re-sized Mavericks

Maverick’s Big Wave Surf competition has been called off.

“Have as much fun as you possibly can, and quit thinking so much” – Shane McConkey

And why not? Is that not a good motto to live your life by?

Which brings us onto the almost forgotten topic of MAVERICK’s… what happened there? Did the wave happen? was it possible to hold the contest?

As it happens, very sadly the world-renowned Mavericks Surf Contest near Half Moon Bay will not happen this year, making this winter season the fourth that has been skipped since the contest’s creation a decade ago, said contest director Jeff Clark.

The window for the contest closed on Tuesday, 31st March, but Clark said he had extended the permit to use the waters that are a half-mile from Pillar Point Harbor, until 8th April in case a swell materialized.

However, the ocean storms that produce the swells needed for the contest were too weak. The contest organisers are negotiating for the contest window to open earlier next year, possibly as early as 1st November. This year’s contest window opened 1st January, but the months from November to February produce the greatest swells for ideal contest conditions, which are waves of roughly 40 foot.

Mavericks - big wave found in California


So a quick re-hash on Maverick – the ultimate extreme big wave… what’s all the fuss about?

Jeff Clark, of Jeff Clark Surfboards and the big wave contest organiser, was brought up 100 ft from the sea and watched the wave for years before deciding to challenge it for the first time in 1975. His good friend decided that he’d rather not, but that he would watch closely and call the coast guards if Jeff needed help!

“That first day I managed to get five waves, barely surviving long enough to kick out of one. It was a great confidence boost for me to have gone where no one had gone before, and to ride waves that were more powerful than anything that I had ever imagined,” he said.

“The 1990s in general brought an amazing assault of big-wave surfing. When Mavericks hit the scene everyone questioned it, but now all of the doubts have been put to rest. Mavericks produces the most consistent big waves in the world, has provided California with a big-wave identity all its own, and has produced some of today’s best big-wave riders…

He sums up by adding, “We are now well into the new millennium and it seems that everything in the world is going in the direction of ‘extreme’, not just in surfing but in all sports. Where it will end I don’t know, but the hunt for better performance and better equipment is really exciting to me. Still, having Mavericks as the testing ground “makes the possibilities endless.”

So, don’t give up on watching this one. It’ll knock your socks off for entertainment value next time it happens…

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