Dorian, Couto, Sanchis, Kennelly and Sion Honored at the 2011 BIllabong XXL Awards

April 30th, 2011 | By | 3,148 Comments
Danilo Cuoto wins $50 at the Billabong XXL Awards

Danilo Cuoto Winner of 2011 Ride of the Year

Friday, April 29, 2011: Anaheim, California. The XXL awards unfolded at Anaheim’s Grove theatre, where big wave pioneers convened to watch some of the latest and greatest chargers push the limits of both tow-in and paddle surfing. Hundreds of the event’s invited guests hooted and hollered as madmen from around the world slid down huge mountains of water on 3 giant screens where the true scale of the waves were definitely illuminated.

Shane's Monster Wave that Won Him 2 Awards

Shane's Monster Wave that Won Him 2 Awards

It was no surprise that Shane Dorian dominated this year’s awards with his massive paddle in at Peahi. He earned both Monster Tube and Monster Paddle prizes for his World Record setting 57-foot bomb at Maui’s premiere big wave spot. Although not winning the $50,000 prize for Ride of the Year, Dorian walked away with an impressive $20k, which he promised a portion would go to the MiIosky family. As many already know, the late Hawaiin charger Sion Milowsky tragically passed away this year during a massive day at Mavericks, California. To everyone’s best wishes he was posthumously honored with this year’s Surfline Mens Performance Award, which his family graciously accepted with an emotional speech. It was a great way to honor the waterman who inspired so many people on the North Shore and the surfing community in general. His passing was a sobering reminder of the dangers of big wave surfing and his presence was greatly felt, honored, and remembered throughout the evening.

The biggest purse of the night went to Danilo Couto who took the Ride of the Year award for yet another impressive Peahi paddle in. The Brazilian’s $50k wave included a gravity-defying airdrop down a monumental windswept face. You could picture Brazilians everywhere rejoicing as he accepted the award. Other winners included Frenchman Benjamin Sanchis’ enormous tow-in at Belharra France snagging Biggest Wave and Keala Kennelly’s impressive Puerto tube receiving the Girls Best Performance Award. Mark Mathews was awarded the Verizon Worst Wipeout award for his hair raising spill at Shipsterns where he was unable to outrun a chunky behemouth after miraculously landing two consecutive inside ledge drops. While no one really aims for this award, the accolade seemed well deserved for such a brave yet disastrous feat.

The crowd at the event included waterman and legends from both inside and out of the industry. Tony Hawk, Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson, were some of the celebs to show face and even the lead singer of Incubus, Brandon Boyd, made it on stage to help present an award. Although unfortunately not winning an award for one of his impressive big waves, Mark Healy was hands down best dressed at the event showing up in a beige leather cowboy jacket with tassels running throughout. The jacket was so impressive that even the event’s MC, Sal Masekela, couldn’t resist recognizing it in the midst of presenting on stage. Throughout the night many a cocktail and Monster energy drinks were consumed and respect was rightly given to those with the cojones to raise the bar of surfing. Even though a somber presence lingered in the room, the event was a great way for the big wave community to come together and honor both present and past surfers.

Watch Danilo Cuoto’s $50,000 Wave Here:

For more information or to watch the winning waves and nominees head to

The event will premiere Sunday, May 1 on Fuel TV

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New at SWELL: Runaway Pony

April 30th, 2011 | By | 6,422 Comments

Designed out of Sydney Australia, Runaway Pony is about as whimsical as it sounds. Romantic, flowy silhouettes and sheer, feminine shades dominate this girly, girl line. Have a sudden urge to go skipping and make daisy chains? We thought so.

See Runaway Pony HERE, then leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Casual Friday?

April 29th, 2011 | By | 2,043 Comments


We can hear the San-O crowd rejoicing now. The aloha shirt is back…so this aloha Friday, wear ’em if you’ve got ’em.

Pick one up HERE

Blackout Bill’s Band of the Week – Beach Fossils

April 28th, 2011 | By | 4,719 Comments

The Beach Fossils are a radical, Indie band from the city of Brooklyn. Their sound can best be described as dreamy lo-fi with a bit of reverb on the side. They’ve come out with 2 groovy albums and have released a few 7” singles in the past 2 years.

The Beachfossils’ lo-fi fuzzy sound punctuated with simple beats and thoughtful lyrics implores memories of simpler times. When asked lead singer Dustin Payseur “What are your musical influences?” Payseur responded- “Um. I take it from all over. I’ve recently been listening to a lot of Bach music done with a harpsichord. I’m influenced by whatever I’m listening to at the time and sometimes what I‘m reading influences me more than what I’m listening to. I’m reading some Vladimir Mayakovsky right now and a lot of poetry.”

When asked- “How did you come up with your band name?” Payseur replied- “Whenever I’m reading I make a list of words I like. Usually they’re words that aren’t as clear as Beach Fossils, but when you’re choosing a band name it needs to be something that people can remember. It’s kind of unfortunate because at the same time there was a lo-fi beach theme going on so we ended up getting lumped in with that. That has phased out so maybe people will stop associating us with that genre.”

Off of their latest 7” single the Beach Fossils came out with “Daydream.” This nostalgic track sounds just as it’s advertised. It captures the essence of a glorious summer day and carries an energetic, carefree vibe, packing tones of catchy hooks & memorable riffs.


Bill, accepting the consequences of his Fantasy Surfer wager.

Bill, accepting the consequences of his Fantasy Surfer wager.