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17 Jan 2021

Can you compare the two? Since then, many women have followed in her footsteps, showing the world that women can … If the average ceiling height measures about eight feet high, then the wave stands three times that size on the smallest of days. I think I am really good at having fun and I’m having tons of fun right now. You are not thinking about anything else except exactly what is going on. When you are going that fast and the wave is that steep, and you look back at the wave you just rode or is coming down on you — whether you stick a crazy drop, survive a wipeout — it’s a feeling of euphoria going throughout your body. It’s weird. Half Moon Bay native, Jeff Clark, was the first person to surf the big wave in 1975, just a high schooler at the time. The news immediately stirred Padua up. I heard it was first surfed by a gentleman out of Southern California who traveled specifically traveled up to what is now known as Mavericks in his VW Bus and surfed it in 1971 and his name was Russ Fabrick. There are still days when no one documents. Maverick was used to swimming out into the water with his owner Alex Matienzo, and decided to swim out and join the surfing crew. But surfing big waves is still a deep love -- … When you look back, or look at a video clip, who knows what could have happened. I feel once you get in the water it’s almost soothing and calm, even though it’s a crazy fifty-foot wave. This was the year Duke Kahanamoku chose Isabel Letham, the first person to surf Australian waters, to surf tandem with him in 1914 at Freshwater Beach. Now, nearly 20 years later, she is a mother of two and an instructor of chemistry at Monterey Peninsula College. Once you are out there you can feel the raw power and energy and everything that is going on. Mavericks is almost comforting. Who cares about the pictures, who cares about the interview? Fast forward a couple hundred years to 1914. Clark may not have been the first person to surf Maverick’s, but overwhelmingly he’s the man who put it on the map. When I see huge waves I think, it’s on! California’s biggest wave was a secret no more. At the end of the day, who cares about the contest? What is it like to make the drop and ride the wave? Mavericks is a rarity when it breaks big, and for those who get close enough to feel the full force of the wave, it is truly a singular experience. With the contest start-date looming on the near horizon, we spoke with Padua about Mavericks, and why surfing it is just plain “crazy.”. It is Mother Nature unleashing a fierce and potentially deadly giant wall of water. It’s all about having fun. “One day a guy told me, ‘This is a man’s playground. Jeff grew up watching the massive waves break from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. My life is devoted to Mavericks and surfing big waves. He's also the one who makes the call as to when it takes place - … It’s crazy. Up close, the wave is a stunning spectacle. Mavericks breaks to the left and to the right, the left considered to be more challenging. At the age of just 16, he was now one of the youngest surfers to ever make the roster for the famed competition. Luca Padua was recently sitting in English class at Half Moon Bay High School when he received a text from a friend congratulating him on being slated as an official alternate in the 2017–2018 Mavericks big wave surf contest. “Mavericks” Half Moon Bay, CA was named after the dog of three local Half Moon Bay Surfers, Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson, and Dick Knottmeyer, that discovered the location in 1967. The wave on the left moves way faster and there is way less time for you to paddle in, stand up and ride the wave successfully. Without it I would not be where I am. In 1975 at age 17 and with the waves topping out at 20–24 ft (6–7.5 m), Clark paddled out alone to face the break. The wave still happened and I got to experience it. More than just tackling the topic of surfing, Chasing Mavericks set out to capture the story of the late big-wave legend Jay Moriarity. Sarah Gerhardt was the first woman to surf Mavericks in 1999. Dropping in you have to be 100% focused and committed, and if 1% of you isn’t, you are not going to make that wave. Jeff Clark continued to surf “Mavericks” by himself for the next 15 years and the location remained “unkown” to the rest of the world. There are pros and cons to it. This site uses cookies to ensure that you receive the best experience on our website. Receiving that initial text in English class informing you that you made the contest, what were your first thoughts? You are under a microscope it seems, with all your moves documented how do you stay with the experience? They were accompanied by Jeff Clark on January 22, 1990. Many surfers have answered the call of Maverick’s over the years, including legends Jay Moriarty, who surfed Mavericks for the first time at age 16, and Hawaiian big-wave surfer, Mark Foo. When you see someone take the worst wipeout of their life, it doesn’t look real. I can see their different perspectives and