It’s about to happen and South African big wave surfer Grant Twig Baker is going to be awarded his third big wave world title. It is an incredible achievement, and Twiggy is one of the greatest big wave surfers of all time, but let’s examine the Big Wave Tour.
At one stage, as the Big wave Tour kicked off, with Gary Linden advising the WSL how best to manage the beast that he had invented, there were seven events on the tour.
There was the Quiksilver Ceremonial at Punta De Lobos in Chile, the Billabong Pico Alto at Punta Hermosa in Peru, the Punta Galea Challenge in Basque Country, Spain, and the Todos Santos Challenge in Baja Mexico. There was also the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Oaxaco, Mexico and there was also the event at Nelscott Reef in Oregon. There was a lot going on.
Then the WSL started streamlining the tour, and cut it back to Jaws/Pe’ahi, Nazaré and Puerto Escondidio, and as soon as they could they bought the licence for Mavericks and dropped Puerto.
So the tour now consists of Jaws, Nazaré and Mavericks. The women’s tour consists of only Jaws and Mavericks. This year the men would have effectively run the Jaws and Nazaré events, while the women would have just run the single event at Jaws.
Twiggy’s incredible win at Nazarzé was testament tovhis superlative skills and courage and his 5th place finish t Jaws saw him in the lead, while Keala Kennellys’ win at Jaws saw her to the front of the wold tour rankings.
At the end of March the waiting period for Mavericks will closes, and Twig and Keala will be our new world champions. Two worthy surfers with great courage and skills, but is it a tour with two events for the men, and one event for the women?
The big wave tour is notoriously difficult to run, and the logistics of running thse events is challenging to say the laest, but in return they do get the most viewers on the live webcast, and they do offer the most dramatic and dangerous surfing in the world.
Perhaps there needs to be a few more events to make it work as a tour, otherwise the events are specialty events, or surfing demonstrations. What do you think?