Grant Baker wins "Ride of the Year" at 2019 WSL Big Wave Awards

May 3, 2019 | Surfing
Grant Baker: winner of 'Ride of the Year' at the 2019 WSL Big Wave Awards | Photo: Morris/WSL

Grant Baker is the grand winner of the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards.

The awards ceremony that celebrates the best big wave surfing performances of the year, as well as the images and video that documented them, took place in Redondo Beach, California.

The South African veteran ended up winning both "Ride of the Year" and "Men's Biggest Paddle" trophies, which translates into a total prize purse of $85,000.

Baker's performance at Jaws, Hawaii, on November 26, 2018, impressed the judges. The 45-year-old athlete from Durban paddled into a wind-affected beauty, found the barrel, and exited it in grand fashion.

"I want to thank all the big wave surfers that came before us. I watched Greg Noll's movie, and what the guys before us were doing, that first surfed these waves, they didn't know what to expect," said Grant Baker.

"We learned along the way. Imagine Greg Noll paddling out at Waimea for the first time and not knowing if you're going to drown. The first guys at Dungeons and Jaws paved the way for us. I guess I was in the middle of it, somewhere. Now, the next generation is going to take it even further."

But Kai Lenny and Justine Dupont also have good reasons to be happy with their acts last season. Each one went home with a couple of trophies, as both rode the biggest waves and locked in the best overall performances.

Last but not least, Andrea Moller set a new Guinness World Record for the biggest women's paddle-in wave, and Makua Rothman won "Wipeout Of The Year."

Justine Dupont: she won 'Biggest Wave' and 'Overall Performance' | Photo: Estrelinha/WSL

2019 WSL Big Wave Awards | Winners

Ride Of The Year ($65,000): Grant Baker (RSA) at Jaws, Hawaii, on November 26, 2018;

Men's XXL Biggest Wave ($20,000): Kai Lenny (HAW) at Jaws, Hawaii, on November 26, 2018;

Women's XXL Biggest Wave ($20,000): Justine Dupont (FRA) at Nazaré, Portugal, on November 18, 2018;

Men's Biggest Paddle ($20,000): Grant Baker (RSA) at Jaws, Hawaii on November 26, 2018;

Women's Biggest Paddle & World Record ($20,000): Andrea Moller (BRA) at Jaws, Hawaii, on January 16, 2016;

Men's Overall Performance ($10,000): Kai Lenny (HAW);

Women's Overall Performance ($10,000): Justine Dupont (FRA);

Wipeout Of The Year ($3,000): Makua Rothman (HAW) at Cloudbreak, Fiji, on May 22, 2018;

The Surfing Christmas Gift Guide for 2019 | Explore our Christmas gift ideas for surfers