Tom Butler takes the bull by the horns and triumphs at La Vaca XXL Big Wave Contest.

If anyone had a gander at the surf forecast this weekend or even just looked out the window at the howling winds, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that this weekend’s La Vaca XXL big wave competition was held in some big swell! While ferries were getting cancelled and we battened down the hatches, Europe’s finest big wave paddle-in surfers were getting the call to converge on Santander, ready to do what they do best!

Out there competing was Osprey team rider Tom Butler, who finished with a 2nd place on the podium, after a heavy final in 7 meter swell. Despite getting five massive waves on the head and a twenty minute beating, Tom triumphed with a close second place on the Big Wave event. Congratulations Tom! That’s another Big Wave accolade under your belt!

 Tom Butler on podium 

Tom said "Pleased with my performance yesterday at the La Vaca XXL Spanish ‪#‎bigwave ‪#‎invitational placing 2nd out of 32 including some of the best big wave paddle-in surfers across ‪Europe. I gave the day my all and only needed to stand up on a second wave to win.I surfed the biggest wave of the final, maybe the day, a huge left 12 mins into my 45 minute final. The end of the wave clipped my heels after trying to pull into the ‪‎barrel. I then took a 20 min beating, five big waves on the head, nearly got washed into the rocks, eventually got rescued, swim back in for board change, paddle back to the peak, I had 10 mins and couldn't find another wave. The best part of the day was sharing the performance and experience with my manager and friend Matt.”

  Spectators watch the event

Over 12,000 spectators gather on the cliffs to watch. La Vaca Beach, Santander, Spain. (photo lavacaxxl.com)

 Tom Butler riding backhandRiding backhand and drawing out a long bottom turn on a bomb wave at La Vaca XXL Invitational 2015. Tom Butler scores second place (photo lavacaxxl.com).

 Tom Butler dropping into a big waveDropping into a monster. Paddle-in big wave surfing at the La Vaca XXL Big Wave Competition in Santander, Spain, 2015. Tom Butler comes second after a heavy final (photo lavacaxxl.com).