The Million Rand Wave!


Fri, 3 May 2019

One wave earned world champion Twiggy Baker a cool R1.2 million at the WSL Big Wave Awards at Redondo Beach early this morning, writes Spike.

Okay so I only predicted one of the two awards Twiggy won this morning. He landed Ride of the Year and instead of the 2019 Men’s Best Overall Performance of the Year - that went to the inimitable Kai Lenny - Twiggy won the Men's Paddle Award to make it two from one.

Both awards come from one wave, as confirmed by the man himself - a beast of a walling Jaws bomb that saw Twiggy take off on a wing and a prayer. He only just rights himself on a virtual freefall on the way down. He slides along a veritable giant of a wall before pulling into a gut wrenching tube.

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TWO FOR ONE: Twiggy is the very picture of stoke at the grand age of ... shhh. Photo WSL / Adrian

He almost makes the barrel, but comes unstuck right at the end. It caused some grumpy murmurs on the Interwebs because he didn't complete the ride as hinted to in the award title "Ride of the Year". Only the churlish would deny Twiggy the accolades. I would demand R5 million for just paddling into that wave.

That wave earned Twiggy quite a nice pay check: $65,000 for Ride of the Year, and $20,000 for the Men's Paddle Award. There is some conflicting info on the WSL website. The about the awards page says $75,000 and $25,000 but the press release announcing the nominees indicates $65k and $20k. Who can quibble about that though! It's a nice dose of dosh.


WHAT THE ACTUAL? Grant Baker had an incredible ride on this paddle wave. Photo WSL / Morris

The new women’s category for paddle-in surfing awarded Andrea Moller (BRA) the Paddle Award and new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title with her 42-foot wave at Pe’ahi, Maui, Hawaii. The Brasilian’s Big Wave Tour run fell one spot shy of a Big Wave World Title behind Keala Kennelly (HAW) and will be locked in for another year among the world’s best big wave competitors. Moller’s been nominated for multiple awards in the past, including Ride of the Year, but this marks her first win.

Currently in it's 19th year, this year's Big Wave Awards recognises the surfers who have demonstrated the most committed and advanced level of big wave surfing in or outside a contest jersey. Any wave ridden between 21 March 2018 and 20 March 2019, at any big wave spot, was eligible for consideration and judged based on photo or video evidence.

2018/19 Big Wave award winners
Men's Biggest Paddle: Grant Baker, Jaws, Hawaii, 26 Nov 2018. Photo Kenny Morris.
Women's Biggest Paddle: Andrea Moller, Jaws, 16 Jan 2016. Photo Fred Pompermayer.
Men's XXL Biggest Wave: Kai Lenny, Jaws, Nov 26, 2018. Video Marcus Rodrigues.
Women's XXL Biggest Wave: Justine Dupont, Nazaré, 18 Nov, 2018. Video Antione Chicoye.
Men's Overall Performance: Kai Lenny
Hydro Flask Women's Performance Award: Justine Dupont
Wipeout of the Year: Makua Rothman, Cloudbreak, Fiji, 22 May 2018. Video Taylor Curran.
Ride of the Year: Grant Baker, Jaws, Hawaii, 26 Nov 2018. Video Carlos Carbajal

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