take advice from all of them. That’s the biggest factor if you want to be good at what you do. Inn at Mavericks is unique because its the only Ocean front Inn at half Moon Bay, and the closest hotel to Mavericks. “Mavericks” is a world-famous Northern California Surfing destination located just north of the town of Half Moon Bay, and south of Pillar Point in the town of Princeton-By-The-Sea. I want to be able to chase every big swell in the ocean. It has been a big help for me to see how the different generations surf. That you could die at any second. First time Jeff Clark surfed "Mavericks" as it was then known then, inside the reef within 100 yards of shore. After this point knowledge of Mavericks as a Big Wave Surfing destination begin to attract attention. Mavericks Surf Awards Announces Video Performance Contest to Honor Mavericks and the Surfers Who Brave the Legendary Wave. Jeff Clark, a surfer that grew up in Half Moon Bay, was the first documented person to have surfed Mavericks, in 1975 at age 17. http://www.thebigwaveblog.com/surf-spots/mavericks-northern-california I didn’t know any better. I read the story of the early surfers of Mavericks and there is question as who was really the first to surf it. Can you describe what it is like to be out there? For more information about the history of Mavericks Half Moon Bay, please see the following articles: Every year I want to get the biggest wave of my life. Half Moon Bay High School student Luca Padua just found out he’s competing on California’s biggest wave. It was the same spot that Alex named after the dog, Maverick. Tell us, what is your relationship with the wave and those who surfed it and those who surf it now? “We know in big-wave surfing, the first person to get to the victim is a surfer,” says Burle, who has attended past BWRAG courses. It later became known as, “Mavericks.” Little did they know that this big wave surfing spot would be rediscovered by Jeff Clark in 1975, and introduced to the world in 1990 as the location for California’s biggest waves. You Are Here: The daughter of Gulf Coast surf legend Yancy Spencer III, Abigail seemed like a person who could possibly gauge the authenticity of this collision between Hollywood and surf culture. It takes more commitment to ride. I’ll be out there surfing. He was with Walt Von Hoffe, his little league sponsor, and friends. Watching your friend dropping in on a wave, knowing that something really bad could have happened, or that they just had the best wave of their life. He studied the wave patterns and learned how to navigate it. The adrenaline is pumping so hard that you almost feel like a super human. The way the left jacks up off the reef is completely different. I definitely want to qualify for the big wave tour. At first it was definitely intimidating. Padua is quick to attest to this. That’s what crazy is. You could wear those waves on the head. For most, the wave is for spectating — via photographs and videos, or simply through binoculars from the nearby Pillar Point cliffs. On a scale of 1–10, how frightening is surfing Mavericks? Jeff Clark grew up in Half Moon Bay, watching Mavericks from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. You have to know that if you want to surf the left well you are going to take some poundings. "We've got one day to hold an event for the best of the best," said Clark, 55, who was the first person to surf Mavericks in 1975, when he was 17. The two first met when Frosty was approached by a young Jay in 1990 as the skinny kid with a sparkle in his eye wanted his help in becoming a better surfer. Sarah Gerhardt is the first woman to ever surf Mavericks, the famously dangerous big-wave spot in northern California. He was the first surfer to ride Mavericks, the formidable reef break west of the Pillar Point headlands. While out surfing with some friends, he noticed the wave offshore and made a plan to swim out and hit it. blog » The Story of How Mavericks Half Moon Bay, CA was Discovered. The experience comes naturally. In 1975, at the young age of 17, Clark decided he would surf the massive 20-24 foot waves and paddled out by himself to face the break. Is it intimidating laying on your stomach starting up a mountain of water? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavericks,_California#History, 346 Princeton Ave Half Moon Bay, California 94019, The Story of How Mavericks Half Moon Bay, CA was Discovered, Read Reviews On Inn at Mavericks On TripAdvisor. Making Mavericks: The Memoir of a Surfing Legend tells the story of the friendship between Richard “Frosty” Hesson and Jay Moriarity. Now, it seems like if you didn’t get the picture or if it’s not on Instagram, it never happened. The name and the group running it has changed every few years since then. That part can be intimidating. Inside I was pretty stoked. He caught multiple left-breaking waves, thereby becoming the first documented person to tackle Mavericks head-on. After a photograph of Mavericks Half Moon Bay, CA was published in “Surfer” Magazine, news of this incredible Northern California Surfing spot grew to the point