23rd april 2016: Keala Kennelly became the first women to win a big wave award. For the wave she took at Tehupoo, Tahita in 2015. Kennelly was the first women to win any.
Keala Kennelly a professional surfer, DJ, and actress from Kauai, Hawaii was born August 13, 1978. After spending a decade ranked in the top 10 on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), started since 2007 a career as a DJ, actor and musician. She kept on surfing career and became a big wave surfer..

Kennelly turned professional at the age of 17 and soon began surfing in the World Qualifying Series (WQS). In 2003 Kennelly was ranked as the 2nd best female surfer in the world.. Kennelly maintained a spot in the top 10 of the ASP rankings through 2007, with numerous top finishes and groundbreaking female performances. Her main performance came in 2005 as she became the first women to be towed into Teahupo'o, Tahiti's technical reefbreak. “ The first really heavy wipeout I had was the first time I went to Chopes, back in 1999 or so. It was huge for the holding period and I was really excited, it's such a perfect wave. I knew it was big but I didn't realize how big. I thought it was six- or eight-foot. I paddled for the smaller wave, and it didn't even break. And I turn around and had a whole, huge set just coming for me, and crush me for a two-wave hold-down. This was before we had inflatable safety vests. So no flotation, two-wave hold-down, board was broken into pieces, it scared the shit out of me. I paddled the pieces of broken board out to the channel. I was shaking. It took me a whole year before I got the balls to get back out there.” Told Kennelly.
Kennelly won the first women's big wave contest at the Nelscott Big Wave Classic in 2010, opening the door for more female big wave surfing competitions in the future. In 2011, Kennelly suffered a massive facial injury. she was pushed down to Teahupoo's notoriously shallow reef and received a severe gash to the side of her face. In her own words: “ there was the one I smashed my face in. That one took me two years to get over. I think for both of those, it shakes you up, and makes you afraid. And you live with that fear for a while. It still affects me .Then you start to ask yourself, ‘Well, is that it? Am I ever going to do that again?' Then the fear of missing out, and never experiencing that again becomes more powerful than the fear of doing it.”

“You're so, so focused because you have to be, it's life and death basically. You're so focused on making it out of that barrel, picking the right line, you're focused and your sense of touch is super-heightened. It's like I can feel every drop of water on the wave and anticipate where it's going to move. When you get spat out, you feel like king of the world.”
23rd april 2016: Keala Kennelly became the first women to win a big wave award. For the wave she took at Tehupoo, Tahita in 2015. Kennelly was the first women to win any. “Definitely the biggest one I’ve ever caught,” she said.
“When I was a little girl, I kept getting told I could not do things because I was a girl,” Kennelly said. “I was told that women can’t surf, and I was told this about getting barrelled, surfing big waves, surfing Pipeline, paddling in a Jaws, and the list goes on. So who I really really want to thank is everyone who 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.”
 To know more about the subject:
Code Red: You've never seen Teahupoo quite like this". Surfer. August 28, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
Keala Kennelly severely injured in Teahupoo". SurferToday.com. September 5, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
Keala Kennelly Wins Billabong XXL Girls Performance Award!". Billabong.com. May 3, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
Lulham, Amanda (April 24, 2016). "Keala Kennelly the first woman to win open category at the Big Wave Awards". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
I'm Keala Kennelly and I'm a Surfer: Keala Kennelly at TEDxMalibu". YouTube.