South African Grant "Twiggy" Baker has claimed the 2013/2014 Mystic Lubricant Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) title.
2013/2014 BWWT Title. What did you put into achieving this?
I gave it my all this year, basically put my personal life on hold and went for it. I only surfed big wave boards for almost 9 months, I looked for the most testing , biggest conditions on every swell even if I knew a perfect point around the corner was going off and I worked on my mental and physical well being so I was in the best possible condition to compete.
What does it mean to you?
It means quite a bit to have put the time into something and be rewarded for it and to bring the world title back to South Africa is the best part. With Bianca doing so well at the moment and Jordy ready to pounce I believe South African surfing is in a strong place and we can build the next generation from this base.
What has it done for your career?
In the past I was never really into the competitive side of surfing and preferred the more soulful aspect of the sport but with losing my sponsor in July 2013, I realized I would have to compete and win in order to keep getting paid to surf and this was a big motivating factor. Since winning Mavericks and upping my profile I have been fortunate enough to sign with VISSLA and Isurus wetsuits along with upping my existing sponsors with BOS Ice Tea and Future fins so right now I'm in a great situation and I can continue to surf for another three years.
You have spoken previously of having an "edge" in the lineup. something psychological. Do you think that you have something that sets you apart from the rest of the field?
Surfing big waves and specifically in the contests takes more then just surfing skill, it's just as much a mental game and I have been learning about this and applying it to what I am doing in the water. I'm under no illusion that I'm the best surfer in the water, with guys like Dorian, Greg Long and Ian Walsh out there but I have worked on my strengths and weaknesses in order to be able to compete with better surfers then me and win.
Your opinions on the changes that are happening to big wave surfing?
I'm fully supportive of the changes in big wave surfing and have welcomed the ASP taking over the tour and injecting much needed capital into the contest scene. We are looking forward to an amazing year going forward with regards to increased prize purses, a better infrastructure at events and amazing web casts that will show the world what we are capable of . 2014 is going to be a learning curve for the surfers and the ASP and if we can both do our jobs well and support each other, we will be able to create something special, that will see Big Wave surfing and the future generations in good hands.
How do you take this momentum and run with it in the coming season?
Just keep doing what I have been doing, training hard, staying focused and enjoying every minute. Its such a blessing to be able to travel the world and surf in these events and perhaps make a little money to stay in the area for a few weeks and hang out with the locals...I mean what is there not to love, it's the dream life?
2013/2014 ASP BWWT Top 5:
1 - Grant Baker (ZAF) 2,459.00 pts
2 - Ken Collins (USA) 1,140.13 pts
3 - Nic Lamb (USA) 1,117.50 pts
4 - Shawn Dollar (USA) 938.50 pts
5 - Kohl Christensen (HAW) 864.88 pts
The 2014/2015 APS Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) commences April 15, 2014.
Showcasing the worldâ€™s premiere big wave surfers, the BWWT boasts a flexible two-part schedule, activating events in both hemispheres in line with optimum swell windows at some of the planetâ€™s most renowned big wave venues:
Southern Hemisphere (April 15, 2014 through August 31, 2014):
- Punta de Lobos, Chile
- Pico Alto, Peru
- Dungeons, South Africa
Northern Hemisphere (October 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015):
- Todos Santos, Mexico
- Punta Galea, Basque Country Spain
- Peâ€™ahi (Jaws), Maui HI
Joining the classic breaks of Punta de Lobos (Chile), Pico Alto (Peru), Todos Santos (Mexico) and Punta Galea (Basque Country Spain) will be two new events in Dungeons (South Africa) and Peâ€™ahi â€œJawsâ€ (Maui).