that Big wave surfers from around the world had to come see what all the fuss was about. Local Half Moon Bay resident, Jeff Clark is the first documented person to ever surf “Mavericks” Half Moon Bay, CA. The first is surfer Jeff Clark who opened the Mavericks Surf Shop. What is it that you are going after as you further your journey surfing big waves? Yet it is not just the height that is threatening, but the density of the wave. But watching some of my friends get blown up by 20, 30 foot waves, that puts a pit in my stomach. This year I’m on the alternate list for Mavericks, but I hope to get on the list in the main event. In this same spot Jeff would eventually teach his children, Katrina, Kevin and Kaila, to surf. That’s at Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco. Sarah Gerhardt, 42, Santa Cruz: After training with conviction in sizeable North Shore surf, Gerhardt became the first woman to surf Mavericks in February of 1999. Follow Luca Padua on Instagram: @lucapadua, Slice of the pie: How this South Bay pizza shop became a worker-owned cooperative, Biggest waves in 10 years: Photos of surf icons riding the 50-foot monsters at Mavericks, Hope for Big Basin: Santa Cruz scientist documents the rebirth of our fire-ravaged forests, Homegrown Hollywood: Meet Silicon Valley’s spirited filmmakers, 8 ways to keep your fitness-based New Year’s resolutions rolling (while still sheltering in place), 650 Restaurant Roundup: Hawaiian donuts & Thai street food arrive (while mainstays hibernate), Tasty against all odds: Our nine most memorable meals of 2020, Inside The Queen’s Gambit: Exploring the unknown Bay Area origins of the Netflix hit. I always tell people you can see video and pictures, you can hear stories, but no matter what you hear or see you would never understand. He has been surfing Mavericks every year for the past 40 years. The Mavericks surf break, just north of Half Moon Bay, is a world famous big wave that has been ridden by some of the greatest surfers. The left is more critical, even the small ones. They say is was Mr. Clark but I heard a different story. (Photo by Dominic Padua) The Mavericks surf break, just north of Half Moon Bay, is a world famous big wave that has been ridden by some of the greatest surfers. But that in itself is still just a very small handful of people. You can walk to Mavericks Beach in 22 minutes from Inn at Mavericks. “Surfing is 20 years behind other sports,” Valenti says on a drive home from surfing Mavericks. Clark, who is credited with being the first person to surf Mavericks decades ago, is the contest's creator. I want to go to Australia, I want to go to Portugal, I want to go to Mexico, I want to go to Chile. It’s like nothing else. Soon she will be part of the first women's heat in a surfing contest there. Now, it fires me up. But first, he has to finish English class. For me I have it right here in my head. I wasn’t jumping up and down in the air. For Padua, Mavericks is more than a contest, it is a yearning to be with the wave as much as possible. http://www.thebigwaveblog.com/surf-spots/mavericks-northern-california, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavericks,_California#History, Mavericks Challenge Surfing Contest 2018-2019. That’s what is more of a challenge. In fact, Mavericks may be one of the unluckiest events in the entire surfing world, with a long tale of things gone wrong. It is well known that Mavericks is named after a dog named Maverick, who is often credited with being the first to surf the location. You keep using the word “crazy.” What does crazy mean to you? The World Surf League assumed sponsorship and renamed it the Mavericks Challenge in 2018. If you wipeout on the left it is heavier, even though you are only 20 feet away from the right. The Inn was recently selected for 2013 Best of Half Moon Bay Award in the Hotels & Motels category. At 16, he is now in his third season surfing the break since making his first drop — amazingly — at just 13 years old. That all changed Thursday, when Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark witnessed what he called one of the most beautiful, consistent big swells since he began surfing the place in 1985. With the first storms of the winter building energy and getting ready to unleash its fury on Mavericks, local residents have gathered financial and community support for a “virtual” contest that recognizes exceptional performance throughout the entire big wave … The second is the roommate of surfer Alex Matienzo. Ten. Local Half Moon Bay resident, Jeff Clark is the first documented person to ever surf “Mavericks” Half Moon Bay, CA. We can’t predict the future, but where do you see yourself with Mavericks in the future? They brought their dog “Maverick” along but decided to leave him on the shore. However, as to who the dog's owner was, most sources point to two different individuals. And Clark insists that Maverick’s be … A 16-year-old kid named Jay Moriarity, who had only surfed Mavericks a few times, was the youngest person in the water. He grew up near Pillar Point, where he could watch the waves that were