From left to right: Winning videographer Kate Lovemore, Lorrin Jarvis from All Aboard Surf Travel, Twiggy Baker, and Greg Emslie (with Seth Hulley about to pounce from the shadows).
After five months of competition and over 150 entries from South Africa’s top pros, grommies and underground chargers, Twiggy Baker has won R50 000 (approx US$8 000) for the Ride of the Season in the Oakley One Wonder, powered by Zigzag and in association with All Aboard Surf Travel.
Twiggy beat some high-octane surfing from the likes of Jordy Smith and Shaun Joubert with a mega-thick tube at a recently unveiled slab ‘somewhere in South Africa’, where he got stuffed ultra deep then shot out clean behind the spit.
The five month long competition was a world-first, offering the biggest single-wave prize purse ever exclusively for South African surfers, with a unique twist: Tubes, airs, carves, massive waves, or a combo of any of these were eligible and would go up against each other on a monthly basis. Video clips or photo sequences were loaded as entries up onto the One Wave Wonder website, where the public and a panel of judges voted for the most outstanding ride every month from February to June 2011. The five monthly winners then became automatic finalists for the ultimate Ride of the Season.
“When this competition was first launched, I knew it was going to take something pretty special to beat the top guys like Jordy who can do amazing things on virtually any average wave” said Twiggy, holding up his big cheque for 50G’s. “So we went looking for the biggest, best barrels we could find.”
And find them he did. The big wave icon scoured the Southern African coast from the top of Mozambique to Namibia in his quest to find the winning wave. His tube beat out some tough fellow finalists, especially Shaun Joubert’s winning ride from May at Supertubes that included a long barrel and several committed turns.
The highlight of the five-month event, however, was Twiggy’s ride going up against a rodeo flip to varial combo entry from Jordy Smith in a bid to be the last finalist.
As one Oakley official commented: “They were both absolutely incredible rides. Twig’s wave at a new location, which he actually discovered, is the type that would give you goosebumps for life, while Jordy’s wave is a brilliant competitive scoring wave, with top-end technical moves. Twig’s wave is literally life threatening, while Jordy is having a jol going crazy. The toughest and closest call of the event for sure.”
Twiggys winning tube also earns videographer Kate Lovemore an all expenses paid trip for two to G-Land worth over R30 000 for documenting the ride. The fact that Kate is Twiggy’s better half means it all works out rather nicely for the couple, who’ll be enjoying their romantic surfing getaway thanks to the travel fundis at All Aboard.
Stand by for the one-on-one with Twiggy, and watch the full clip of highlights below.
Click here to view the 5 finalist’s clips or use the “archive” drop-down menu in the navigation bar to access all the rides from each month.