The official window for the Mavericks surf competition opens next week, November 9. On any day from then until March 31, the contest could be called with just 24 hours notice, summoning two dozen competitors from around the world who are the best big-wave surfers in the business.
The past two years have kind of sucked for the big waves, and La Nina years tend to screw up the patterns that create the swells at Mavericks, about a quarter mile off the coast at Pillar Point, near Half Moon Bay. A reef just below the surface can, around this time of year, create waves of twenty to fifty feet, and perhaps higher. Perhaps this "weak El Nino" winter we're in store for will do the trick. Of the past twelve Februaries since Mavericks began as an event, only seven have produced the super-big swells needed for the competition to be called.
Meanwhile, that movie they were shooting around here last year, originally titled 'Of Men and Mavericks,' was retitled 'Chasing Mavericks' and it's out now. It looks kind of terrible, as you can see from the trailer above. But ah, Hollywood.
The movie follows the story of Jay Moriarty (played by Jonny Weston) who started surfing Mavericks at age 16 and died in 2001 in a free-diving accident, the day before his 23rd birthday. Gerard Butler plays Frosty Hesson, Moriarty's mentor
Anyway, big waves are dangerous! You'll recall that Butler almost drowned during the filming, an accident he later used as an excuse for becoming addicted to pain pills.