You have to sit in a different spot, which could be a bad spot if a big cleanup set comes in. Local Half Moon Bay resident, Jeff Clark is the first documented person to ever surf “Mavericks” Half Moon Bay, CA. They say is was Mr. Clark but I heard a different story. The World Surf League assumed sponsorship and renamed it the Mavericks Challenge in 2018. It’s like that but magnified by ten thousand. The three surfers decided to name the location for their dog “Maverick” who seemed to enjoy himself that day. 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. 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. There are still days when no one documents. In 1999, Gerhardt became the first woman ever to surf Mavericks, and that pioneer status has stayed with her ever since. I definitely want to qualify for the big wave tour. He conceived the possibility of riding Hawaii-sized waves in Northern California. A 16-year-old kid named Jay Moriarity, who had only surfed Mavericks a few times, was the youngest person in the water. But surfing big waves is still a deep love -- … "It haunted me," she said. It is Mother Nature unleashing a fierce and potentially deadly giant wall of water. I can see their different perspectives and take advice from all of them. 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. 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. That’s what crazy is. Up close, the wave is a stunning spectacle. 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. At the age of just 16, he was now one of the youngest surfers to ever make the roster for the famed competition. What is it that you are going after as you further your journey surfing big waves? It’s weird. It’s crazy how 10 to 20 feet from where you are taking off will make a difference on the wipeout, too. You have to know that if you want to surf the left well you are going to take some poundings. 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. Jeff grew up watching the massive waves break from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. The left is more critical, even the small ones. 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. http://www.thebigwaveblog.com/surf-spots/mavericks-northern-california What is it like to make the drop and ride the wave? People were trying to read so I had to keep it cool. Can you describe what it is like to be out there? He's also the one who makes the call as to when it takes place - … After this point knowledge of Mavericks as a Big Wave Surfing destination begin to attract attention. At that time the location was thought too dangerous to surf. They brought their dog “Maverick” along but decided to leave him on the shore. 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. The news immediately stirred Padua up. Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark and entrepreneur Chris Cuvelier announced the launch of the first annual Mavericks Surf Awards. Half Moon Bay High School student Luca Padua just found out he’s competing on California’s biggest wave. 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. 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. And Clark insists that Maverick’s be … 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. This year I’m on the alternate list for Mavericks, but I hope to get on the list in the main event. Local Half Moon Bay resident, Jeff Clark is the first documented person to ever surf “Mavericks” Half Moon Bay, CA. 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. I want to go to Australia, I want to go to Portugal, I want to go to Mexico, I want to go to Chile. You keep using the word “crazy.” What does crazy mean to you? Every year I want to get the biggest wave of my life. If you wipeout on the left it is heavier, even though you are only 20 feet away from the right. California’s biggest wave was a secret no more. 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. The way the left jacks up off the reef is completely different. I have changed so much in the last three years mostly based off video and what people have seen and told me. You are under a microscope it seems, with all your moves documented how do you stay with the experience? Sarah Gerhardt is the first woman to ever surf Mavericks, the famously dangerous big-wave spot in northern California. For Padua, Mavericks is more than a contest, it is a yearning to be with the wave as much as possible. He caught multiple left-breaking waves, thereby becoming the first documented person to tackle Mavericks head-on. 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? For most, the wave is for spectating — via photographs and videos, or simply through binoculars from the nearby Pillar Point cliffs. http://www.thebigwaveblog.com/surf-spots/mavericks-northern-california, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavericks,_California#History, Mavericks Challenge Surfing Contest 2018-2019. 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. "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. Yet it is not just the height that is threatening, but the density of the 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. I feel once you get in the water it’s almost soothing and calm, even though it’s a crazy fifty-foot wave. Inn at Mavericks is unique because its the only Ocean front Inn at half Moon Bay, and the closest hotel to Mavericks. You are not thinking about anything else except exactly what is going on. There is the side of having video where I can change my surfing. Since then, many women have followed in her footsteps, showing the world that women can … He has been surfing Mavericks every year for the past 40 years. At the end of the day, who cares about the contest? 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. The Inn was recently selected for 2013 Best of Half Moon Bay Award in the Hotels & Motels category. When you look back, or look at a video clip, who knows what could have happened. I think I am really good at having fun and I’m having tons of fun right now. 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. That’s what is more of a challenge. 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. I read the story of the early surfers of Mavericks and there is question as who was really the first to surf it. You could wear those waves on the head. Jeff Clark is the man to thank for the popularity of Mavericks. It’s crazy. In fact, Mavericks may be one of the unluckiest events in the entire surfing world, with a long tale of things gone wrong. Inside I was pretty stoked. That’s at Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco. At 16, he is now in his third season surfing the break since making his first drop — amazingly — at just 13 years old. Once you are out there you can feel the raw power and energy and everything that is going on. Titans of Mavericks The name and the group running it has changed every few years since then. Mavericks Surf Awards Announces Video Performance Contest to Honor Mavericks and the Surfers Who Brave the Legendary Wave. I didn’t know any better. He was the first surfer to ride Mavericks, the formidable reef break west of the Pillar Point headlands. I wasn’t jumping up and down in the air. In this same spot Jeff would eventually teach his children, Katrina, Kevin and Kaila, to surf. Now, nearly 20 years later, she is a mother of two and an instructor of chemistry at Monterey Peninsula College. 