Grant 'Twiggy' Baker's Big Wave Victories

The South African big wave surfer puts it all on the line.

Grant Baker at Dungeons for the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event. Red Bull

He was a relative unknown when he scraped into the 2006 Mavericks event, but Grant 'Twiggy' Baker capitalized on his inclusion by charging his way to his first big wave victory. It was the be first of many big wave wins and victories for the young Durban surfer. As the world turns its eyes onto an El Nino winter, with some possible big swells emanating, it's a good time to recap on some of his most impressive big wave performances over the last decade.

1. Mavericks, 2006.

It was thundering through at about 30-foot for the finals of this event in California, but Grant was in any way fazed by the size and consistently took off on the biggest waves he could find, riding them safely through to the channel. Along the way he picked up a few 10-point rides and impressed the judges and fellow competitors, to win the event and kick off what was to become an extremely successful big wave career. It is a career that is still going. 

To see video highlights of that event - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmK_C-lfdX4

 2. Red Bull Big Wave Africa 2008.

Dungeons in Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa was the venue for the legendary Red Bull Big Wave Africa event for a decade, with a number of tumultuous events and incredible waves witnessed over that time. In what was to eventually be the final event that Red Bull ever held at Dungeons, Twiggy beat a field of international stars and local legends for his second big wave win, earning massive respect and acknowledgement from the global big wave fraternity.

Brazilian Carlos Burle was in second place. Event highlights can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7fT0_qYr-4

3. Arnette Punta Galea Challenge 2013

This wave off the Punta Galea Harbour in Spain was something of a surprise when it was included in the Big Wave Tour, but it soon vindicated it's spot on the list, as this event proved it to be a legitimate big wave spot.

With a shifting take off zone, wave selection was the most difficult element to deal with, but Twiggy is good with patience, and calmly waited for the bombs. His strategy worked, as he had  a near perfect score of 29.01 ( out of a possible 30) to claim victory and the number one spot on the Big Wave Tour rankings. In 30-foot windy and shifty peaks, the waves of Punta Galea got the better of a few competitors, as well as taking out one of the PWC's on the rocks. It's all on the video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK1GR9ilgG4

4. Mavericks Invitational 2014

With wave faces that were said to have reached up to 50-foot on the day, Twiggy calmly rode the best waves of the day to repeat his 2006 victory at the world's most notorious big wave location. Twiggy beat another big wave legend Hawaiian Shane Dorian in the final by taking off deeper and on bigger waves and showing no fear whatsoever in conditions that rattled and hurt a few other competitors and broke surfboards all day. View one of the scariest video ever as one of the competitors, Mark Healey, gets caught inside and endures a giant Mavericks wave breaking on his head here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpegLYkBu-s

5. The 2014 Big Wave World Tour Champion

The victories at Punta Galea and Mavericks, as well as a third place finish at the Dive N’ Surf Oregon Pro saw Twiggy accumulating enough points to win the world title and become the the 2014 Big Wave World Champion. There are not too many surfing world champions from South Africa and Twiggy joins that elite crew. 

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Jarvis, Craig. "Grant 'Twiggy' Baker's Big Wave Victories." ThoughtCo, Aug. 23, 2016, thoughtco.com/grant-twiggy-bakers-big-wave-victories-3154295. Jarvis, Craig. (2016, August 23). Grant 'Twiggy' Baker's Big Wave Victories. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/grant-twiggy-bakers-big-wave-victories-3154295 Jarvis, Craig. "Grant 'Twiggy' Baker's Big Wave Victories." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/grant-twiggy-bakers-big-wave-victories-3154295 (accessed November 17, 2017).