(Photo: Hunter Block)
Hawaii is often the first name that comes to mind when thinking about surfing. Californians will disagree. The long California coastline hosts many fantastic surfing spots. This even led to a small brawl about the name Surf City USA between Santa Cruz in Northern California or Huntington Beach in Southern California.
One thing many surfers will agree on: there is no place for big wave surfing as Mavericks (wikipedia), located approximately one-half mile (0.8 km) from shore in Pillar Point Harbor, just north of Half Moon Bay at the village of Princeton-By-The-Sea. Big wave surfing requires waves of at least 20 feet (6.2 m) high. It is a specialty requiring specific surfboards, and often requires riders to be towed in by jet-skis, as the wave travels faster than any human can peddle. Of the big wave surfing spots Mavericks is considered by most experts in the surfing world to be the most dangerous big wave breaks wave on the planet.
Every year, with 24 hours notice, 24 surfers get the call to participate in the Mavericks "Men who ride Mountains" surf contest. Last Saturday, January 12th 2008, the contest was held during a sunny winter day. Although we've been at Pillar point watching Mavericks before, we didn't drive over the mountain this year to watch the contest. Greg Long won the contest this year.
(Video of the 2006 Mavericks Surf Contest)