Join us in congratulating Keala on her win at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards this past weekend! Nominated for the Girls Performance of the Year Award for the second consecutive year and up against four-time winner Maya Gabeira, Keala's win was no easy feat.
“Winning is quite an honor. I feel like I have been trying to elevate the sport of women's big wave surfing throughout my career and it is nice to be recognized for my efforts. It gets me really pumped for the year ahead. I am looking forward to challenging myself and pushing my own limits,” said Keala.
“This win came at a very good time for me. It has been hard loosing fellow Kauaians Andy and Sion this year. It is really nice to give Kauai something to smile about,” added Kennelly.
Keala had some incredible performances this past year including winning the first-ever women's big wave event at Nelscott Reef (after also becoming the first woman to paddle into a wave there) and catching the Puerto Escondido barrel, arguably, one of the biggest waves ever surfed by a female. See tne sequence on Surfline.com (start at slide 16)
Keala Kennelly with Megan Villa/ Billabong Team Manager
Keala continued to pursue her dream of making big wave surfing a viable option for female pros and inspired many in the process.
On Saturday night Keala attended the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) Awards, where she and fellow female competitors were recognized on stage for charging at the Nelscott Reef Classic. The BWWT announced that because of the groundbreaking performance by these competitors a women’s heat will once again be included at this year’s event. They also plan to include women at more tour stops in the future.
At the end of the month Keala will be attending the Bud Light Invitational. Keala says it’s going to be a Blue Crush reunion of sorts with Serena Brooke, Megan Abubo, Rochelle Ballard and Lisa Anderson also on the invitee list. Also, in the works this coming summer is a trip to, ideally, Puerto Escondido or Tahiti.