Grant Baker: winning Puerto Escondido as an injury wildcard | Photo: Morales/WSL

Grant "Twiggy" Baker has taken out the Puerto Escondido Challenge in firing 20-to-35 foot surf.

The Mexican beach break put on his best suit and delivered one of the most solid swells of the last couple of years. The first event of the 2016/2017 Big Wave Tour season had giants waves in the two days of competition.

In the hard-fought final, "Twiggy" Baker managed to get barreled and score a Perfect 10-point ride which put him in the lead of the overall rankings.

 "Yesterday was pretty difficult out there, so I didn't have a great heat, but I made it through. This morning when I woke up and saw it was my favorite size for Puerto, and I was so happy," explained Baker.

"I've been coming here for 20 years, and I love it. The waves are amazing, and I want to thank all the locals for being so hospitable and making us feel so welcome. To my wife and baby at home, this one's for you."

The final heat also included Greg Long, Pedro Calado, Carlos Burle, and Will Skudin. Makuakai Rothman, who finished sixth, suffered an injury with twenty minutes on the clock, and he could only ride one wave.

"I just want to apologize for not being able to put on a show for all the folks at home. I did my best, and I was trying to represent Hawaii. I just went up and over the falls, and my ten-foot-board hit me in the ribs," concluded Rothman.

Puerto Escondido Challenge | Final

1. Grant Baker (ZAF) 27.50
2. Greg Long (USA) 25.03
3. Pedro Calado (BRA) 24.77
4. Carlos Burle (BRA) 16.87
5. Will Skudin (USA) 12.97
6. Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 7.66