ride of the Year at the 2008 Billabong XXL Global Big wave Awards

It's hard to argue against Shane Dorian taking home the $50,000 "Ride of the Year" award. From the elevator shaft drop, to rail dig in the chamber of the Teahupo'o dungeon, to his layback recovery and cartwheel dismount –– the thing is dramatic. It's only fitting he win the big-wave equivalent to an Oscar at the Billabong XXL Awards, which was attended by over 1500 people at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim. "I nearly fell at the start, the middle and then got clipped at the end. I'm almost eating it the whole time," Dorian said crating around the over-sized check for 50 grand. "The support for all these guys who ride these waves is awesome. But the rides themselves are the reward and the thing I'll remember forever."

Another guy making big-wave award acceptance speeches the norm is San Clemente's Greg Long who won the Monster Paddle-in award for scratching into an estimated 51-foot behemoth at Todos Santos, as well as taking home the $5,000 Overall Performance award for his psycho-like commitment to big-wave riding all over the globe.

21-year-old female Brazilian charger Maya Gabeira, who has blown us away yet again for her persistence in the big stuff, including some groundbreaking sessions at Teahupo'o and Mavericks this season, had a big night as well earning $5,000 for the Billabong Female Performance of the Year. Another big XXL winner was Tahitian charger Manoa Drollet who won $5,000 for "Tube of the Year" for his frightening screamer in his own backyard during the infamous Teahupo session this past November.

Taking home the always-prestigious "Biggest Wave Award" was longtime big-wave icon Mike Parsons for his estimated 70-foot plus skyscraper at Cortes Bank, which set a new world record. In fact, judges couldn't get an exact measurement because they couldn't determine the bottom of the wave. Parsons –– who at 43 years old has been hunting the ocean's biggest swells for decades now and is now a two-time "Biggest Wave Award" winner (The first time was in 2001 when he rode an estimated 66-footer at Cortes) –– was more than humbled by his feat. "I didn't think a session like that could happen twice," he said accepting his $15,000 check as well as a {{{Honda}}} Aquatrax watercraft for future Cortes campaigns. "It feels surreal to say that I rode a 70-foot wave. I truly can't believe it." Parsons then went on to dedicate his award to iconic SURFING Magazine photo editor Larry "Flame" Moore who guided Parsons on his quest for the wave. "He went out there in the early '90s and took aerial photos of the place. For many years, he'd tell us the biggest waves in the world are out there. And it appears he was right."

Results of the Billabong XXL AwardsRIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD
1. Shane Dorian at Teahupo'o $50,000
Video by Gustavo Camarao $5,000
2. Manoa Drollet, Teahupo'o, Tahiti
3. Carlos Burle at {{{Ghost}}} Tree, California
4. Ian Walsh at Teahupoo, Tahiti
5. Michael Brennan at Shipstern Bluff, TasmaniaBIGGEST WAVE AWARD
Mike Parsons' 70-footer at Cortes Bank off California $15,000
Photo by Robert Brown $5,000MONSTER PADDLE AWARD
Greg Long at Todos Santos, Mexico $15,000
Photos by Jeff Flindt $4,000MONSTER TUBE AWARD
Manoa Drollet at Teahupo'o, Tahiti $5,000
Maya Gabeira $5,000