A local man’s photo of a German surfer dropping in on a giant wave is one of the finalists in this year’s World Surf League XXL Biggest Wave Award competition, which will be held May 1 in Anaheim.
Mike Jones of Atascadero took a photo in Portugal in December of Sebastian Steudtner riding a wave some have measured at 100 feet high.
Steudtner is also nominated for riding the biggest wave.
Jones, who owns Azhiaziam surf shop in Morro Bay, is a photographer who has shot big waves around the world. If he wins the XXL competition, he will net $4,000.
We asked Jones to describe the wave and his photo:
I have some team riders that have been living over there and surfing Nazare when it is really big. I waited the last few years because the swells or wind didn’t look right. But this swell was something different. It had such a huge magnitude, I had to buy a ticket.
I showed up and was supposed to be on a ski, but my ski driver never showed up, so I was relegated to shoot from the cliff. There were a ton of people shooting pics, so I figured my best shot was to use my big Canon 600 mm lens and shoot tight.
Luckily this wave wasn't bigger, because I would not have been able to fit it in the screen! This rider is Sebastian Stuedtner from Germany, he has stayed with me here on the Central Coast to surf Mouse Rock, so I was stoked to meet up with him, David Langer, Garrett McNamara and Andrew Cotton.