Grant Baker aka "Twiggy" was born in Durban SA in 1973. Twiggy began surfing at the age of 13 and after leaving school in 1990 he joined his aunt Cheron in the family business. Cheron had just signed the license for Billabong South Africa. Twiggy worked and surfed around South Africa, Indonesia and West Australia, while helping Billabong become the biggest clothing brand in South Africa. During this time he started surfing bigger waves around Indonesia and Western Australia as well as exploring Africa for new waves.
From 1999 -2002 he started to look for and surf bigger waves in South Africa. He found them everywhere between Jefferys Bay, Cape Town and up the West coast. Then in 1999 the Big Wave Africa event started and he was able to study and learn from the international surfers coming to surf the Big Wave Africa competition. During this time Twig was still working for Billabong but chose a sales agents position in KZN so he could concentrate more on his surfing.
Twig's competitive career begin in 2003 when he surfed his first Big Wave event - Big Wave Africa. It was a paddle comp at18-20ft Dungeons where he placed third. From there the drive to compete and surf bigger and bigger waves took hold.
"I love surfing and my favorite part about surfing is when the waves get challenging"
In 2004 Twig started tow surfing and experienced massive Dungeons for the first time (25-30ft). Followed in 2005 with a trip to the USA and Hawaii for the first time where he surfed Mavericks, Todos and Waimea. In 2006 he was voted into the Mavericks event by online pole and managed to win the event : Mavericks Surf Contest Champion (20ft)
In 2008 Twig's family sold Billabong South Africa to Billabong International which enabled him to begin life as a full time professional surfer. From then on the event wins and XXL nominations began to roll in. His career to date is the stuff of legends. Twig's accomplishments include winner of the XXL Biggest wave award (65ft Tafelberg) and an invite to The Eddie in 2009, winner of XXL ride of the year 2010, Big Wave World Champion 2014, WSL Big Wave World Champion 2016, Nazare Challenge winner 2018, WSL World Champion for a third time in 2019... the list goes on!
In between surfing Twiggy also began a second career as a bar owner and restauranter. He opened his first bar/restaurant in 2012 in Cape Town which he named the Ace’s N Spades Rock Bar. His second bar/restaurant called The Village Idiot followed in Cape Town three years later, followed by a third called the SurfaRosa Surf Punk. The businesses haven't slowed down Twiggy's drive to surf though. He still wants to compete for a few years yet and a 4th World title remains his goal!