Roger Ferreira (CarlosBurle.com) – Is your priority in life today to chase big swells and waves?
Greg Long – From a surfing standpoint, following the biggest swells around the world is my number one priority in life. I feel very fortunate to be working with Billabong (my sponsor) who is supporting me to follow my dream to search and ride the biggest waves in the world. Surfing big waves is my passion and I do my very best to put myself in the opportune places at the right time to surf the worlds biggest swells.
Grant Baker – Yes, my priority is to be in the right place at the right time to find and surf XXL worthy swells. Billabong has sponsored me to do this and I am taking it swell by swell at the moment. My other main priority is to do as well as I can in the Big Wave events around the world most importantly being the Jaws, Mavericks, Waimea, Dungeons, Ponto Lobos, Nelscott and Pico Alto events.
Roger Ferreira – Talk about your title in the XXL 2009.
Greg Long – Winning “Ride of the Year” was one of my greatest surfing accomplishments. Especially considering it was the first ever to be won using the traditional paddle method. The XXL awards are an incredible platform to showcase the biggest and best waves ridden around the world throughout the entire year. As I go through the year, I don’t like to think about or base my surfing around the possibility of winning one of these awards. It is very easy to put too much emphasis on winning one, in which case I believe you have crossed over and are then doing things for the wrong reason. You must be in this for the right reasons and always put your surfing first. If you do it right, the awards or accolades will follow suit. That has always been my philosophy.
Grant Baker – As I said in my speech I feel that I was very lucky to have won the XXL Biggest wave for 2009, there were a few other nominations that were also very close to 60ft. I was actually expecting to win the XXL Biggest Paddle wave for my Dungeons ride but unfortunately they gave the nomination to my friend James Taylor and therefore couldn’t use the photo of me on the bigger part of the wave.
Roger Ferreira – You and your partner won in different categories in the XXL 2009. How do you see and face this great individual and team success.
Greg Long – In my opinion, Grant “Twiggy” Baker is the best big wave surfer in the world at the moment. Over the years he has become a great friend and I feel very honored to have the opportunity to travel the world and surf with him. We both share the same mindset and have the goals regarding what we hope to accomplish with our surfing. We have a very healthy rivalry when it comes to paddling in and are constantly working to improve in all aspects of the sport. We are constantly pushing one another to surf at our highest levels. Surfing can be a very individualistic sport however I think you tend to lose that idea when it comes to large waves. You can benefit much more from working together and I believe our relationship and what we have accomplished together over the past years is testimony to this.
Grant Baker – We are a team when it comes to tow surfing but are very competitive when it comes to paddling big waves and I feel that having one team member from the North and one from the South helps us when making calls on swells because we can use our local knowledge. Saying that you always need someone to surf with when the waves get big and having someone like Greg around on the biggest days helps push my level and visa versa. It’s a great team and we never seem to argue or fight and are just so grateful to be able to do what we do.
Roger Ferreira – What are your plans for the rest of this year? And what about the 09/10 season?
Greg Long – My life is pretty much dictated by the swells at this point. I am currently basing myself down in South Africa for the southern hemishphere winter. This allows me to easily chase any swells of significance to either South America (where I currently am) or Australia. I will return back to California in September where I will ready myself for the northern hemisphere winter. In between travels and surfing I am always training and working with my equipment to ensure I am 100% ready for whenever the swells show up.
Grant Baker – Just to watch the swells in the Southern Hemisphere until October and then to migrate North for the winter up there and do the same. I am so excited to surf in my first Eddie as well and that is now my No 1 priority.
For the full interview, head to CarlosBurle.com.