24 December, 2013 24 December, 2013

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker – The Punta Galea Champ

A mad dash from Hawaii to the Basque country, a full day of charging hectic waves, and now in a race to get back to his fiancé before Christmas – it’s all in a day’s work for Twiggy.

His dominant victory at the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge kicked-off his 2013/2014 Expreshon Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) campaign in the best possible way. We squeezed in a word with the champ, before for the final leg of his marathon mission.

Savouring the moment with fellow competitor, Eric Rebiere.

ZIGZAG: Nicely done, Twiggy, that’s another notch on your big wave title belt. How many is that now?
TWIGGY: That’s an event win on every continent for me now! It’s been a heck of a trip. It took two days of travelling to get there for just one day in Spain, and now I’m stuck in LA on my way back to Hawaii – just high as a kite and stoked on the win, bru. I’ve put in a lot of work to prepare myself for this season and it’s great to get a payback so quickly.

And the wave, Punta Galea, it looks like you’ve been surfing it for years?
I’m so happy I went. Not just because I won, but because I had never surfed in Europe before and I’ve been wanting to check it out forever. It was a bonus that the waves cooked, the weather was insane and the whole event was run well. The waves were glassy, 15 – 18ft with bigger sneaker sets catching us inside all day. It’s a fun wave with lots going on and reminds me of a big north swell day at Sunset Beach in Hawaii. It’s shifty and hard to line up, but with big peaky takeoffs and wide-open faces. I was surprised by how good it was – a legitimate big wave and a great addition to the tour!

Punta Galea shows off for the BWWT.

It’s cool that the big wave guys get to fight it out for a world title. Where does the victory leave you in the BWWT standings?
The first two events were cancelled because of a lack of swell, so this win puts me on top of the standings with three events to go – the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational, the Seatka Pro at Nelscott Reef in Oregon, and the Dive ’n Surf Todos Santos event in Mexico.

We heard a couple of the competitors’ board bags never arrived, and you loaned two of the guys in the first heat your boards. How many boards did you travel with?
I had decided to go to Spain since it was announced as a Big Wave World tour event earlier in the year. It’s my plan to start doing all the events this season and throw my hat in the ring for a chance to win the world title. My TWIG Surfboards shaper in Australia, Wayne Webster, actually sent two boards over there in October this year, so that I would be prepared. It was great to see guys like Grant Washburn and Ken Collins ripping on my boards.

Twig leans on his toes during the final.

A week ago there was talk of a possible Eddie swell pulling in over the same time as the swell for the Basque event. It must have been a tough decision to purchase the ticket out of Hawaii and over to Europe?
It is always pretty stressful when trying to make a call about a forecasted swell – especially when you don’t have a major sponsor helping pay for your travels. But my plan has been to surf in all the events regardless of what I believe the conditions to be, and then leave that part of it up to the guys in charge of making the call. We all have to compete in the same conditions and this event turned out to be amazing, so it was a good roll of the dice.

Now it’s back to Hawaii to wait for the Eddie?
Yes, I’m on my way back now. Kate arrived from South Africa 24 hours before I had to leave for Spain, so I’m rushing back to spend Christmas with her and to keep scoring waves over there. It has been an amazing start to the season for Hawaii and the next 10 days looks like more of the same.

Shot Twig. Hopefully the Eddie runs soon because you will be coming in hot…
Thanks for the support. It’s all about the Eddie for me at this stage and winning that event. I’m fit, focused and ready to take it on and win for South Africa!


  1. Jimbaloosh
    25 December, 2013 at 5:52 pm · Reply

    Fuck Yeah

  2. Warwick H
    27 December, 2013 at 7:43 am · Reply


  3. Dougal
    27 December, 2013 at 6:26 pm · Reply

    Ur a full time legend Twig. Go get the Eddie

  4. JHL
    6 January, 2014 at 7:14 am · Reply

    Go Twig!

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