This is what it feels like when a wave the size of a five-storey building crashes down on you.

The World Surf League has revealed its five nominees for the Wipeout of the Year.

And it's not pretty.

The surfing daredevils chasing the biggest waves around the globe are rightly lauded for their courage and skill, taming monstrous walls of water everywhere from Portugal to California, Hawaii and Tasmania.

Advertisement

But when it goes wrong, it goes horribly wrong.

The award finalists include Hawaiian Nathan Florence, brother of current World Surf League champion John John Florence.

Florence suffered a horrible wipeout at the infamous big wave Californian break named Mavericks in January this year.

The other finalists are American Wilem Banks who also came unstuck at Mavericks on the same day, Australian Danny Griffiths who found himself pounded on a giant wave at Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania, Briton Tom Lowe and Chile's Rafael Tapia, both of whom fell victim to the notorious Nazare break in Portugal last October.

All five miraculously escaped without serious injury.

The winner will be announced on April 29 and will be $US5000 reach for his pain.

Watch NZH Focus: Mark Mathews giving back

Mark Mathews is in New Zealand to help out Surf Aid. www.surfaid.org