Stab Magazine | Nazare Is Ready To Rumble For The Big Wave World Tour Event
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Nazare Is Ready To Rumble For The Big Wave World Tour Event

World Number One Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker on the debut BWWT event about to begin at Nazare, Portugal.

news // Sep 28, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It made headlines around the world for producing some of the tallest waves we’ve ever seen. But Nazare, located between Peniche and Figuera Da Foz off the coast of Portugal, has many sides. For the upcoming Big Wave World Tour event, set to take place sometime in October or November (waiting period begins October 15 until November 28) surfers are preparing for shifting hollow peaks in the 15-20 foot range.

“From what I’ve seen at that size it’s a really good wave,” says current world number one on the Big Wave World Tour, South African Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker. “It’s a good beachbreak, it’s nice and peaky, and you can get barrelled and it should be an awesome contest.”

http://vimeo.com/76636324

Beyond that, once the wave enters the 25 foot plus range and turns into giant offshore teepees, Twiggy says it will become a “survival” contest.

“To run contests in 25 foot surf is quite difficult… Over that size I think it will become a bit more difficult for us, it will become a survival event like the windy Jaws contest in (2015). For me I’m hoping most of the event is run in that 15 to 20 foot range like we had Puerto, and then it becomes more high performance.”

To Mane Nazare

Twiggy has spent the past few months at home in Africa preparing for the event by enjoying the winter swell season. He chased waves across the continent though got nothing in the plus-sized range typical of Big Wave World Tour events, instead settling for thundering tubes in the eight to 10 foot range, along with the various world class point-breaks that line the coast of South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia. Having never been to Nazare, he will give himself a month there in the lead up to the event to familiarise himself with the wave and his equipment. Twiggy told Stab he will aim to ride the shortest board possible in the conditions.

“A lot of guys were on 10″ plus boards at Puerto and my boards were 9’0″s and I think that definitely helped me once I got on the waves, so I’m gonna stick to that and ride the smallest possible equipment for the day,” he says, adding: “It’s a tough one. The smaller your board the more precarious a position you have to place yourself in the lineup to catch them. It’s a catch 22 but at the same time for me it’s a good idea in a contest to put it all on the line.”

Puerto Escondido Grant 1024x683

Twiggy, ruling Puerto. WSL / Hinkle

Ultimately Twiggy says big barrels will be the order of the day at Nazare and lists San Clemente, CA’s Greg Long as the number one threat to his world number one ranking.

“He came second at Puerto (BWWT event this year) so he has the points already in the bag and obviously he’s a great competitor and probably the best competitive big wave surfer in the last 10 years. So I’d definitely say Greg is the biggest threat.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgDtRmSCxBg

The event will also see Brazilian big wave surfer, Carlos Burle paddle the spot that nearly killed his big wave tow partner, Maya Gabeira in 2013. Unlike the regular World Tour circuit, where ratings points and world titles are the be all and end all, the BWWT is still all about the thrill. 

“It’s different, it’s not like the WCT with a bunch of guys in the title race and it’s going down to the wire and all that,” says Twiggy. “I don’t really think about that kind of stuff and I don’t think other guys really think about it either. I think it’s just awesome we’re going to surf with only six guys in the water. That’s what we’re all looking forward to.”

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