Ollie O'Flaherty, 24, is nominated along with Devon's Andrew Cotton for the massive surf they caught off Co Sligo on 8 March last.
It was the first visit to the world-class big wave spot by O'Flaherty, a science student at NUI Galway who is a veteran of the Co Clare scene.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it was Cotton who tackled the biggest wave on that day - a giant 50-footer - as some of the world's top surfers took advantage of the Viking swell.
Also nominated for the $50,000 (€38,280) prize is Irish-American surfer Garrett McNamara, who last year rode what is being called the biggest wave ever surfed in the world, a 90-foot goliath off Nazaré in Portugal.
According to the Irish Independent, O'Flaherty has put out a call for sponsorship so he can attend the awards ceremony next month.
"It's a massive honor to be able to represent Ireland," he said, but added that he is "pretty much on the breadline from what I'm doing".
Should he win, the Lahinch native said he intends to "put every cent back into surfing" and replace his seven broken boards.
The winners will be announced at the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards in Anaheim, California on 4 May.