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XXL Global Big Wave Awards

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Keala Kennelly

Photograph By Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards/Ben Thouard

When it comes to women and big waves, Keala Kennelly has been pushing boundaries for years. Claiming yet another XXL Award, she was honored this year for her notable performances in any and all conditions, but most notably at Teahupoo in Tahiti. It's like winning the Oscars, especially in front of all the other big-wave guys, said Kennelly. Last year I won this award, cashed the check and three days later I was in Teahupoo for a big swell. It was the first time I'd been back since my face injury there. To come back and overcome my fear and get the best wave was a huge personal triumph for me.