Mavericks…who are they?
A passion to your favorite sport is always stronger than any fear. Surfing is not an exception. First you learn to stand up on your board just in a white water. Learn to turn it to the left, turn it to the right, to ride it. Then you go to line up and learn to catch real waves. And when you got it – that new feeling will never let you go anymore. The feeling when you finally feel yourself a part of the wave and a Lord of your board. You will desire more and more, more surf days and bigger waves. Some of surfers don’t want to stop on just medium height ordinary waves and go really big, they go for real risk searching for huge waves, 6-8 m height waves that look like a building or a little mountain. There are some places in the world where best surfers can ride such waves, and one of them is called Mavericks. You must have heard this name many times before because it became common nowadays and people can call any big waves in the world mavericks. But originally it is a location in Northern California near the town of Half Moon Bay, where the first Maverick surfer grew up. His name is Jeff Clark. He was watching these big waves all his childhood during the high season. And you can imagine how hard he must be wanted to catch one of such, to surf it. And he tried once at the age of 17 in 1975, when he became the first who could tackle Mavericks. The story of the name is also interesting. In March 1967 three surfers Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson, and Dick Knottmeyer surfed that place called also Pilar Point. And they had a dog with them called Maverick. Dog was everyone’s favorite pet who got used to swim and have fun while surfers enjoyed their riding. But that day Alex decided to tie up a dog, finding the waves big and the conditions dangerous. Surfers tried to reach those frightful waves but there was no way for it, the swell was so huge. And since then everyone started call that place with the name of the dog who was the part of the team that day watching such giant waves breaking in front. So what does exactly make these waves so big there? It is simply explained with the geology of that place and the underwater shape of the ground. California is the seismologically dangerous region. Geologists found out that there were serious earthquakes in the region of Pilar Point about 4000, 3000 and 500 years ago. It caused a big snap that goes right through the Mavericks’ formation point and influenced a lot the whole relief of the region. In winter time when there are big storms in the Pacific ocean it causes wind, bad weather sometimes and our Mavericks. So this time the wave can routinely crest at over 8 m and top out up to 25 m. These waves are monsters! Only few surfers in the world are able to ride mavericks, and every time they risk. Even pro surfers with great experience confess that you can never control it there completely. The conditions are so difficult that each little mistake can cost you a life. You can fall into so called the Cauldron, which is the trap with shoals where waves won’t let you come out rising one by another. Many young surfers, good surfers come to Pillar point to find their luck and become famous with Maverick. But most of them appear to be not good enough for that spot. The maverick wave is cold, hard, horrible and unpredictable. You have to know these waves, to watch and learn them for years. Only your courage is not enough for Mavericks, you have to be ready and taught by a local surfer, have to be prepared special way for it. But still there are annual contests every winter where you can participate only with a special invitation. Of course the show is thrilling and really breathe taking! Apart from Mavericks there are some other world known places for big wave surfers such as Hawaiian Pipeline and Jaws, Teahupoo at Tahiti, Shipsterns Bluff in Australia. All of these waves are legendary, the same as surfers that can ride these difficult spots. It is real extreme and these brave people are must be ready to anything. But as we said at the beginning – the love to such kind of sports will always win the fear. And once you try – you can never stop. Remember about it before start surfing, you can become addicted one day;)