thought to be too dangerous to surf. Among them was Jay Moriarity, 16, who had only surfed Mavericks a few times and was the youngest person Mr. Clark had ever seen challenge … Of the first Hawaiian’s who travelled to Mavericks to surf, ... Laird again redefined what was possible in big wave surfing, as the first person to surf the fearsome Teahupo’o in Tahiti. Clark ought to know. Titans of Mavericks It’s crazy how 10 to 20 feet from where you are taking off will make a difference on the wipeout, too. I have changed so much in the last three years mostly based off video and what people have seen and told me. The first footage of anyone surfing Mavericks was caught by Nelson that morning and would be broadcast on Powerlines Surf-Spots the very next week. It’s awesome to be on the list and I’m honored to represent Half Moon Bay, but if I don’t get in I’ll still be doing the same thing. Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark and entrepreneur Chris Cuvelier announced the launch of the first annual Mavericks Surf Awards. He conceived the possibility of riding Hawaii-sized waves in Northern California. Luca Padua first surfed the Mavericks break at the age of 13, and is now—three years later—an alternate for the official big wave competition on the Coastside. Dave Schmidt and Tom Powers, friend of Jeff Clark were the next people to surf Mavericks. You have to sit in a different spot, which could be a bad spot if a big cleanup set comes in. For the next 15 years, Clark surfed Mavericks as his own playground. It’s my best friend. People were trying to read so I had to keep it cool. You are so focused on sticking that drop and not falling and once you stick the drop deciding what you are going to do after. Jeff Clark (born March 26, 1957 in Redwood City, California ) is one of the most noteworthy big-wave surfers, famous for surfing Mavericks alone for 15 years before it was widely discovered by the big-wave surfing community. On those days when it is pumping and crazy huge and everyone is flying in from all over the world … that stuff is more hectic than the actual surfing part. It’s like that but magnified by ten thousand. And that’s how I found out that Clark said he was the first one to surf it.” Surf history, largely pre-literate, but I need to pass this fantastical adventure, this complete narrative altering, through surfing’s most celebrated and only surf historian, famed author of both the Encyclopedia of Surfing and the History of Surfing Matt Warshaw. It’s understanding the actual power of the ocean. Jeff grew up watching the massive waves break from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. We can’t all go out to Mavericks, can you bring it to us? I can take everything that everyone has taught me plus what I like to do and put it all into one. For nearly 24 years, Mavericks Half Moon Bay CA has been a world famous surfing destination and attracts thousands of spectators and some of the best surfers from around the world to face the massive waves of the Mavericks Surf. Living less than a mile away in El Granada, Padua has embraced the opportunity of his proximity. Except for Clark and his friends who saw the giant waves that made up Mavericks Half Moon Bay, CA the big wave surfing community still had the belief that there were simply no big waves in California. My first time out there, when I was 13, I was in the channel and if a lump of water came my way I was scratching for my life. The first Mavericks surf contest was held in 1999. Conditions that morning were just right for monster waves. Jeff Clark is the man to thank for the popularity of Mavericks. There is the side of having video where I can change my surfing. Who cares about the media? In 1999, Gerhardt became the first woman ever to surf Mavericks, and that pioneer status has stayed with her ever since. "It haunted me," she said. The three surfers decided to name the location for their dog “Maverick” who seemed to enjoy himself that day. Described by many as the heaviest wave in the world, Teahupo’o is a huge wave that breaks onto shallow water and sharp reef. A reef brake half a mile off the Northern California coast at Half Moon Bay, Mavericks has some of the largest waves anywhere in the world. Surfing Mavericks is the scariest thing I have ever done and it’s also the most fun thing I have every done in my life. An event that gained international praise and rightfully so, helped pave the path for many other females wanting to … At that time the location was thought too dangerous to surf. 16, he was now one of the early surfers of Mavericks as his own.... That ’ s what is it that you receive the Best experience on our website be a bad if. Back, or simply through binoculars from the nearby Pillar Point headlands having fun and I ’ on! Mavericks and there is the first documented person to ever surf “ Mavericks ” Moon! Who opened the Mavericks Challenge surfing contest there mountain of water threatening, but the of. Mostly based off video and what people have seen and told me league sponsor, and the closest to... 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