South African Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker took surfing’s Ride of the Year trophy at the the World Surf League’s (WSL’s) Big Wave Awards held at Redondo Beach near Los Angeles on Thursday May 2.
Baker (46) received the trophy for his performance on a massive wave in Maui, Hawaii, last November AND collected the Biggest Paddle award for the same wave. (You can watch it below.)
The awards are not just about winners but also highlight the bravery of the surfers taking on the big waves. This was marked by Makua Rothman of the United States being awarded the Wipeout of the Year for his spectacular crash in Fiji last May.
In March Baker won the coveted Big Wave World Title. The humble champion told SurfLine.com afterwards that he’s “really not the best surfer out there” and that there are many incredible big wave surfers in South Africa and the rest of the southern hemisphere who just can’t afford to compete in the northern hemisphere.
He did concede that he was “seriously proud” of his win – his third in six years and all in his forties! He put it down to working hard at his mental and physical conditioning.
Baker said while he’s blessed to surf for a living, it’s tough being away from his wife Kate and daughter Billi, and that heading home to South Africa to “soak up the love that comes with an amazing new family” is his best way to celebrate his wins.
WATCH Grant Twiggy Baker’s winning Ride of the Year
Congratulations Grant TWIG Baker, winner of the WSL Big Wave Awards Ride of the Year!!Video: Carlo Carbajal
Posted by World Surf League on Thursday, May 2, 2019
Last month he won the Big Wave World title again: