Twiggy Baker Is Not The Big Wave World Champ (Yet)
Story by Craig Jarvis In a move that could be somewhat compared to the premature announcement of Kelly Slater as world champion in 2011 at Ocean Beach, word’s out that Grant Baker is the new Big Wave World Champion. It’s not true. Twiggy has done the math, and he could still be trounced. Highly unlikely, […]
Story by Craig Jarvis
In a move that could be somewhat compared to the premature announcement of Kelly Slater as world champion in 2011 at Ocean Beach, word’s out that Grant Baker is the new Big Wave World Champion.
It’s not true.
Twiggy has done the math, and he could still be trounced. Highly unlikely, but on paper there is a mathematical chance that he could be beaten, according to the man himself. So hold back the congrats, keep the champagne corked, and let’s just relax for a second before we kick out the jams. We caught up with Twig, who’s patiently sitting out the Todos waiting period in the States, to find out what was really going on.
Stab: According to the press, you’re the new Big Wave World Champ. Congratulations! I’m surprised the BWWT and ASP haven’t made a big announcement yet.
Twiggy: Well, (laughs) statistically I could still lose, so they can’t be making those announcements.
But, you’ve already been interviewed as the new world champ? It’s highly unlikely, but here is the scenario. If Todos runs at 50 feet, it gets a 1.4 points adjustment (see here for points adjustments systems). If I don’t paddle out at Todos, should it run, and if Skinny wins it, he could still beat me, by about 10 points or something. I’m not 100 percent sure, but apparently there is still a mathematical loophole. (Twig has 2459 points, and Skinny could get 2540.13 points on the above scenario).
So you just need to paddle out basically? Yes, I just need to paddle out. That’s why I’m still hanging around in the States while the swell of the year is approaching Dungeons. I can’t take the chance of missing a possible Todos swell. I’m patiently sitting it out until the end of the waiting period, which ends on the 31st March.
What was the best big wave you rode over the contest season? My first wave of my first heat at Mavericks. It was a fairly easy takeoff and the wave had this massive wall. I did a long, drawn out bottom turn, and a chunk of wave landed on the tail of my board, but I survived that and got a little cover-up on the inside before kicking out into the channel. It was a 10-point ride and set the event up for me.
Steaming at the most recent BWWT event, at Nelscott Reef in Oregon. Photo: BWWT/Richard Hallman
Now that you’re unofficial world champion, your stock is up. The sponsorship conversation must’ve just gotten easier? Things are very good at the moment. I’ve signed a deal with Vissla and Paul Naude. I’m stoked to be back with Paul. He was always my main guy and supporter at Billabong, and was always very helpful with the South Africans in the surf industry. Vissla is aiming at being a cool brand with adventure and travel as part of their make-up, so it fits in perfectly with myself and my goals and lifestyle. I’ve signed for three years with Vissla, and then I’ve joined the Isurus Wetsuits team as well. They’re a small and pretty tightly knit company, and I’ve been given shares in the company and a salary. Then of course BOS Iced Tea has upped my deal, so I’m looking pretty good. It was my intention to come over, raise my stock and secure some deals, and I’ve achieved that, so I’m stoked.
How’s the BWWT working for you? It’s been great for me. I’m a possible big wave world champ, and I’ve gained some new sponsors in the process. While the prize money isn’t right up there just yet, there are other surfers who are looking at some sponsorship contracts, and we’re going into a new era of big wave surfing. The new ASP and their support of big wave surfing are set to change the sport dramatically in the next two years.
Who are the best up and coming big wave surfers in the world right now? There are so many guys. I’d have to single out Nic Lamb, Albee Layer and Billy Kemper, but there are quite a few younger guys who are just frothing.
And what advice would you give Nic, Albee and Billy? Well, you’ve got to surf big waves, and to do that you have to be dedicated, you have to travel and you have to invest in yourself. I ride my big boards continuously, and I persevere in riding waves over 12 foot as often as I can. It’s the 10,000 hours thing. You need to put the hours in to become skilled. I have to choose a medium day at Dungeons when Skeleton Bay is going to be firing or J-Bay is also going to be good. Most guys want to go to those other places, especially if it’s windy and cold and stormy and it’s an average Dungeons swell. You have to miss those perfect days to get the job done in the bigger surf. We have a contest approaching at Dungeons and a good wave or a win in solid contest conditions can change a person’s life.
Wide open at Nelscott. Photo: BWWT/Richard Hallman
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