As far as barrel-riding goes for 2018, Namibia churned-out tubes that invoked sentiments similar to those experienced when watching Mike Hynson and Robert August surf Cape St. Francis for the fist time in “Endless Summer.” Koa Smith and Oliver Kurtz locked into super-long Skeleton Bay barrels with lips so thick that they blocked out the unrelenting African sun.
Not to be out done, the Pacific ocean’s famed point-and-shoot locales provided plenty of waves with Barrel of the Year potential. Pedro Calado pig-dogged a Puerto Escondido monster. Nathan Florence was able to shoot through a Backdoor beauty with a post-spit bonus section. And Koa Rothman, who spent most of his 2018 prowling the globe for tubes, found exactly what he was looking for at Teahupo’o.
Without further adieu, here are the 2018 Surfer Awards Presented by Pau Vodka nominees for Best Barrel:
Koa Smith – Namibia
Pedro Calado – Puerto Escondido (0:00)
Nathan Florence – Backdoor
Koa Rothman – Teahupo’o (8:38)
Oliver Kurtz – Namibia
For the 2018 Surfer Awards Best Maneuver nominees, click here.