The O’Neill Wave of the Winter is the pinnacle of the North Shore season. It’s the most spectacular ride from the most challenging stretch of coast on Earth over a four-month period as chosen by our elite judging panel of Gerry Lopez, Shane Dorian, Pancho Sullivan and Shawn Briley.

And yeah: this year was very, very close. Hundreds of entries. Some of the craziest Outer Reef waves we’ve ever seen, mixed in with equally intense Backdoor, Off-the-Wall and Pipe barrels. And while there is only ever one winner — which will be announced during the movie which premieres May 6th at 6pm CA time — we documented the best of these spectacular rides over the whole darn winter and packaged it into a short film that celebrates the heroes of the North Shore, complete with insights from those who mattered most — the surfers and judges.

Also worth noting: The annual Regional O’Neill Wave of the Winter winners – from the Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean, SoCal and the Northwest – will each win a thousand bucks and be announced LIVE just prior to the movie showing. Tune in.

Meanwhile, while we’re waiting, here’s the top 12 of the year so far: