Wells wins SBBC Big Wave Award

Big Wave winner Chris Wells at Breakwall, Jan. 3, 2021. Photo by Thomas Kampas

Big Wave second place Alex Fry at Breakwall, Jan 3, 2021. Photo by Hudson Caceres


Big Wave third place Jamie Meistrell at Breakwater, Jan. 11, 2021. Photo by Charles Scholz


Best Ride winner Matt Pagan, Dec. 7, 2020. Video by Brad Jacobson


Hardes Charging Grom winner Phillip Barnett at Hammerland. Photo by Steve Gaffney


Biggest Wipeout winner Kade Kauffman at the Hermosa pier, Jan. 3, 2021. Video by Wyatt Kato


Hardest Charging Grom, second place, Dane Acosta at Breakwall, Jan. 3, 2021. Photo by Jawad Chanib


Chris Wells became the Phil Mickelson of surfing on Saturday, when, at age of 53, he won the South Bay Boardriders Big Wave Challenge. The annual award is presented to the surfer who catches the biggest wave of the winter in the South Bay. The former pro surfer caught his winning wave on Jan. 3, at the Redondo Breakwall, during one of the past winter’s few big swells. His wave was documented by longtime Breakwater photographer Thomas Kampas. Second and third place finishers Alex Fry and Jamie Meistrell also caught their podium-placing waves at the Breakwall that day. Their rides were documented by photographers Hudson Caceres and Charlie Scholz. 

The awards were presented Saturday during an evening at the Rodium Drive-in, which also included screenings of Brad Jacobson’s “Endless Winter,” a video of the past winter’s surf; and the cult classic “North Shore.”

Other award recipients were: 

Best Wipeout: 1. Kade Kauffman. Video by Wyatt Cato. 2. Carlos Price-Gracida, Photo by Scott Hrybyk/. 3. Chris Kirby. Video by Brad Jacobson

Best Ride: 1. Matt Pagan. Video by Brad Jacobson. 2. Matt Mohegan. Photo by Lucio Gomes.

  1. Kei Kobayashi. Video by Brad Jacobson

Hardest charging grom: 1. Phillip Barnett. Photo by Steve Gaffney. 2. Dane Acosta. Photo by Jawad Chabib. 3. Phillip Barnett. Photo by Luke Smith



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