top of page
MaxActive Logo white.png


Kealla Kennelly | USA

The current WSL Women’s Big Wave World Champion was born and

raised in the beautiful Hawaiian islands, Keala is one of the best female

surfers in the world and arguably the best female big wave surfer on the

planet. After a successful career on WSL World Championship Tour

finishing runner up to the World Title in 2003. She left the WCT tour in

2007 to star as a season regular on HBO tv drama series John From


After the shows conclusion Keala instead of returning to the WCT

competition circuit decided to chase her passion of surfing big waves.

Keala helped establish a Women’s Big Wave Tour and was part of a

committee that was responsible for getting women included in the Titans

of Mavericks Big Wave Event and winning the fight for equal pay in surfing

in 2018. A true pioneer Keala’s groundbreaking performances in some of

the heaviest waves in the world have shattered glass ceilings in her sport.

She continues to challenge peoples perceptions of what a women is

capable of in the water and break through the gender barrier by doing

things that no one ever believed was possible for a female. On land Keala

has another career as an international DJ playing events all over the

world. She has also had acting roles on the popular film Blue Crush and

HBO’s John From Cincinnati. She has been in numerous award winning

Documentaries including She is the Ocean and Out in the Lineup (a film

about LGBT Surfers). Keala is a role model for women and a crusader for

LGBT rights and equality in women's sports.

Career Highlight 

This year Keala Kennelly becomes the first woman in history to ever be invited to

compete against the best male big wave surfers in the world at the prestigious Eddie

Big Wave Event at Waimea Bay.

• 2018 WSL Women’s Big Wave World Champion

• 2018 WSL Peahi Big Wave Challenge Champion

• 2017 WSL Peahi Big Wave Challenge 2nd place

• 2016 Won the Pure Scot Barrel of the Year award at the XXL big wave awards making

her the first woman in history to win an open gender category.

• 2013 Speaker at TEDX Malibu

• 2013 Inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame

• 2013 “Woman of the Year” inducted into Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach

• Won multiple XXL Big Wave Awards Women’s Performance of the Year Awards. 2011,

2013, 2014

• WickrX Super Sessions Women’s Overall Big Wave Champion 2014

• Won the first women's big wave contest (Nelscott Big Wave Classic in 2010) opening

the door for more female big wave surfing competitions in the future.

• Runner up to the WCT World Title 2003

• Triple Crown Champion 2003

• Roxy Pro Fiji WCT Champion 2003

• 4x Champion at TeahupooWQS 1998, WCT 2000, 2002, 2003.

• XGames 13 Gold medalist 2007

• ESPN’s Surfer of the Year 2002

• ESPN’s Surfer of the Year 2002

bottom of page