"The best wave is the one you don't think you'll make."
That's 22-year-old Laurie Towner's surf philosophy in a nutshell - and it earned him $20,000.
Laurie, from Yamba in northern NSW, won Biggest Wave in the Oakley Surfing Life Big Wave Awards at a crazy presentation evening in Bondi, where the cream of Aussie and New Zealand megasurf chargers gathered to honour their finest rides of the past year.
Perennial favourite Doug Young from New Zealand took out his third Biggest Paddle-in Award, a prize reserved for rides performed without jetski assistance. "It's like climbing Mount Everest," frothed a stoked Young. "It's always going to be a challenge, no matter how many you ride."
Read about all the winners and see the waves here.