2008/09 - XXL Champion Greg Long

The shift toward human-powered excellence continued as California's Greg Long became the first surfer to win the Ride of the Year Award with a paddle-caught wave, blowing minds with his deep tube at Dungeons, South Africa (on a huge nine-foot-plus surfboard). Long also happened to tow partner Grant "Twiggy" Baker of Durban, S.A. into the XXL Biggest Wave winner - a 68-foot behemoth at nearby Tafelberg Reef, ensuring Twiggy the Overall Performance win as well.

The Monster Paddle nominees were dominated by waves from a perfection day at Maverick's, with California's Derek Dunfee stroking into the biggest of them all. Monster Tube rights were secured by Hawaii's Mark Healey after he was photographed below sea level on a heaving slab of a wave in Oregon. Brazil's Maya Gabeira made it three in a row as she collected yet another Best Female Performance prize.

Winning video - Fixerfilm