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Big Wave Challenge

Fri, Apr 7 - Sun, Apr 9

Location: Events Arena

Registration for the 2017 Big Wave Challenge is now full. 

Mt. Bachelor holds this one-of-a-kind event inspired by none other than legendary surfer and Mt. Bachelor Ambassador, Gerry Lopez - who is our event host!

This snowboard only event features a series of huge sweeping banked corners, quarter pipes and spines, incorporating the natural terrain as much as possible, to create wave-like features into a flowing course - this year located off Midway. The idea of the Mt. Bachelor Big Wave Challenge is to bring the surf to the mountain. 

In addition to the weekend events - we're keeping Pine Marten Lift open 'til 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, and all season passes and lift tickets valid during the day will be valid to use during our extended hours. If you prefer to come up to the mountain later in the afternoon, we will have $25 lift tickets available starting at 4:00 p.m. and can be purchased in the Rental Shop located in the upper level of the Mountain Gateway building. 

Special Message from Gerry Lopez

To Big Wave Challenge Competitors and Friends,

I grew up surfing in Waikiki where the beach boys there taught all us youngsters that the best surfer was the one having the most fun. That was the foundation of my surfing and then surfing became my life. Snowboarding was an easy thing to get into because it was very much like surfing and if we look at either or both, the underlying reason we love it, is because it is really fun. Sometimes things can get in the way of that fact but ultimately, when we clear away all the ‘other stuff’, it will always come back to this basic truth.

It is with this in mind that I tell you all that the way we are going to judge the 2017 Mt. Bachelor Big Wave Challenge is with a revolutionary and radically different format. I was never a successful contest surfer and felt my best competitive performances were in Expression Session events. What all of us who bring you the Big Wave Challenge want to see is your best performances without stifling any of the creativity, style or personality of your riding. I feel that this is what has happened in trying to judge this event like a surf contest whose rigid parameters naturally tone down the full expression of most performances.

So there will not be any qualifying rounds, by entering, everyone qualifies and all competitors will run on both days. Now what we are going to do is have Saturday’s event be a Jam Session where each division will have an allotted time frame to take as many runs through the course as one wants or is able to. For Saturday, what we are looking for are inspired performances in regards to commitment, speed, power, flow, style, high degree of difficulty maneuvers and combinations thereof, traditional and modern maneuvers, innovative and progressive maneuvers, as well as any other moves or things we witness that are deserving of an award. Know that there will be very many prizes for all divisions for Saturday’s Jam.

Sunday will also be a Jam Session, run in the same way as the day before. Where it will differ is while we are looking closely at the best parts of each rider’s runs on Saturday, on Sunday we will be watching the entirety of each run for those who best put together all of the individual parts into a complete run from start to finish. For those that do the best job of putting it all together, there will be first, second and third place awards in each division. Awards for both Saturday and Sunday’s performances will be at the luau on Sunday afternoon.

Live with Aloha,

Gerry Lopez

Additional Event Details

  • Registration proceeds benefit Pat Malendowski
  • Participation is limited to the first 200 entrants.
  • More than $25,000 in prizes! Open division winners take home a custom Gerry Lopez surfboard and one week at the Volcom Pipe House!
  • The Big Wave Challenge will be accompanied by a luau with traditional luau cuisine along with live music featuring Bend's local Hawaiian musician, Bill Keale. Spread the aloha love and come dressed in luau attire!
  • Other amazing prizes offered in the raffle following the awards ceremony!


"Kane" (Men's open division)
"Wahine" (Women's open division)
"Keiki" (Groms 16 & under division)
"Makule" (40 & over division)
Pro-surfer division (exhibition only)

Presented By:






















big wave history

2017 Event Results and Recap



2016 Event Results and Recap


KANE (Men's Open) WAHINE (Women's Open) MAKULE (40 & over) KEIKI (Groms) PRO SURFER

2015 Event Results and Recap


KANE (Men's Open) WAHINE (Women's Open) MAKULE (40 & over) KEIKI (Groms) PRO SURFER

Media Coverage

TransWorld Snowboarding Coverage & photos

Yobeat Photos & video

Snowboard Mag Coverage & photos

2014 event results and recap


KANE (Men's Open) WAHINE (Women's Open) MAKULE (40 & over) KEIKI (Groms) PRO SURFER

Media Coverage

Snowboarder Magazine Coverage

TransWorld Snowboarding Coverage

Surfline Coverage

Mt. Bachelor photos

2013 Event Results and Recap


KANE (Men's Open) WAHINE (Women's Open) MAKULE (40 & over) KEIKI (Groms) PRO SURFER

Media Coverage

Article on Snowbrains.com with Gerry Lopez interview

2013 Big Wave Challenge Video by Pete Alport

ESPN photos

YoBeat Coverage

Frequency Coverage

2012 Event results and recap


2012 Race Results

Media Coverage

Frequency Photos and coverage

TransWorld Snowboarding Coverage

YoBeat Coverage

Jon Tapper Photos

more videos