Finalists announced for the 2023 Australian Surfing Awards

Published on 14/02/2024

CASUARINA, NSW (February 12, 2024): Some of the biggest names in surfing have been revealed as finalists in the 2023 Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame. Ethan Ewing, Jacob Willcox, Molly Picklum and Steph Gilmore are among the top athletes who could take out Male and Female Surfer of the Year titles.

Eight-time World Champion Steph Gilmore said: “I’m honoured to be nominated for this award alongside Australia’s best female surfers. 2023 was not my best competitive year but thankful for the continued recognition and support.”

Cronulla Surfing Academy Director and mental health campaigner, Blake Johnston, who broke the record for the world’s longest surf session, is a finalist for the Greater Good Award.

“The world’s longest surf proved that we are all capable of making a difference. That by doing something bigger than you and leaning in to the vulnerability of going after our goals we can inspire communities and show we are worthy of living an epic life. Everyone deserves to feel awesome.”
Lets Go Surfing Surf School Director, Brenda Miley, started Lets Go Surfing out of the back of a van at Bondi in 1995 with an idea to teach women to surf.

“Today, we operate at Bondi, Maroubra, Byron and Ballina with a staff of around 100 male and female surf coaches, and we’ve never deviated from our motto of ‘changing lives one wave at a time’. We’re so proud to be a finalist in the Australian Surfing Awards for Surf School of the Year, and we’re excited to attend the awards at Bondi Pavilion and celebrate with all the other frothers in the surfing industry.”

WA big wave charger, Ned Hart, is a finalist in three categories: the Mick Fanning Male Rising Star Award presented by Griffith University, the Heavy Water Award and the Surf Clip of the Year Award.

“To even get nominated in all three categories is massive, but to actually be a finalist in all three is huge, especially as the competition for these awards and the other finalists are insane!. Thank you for everyone who has recognised me,” the 17-year-old said.

“I think there are a lot of positive changes for the big wave surfing industry right now, with people pushing harder than ever, so to be at the forefront of the Juniors is something I’m really stoked about.”

The Australian Surfing Awards will be held at the iconic Bondi Pavilion at Bondi Beach in Sydney on Wednesday, 28th February.

Hosted by surf media icons, Vaughan Blakey and Jess Grimwood, the awards honour the best surfers over the past 12 months across 19 categories, adding to the excitement of our biggest gong, the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Finalists for 2023 Australian Surfing Awards (in no particular order):

Male Surfer of the Year
Jacob Willcox
Ethan Ewing
Russell Bierke

Female Surfer of the Year
Molly Picklum
Tyler Wright
Steph Gilmore

Mick Fanning Male Rising Star Award presented by Griffith University
Harley Walters
Ned Hart
Landen Smales

Stephanie Gilmore Female Rising Star Award presented by Griffith University
Milla Brown
Sierra Kerr
Mia Waite

Male Para Surfer of the Year
Kirk Watson
Mark “Mono” Stewart
Joel Taylor

Female Para Surfer of the Year
Sam Bloom
Sarah Gibson
Emma Dieters
Jocelyn Neumueller

Heavy Water Award
Russell Bierke
Laura Enever
Ned Hart

Greater Good Award
Sam Elsom – Sea Forest
Blake Johnston
Lucy Small

Peter Troy Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Surfing World
Steve Foreman
Gail Austen
Sandra English

Coach of the Year Award
Michael O’Rafferty
Jay Thompson
Cahill Bell-Warren

Surf School of the Year Award
Cronulla Surfing Academy
Let’s Go Surfing
Coastrider Surf Academy – Clifton Beach

Innovation Award presented by ACCIONA
Creatures of Leisure
Usher Cup

Surf Culture Award presented by Jim Beam
Surf Witches Boardriders Club
Ain’t that Swell

Simon Anderson Boardrider Club Award presented by Curly Lewis
Byron Bay Boardriders
Northern Beaches Para Surfing Boardriders Club
Long Reef Boardriders

Indigenous Surfing – Community Celebration Award
Summer Simon
Landen Smales
Lungi Slabb
Otis Carey

Surf Film of the Year – Filmer Award
Mash – James Keats featuring surfer Noa Deane
Kamchatka – Spencer Frost and Guy Williment featuring surfers Letty Mortensen and Fraser Dovell
Calypte – Torren Martyn (filmmaker and surfer) and Aiyana Powell (surfer)

Surf Clip of the Year – Surfer Award (under 15 minutes)
Outer Edge of Leisure – Russell Bierke
Into Dust – Jacob Willcox
Shipstern Bluff – Ned Hart

Surf Photo of the Year presented by Tracks
Clementine Bourke “Parallel Universe”
Matt Dunbar “Blake Johnston”
Bill Morris “Max Miguigan”
Sam Venn – coastal landscape
Nick Green “Russell Bierke”
Ted Grambeau “Russell Bierke”
Joshua Tabone “Shaun Manners”
Ben Jackson “Darcy Piper”
Josh Bystrom “Summa Longbottom”
Simon “Swilly” Williams “Mitch Parkinson – Snapper Rocks”
Mathew Tildesley “Aquanova – Tasmania”
Andrew Shield “Korbin Hutchins”

Breakthrough Surf Brand of the Year Award
3Fingers surf zinc
Project Blank
Need Essentials

The Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame are proudly sponsored by Griffith University, ACCIONA, Jim Beam, Le Tan, Small Things Wine, Tracks, Surfing World, Curly Lewis and OnStone.

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