What a year it has been for big-wave surfing -- thank you El Nino. The culmination of the 2015/2016 big-wave season was the World Surf League’s Big Wave Awards gala, the biggest night in big-wave surfing.

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With the big-wave world gathered at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California, it was a night of celebration honoring those who dedicate their lives and being to pushing the limits of waves that humans can ride.

GrindTV was on hand for the historic night and while it was full of memorable moments, these were the six that you need to know about. And if you want to relive the entire evening, watch the recast up above.

Shane Dorian yet again taking top honors for the second year in-a-row. Photo: Courtesy of WSL

Shane Dorian yet again taking top honors for the second year in-a-row. Photo: Courtesy of WSL

1. Shane Dorian’s speech about Brock Little

Shane Dorian says goodbye to a legend, RIP Brock Little.

Shane Dorian says goodbye to a legend, RIP Brock Little.

The world’s best big-wave surfer had the honor of paying tribute to the fallen Brock Little. Shane Dorian told a story about how Brock showed him the way in big waves and how much he influenced him. Check out 1:23:00 to relive the emotional tribute to Brock.

2. Keala Kennelly becomes first woman to win Barrel of the Year

Keala Kennelly Barrel of the Year Teahupoo

Keala Kennelly’s historic Teahupoo barrel. Photo: Courtesy of Tim McKenna/WSL

Charging hard for her entire life, Keala finally gets some well-deserved recognition and lets the big-wave world know that women charge just as hard. As she said in her incredible speech, “Women can’t surf big waves. Women can’t surf Pipeline. Women can’t surf ‘chopes. Women can’t paddle Jaws. Women can’t get barreled at Jaws … Who I really, really want to thank is everyone in my life that told me, ‘You can’t do that because you’re a woman’ because that drove me to dedicate my life to proving you wrong. And it’s been so damn fun.”

3. Greg Noll is still the biggest legend at 80

At 80-years-old, Greg Noll is still the coolest guy in the room.

At 80-years-old, Greg Noll is still the coolest guy in the room.

Go ahead and fast forward to 2:07:00 in the recast above. Greg Noll, aka Da Bull, is one of the few remaining big-wave pioneers left on this Earth. Without guys like him and all his truly insane buddies, there wouldn’t be such a thing as big-wave surfing. Da Bull is always no bullshit, and with the evening feeling a tad on the sports side, Noll roped it back in with his anecdote and reminded everyone that surfing is about having fun and letting loose - and he set the entire Grove Theater into a fit of hoots and laughter. Thanks Greg.

4. Aaron Gold setting a new paddle record

Sixty-three-feet is a helluva way up. Aaron Gold’s Jaws paddle-in is now the largest wave ever paddled in to. It leaves you wondering, how much bigger can humans go?

5. Niccolo Porcella’s wipeout is still horrifying

I mean, this thing doesn’t get any less terrifying no matter how many times you watch it. It’s one of the worst wipeouts ever to be witnessed in surf history.

6. Shane Dorian cleans house again

For the second year in-a-row, Shane Dorian took the top honors of Ride of the Year and Overall Performer of the Year. A surfer of the “Momentum” gang turning into the world’s best big-wave charger has truly been a wonder to witness over the years.

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