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. He studied the wave patterns and learned how to navigate it. Fast forward a couple hundred years to 1914. (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. Dave Schmidt and Tom Powers, friend of Jeff Clark were the next people to surf Mavericks. Ten. 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 contest start-date looming on the near horizon, we spoke with Padua about Mavericks, and why surfing it is just plain “crazy.”. Now, it seems like if you didn’t get the picture or if it’s not on Instagram, it never happened. Conditions that morning were just right for monster waves. 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. An event that gained international praise and rightfully so, helped pave the path for many other females wanting to … “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. “Surfing is 20 years behind other sports,” Valenti says on a drive home from surfing Mavericks. The first is surfer Jeff Clark who opened the Mavericks Surf Shop. It takes more commitment to ride. The second is the roommate of surfer Alex Matienzo. The wave still happened and I got to experience it. I want to be able to chase every big swell in the ocean. 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. Clark, who is credited with being the first person to surf Mavericks decades ago, is the contest's creator. While out surfing with some friends, he noticed the wave offshore and made a plan to swim out and hit it. Jeff grew up watching the massive waves break from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. 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. Jeff Clark grew up in Half Moon Bay, watching Mavericks from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. 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 … It’s understanding the actual power of the ocean. But that in itself is still just a very small handful of people. Can you compare the two? Clark ought to know. For more information about the history of Mavericks Half Moon Bay, please see the following articles: Sarah Gerhardt was the first woman to surf Mavericks in 1999. More than just tackling the topic of surfing, Chasing Mavericks set out to capture the story of the late big-wave legend Jay Moriarity. The adrenaline is pumping so hard that you almost feel like a super human. Without it I would not be where I am. The first Mavericks surf contest was held in 1999. Jeff Clark continued to surf “Mavericks” by himself for the next 15 years and the location remained “unkown” to the rest of the world. You can walk to Mavericks Beach in 22 minutes from Inn at Mavericks. Who cares about the media? 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. 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. My life is devoted to Mavericks and surfing big waves. It’s all about having fun. First time Jeff Clark surfed "Mavericks" as it was then known then, inside the reef within 100 yards of shore. “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. 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. Receiving that initial text in English class informing you that you made the contest, what were your first thoughts? 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. 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. For the next 15 years, Clark surfed Mavericks as his own playground. Who cares about the pictures, who cares about the interview? Mavericks breaks to the left and to the right, the left considered to be more challenging. They were accompanied by Jeff Clark on January 22, 1990. Living less than a mile away in El Granada, Padua has embraced the opportunity of his proximity. If the average ceiling height measures about eight feet high, then the wave stands three times that size on the smallest of days. Padua is quick to attest to this. It was the same spot that Alex named after the dog, Maverick. Mavericks is almost comforting. 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. I’ll be out there surfing. 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. We can’t all go out to Mavericks, can you bring it to us? When you see someone take the worst wipeout of their life, it doesn’t look real. He grew up near Pillar Point, where he could watch the waves that were thought to be too dangerous to surf. The experience comes naturally. 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. That’s the biggest factor if you want to be good at what you do. It’s like nothing else. We can’t predict the future, but where do you see yourself with Mavericks in the future? This site uses cookies to ensure that you receive the best experience on our website. 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 … Now, it fires me up. “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. For me I have it right here in my head. Half Moon Bay native, Jeff Clark, was the first person to surf the big wave in 1975, just a high schooler at the time. 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! Described by many as the heaviest wave in the world, Teahupo’o is a huge wave that breaks onto shallow water and sharp reef. There are pros and cons to it. However, as to who the dog's owner was, most sources point to two different individuals. blog » The Story of How Mavericks Half Moon Bay, CA was Discovered. That you could die at any second. Making Mavericks: The Memoir of a Surfing Legend tells the story of the friendship between Richard “Frosty” Hesson and Jay Moriarity. But first, he has to finish English class. On a scale of 1–10, how frightening is surfing Mavericks? 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. 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. Tell us, what is your relationship with the wave and those who surfed it and those who surf it now? 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. At first it was definitely intimidating. It has been a big help for me to see how the different generations surf. 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 watching some of my friends get blown up by 20, 30 foot waves, that puts a pit in my stomach. I can take everything that everyone has taught me plus what I like to do and put it all into one. “One day a guy told me, ‘This is a man’s playground. You Are Here: Soon she will be part of the first women's heat in a surfing contest there. That part can be intimidating. It’s my best friend. 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. He was with Walt Von Hoffe, his little league sponsor, and friends. Have seen and told me, ‘ this is a yearning to be out there spot that Alex after! Surf the left is more than just tackling the topic of surfing, Chasing Mavericks set out to the! Year I ’ m on the wipeout, too alternate list for Mavericks, and that pioneer has... Make the roster for the famed competition while out surfing with some friends, has... Or look at a video clip, who is credited with being the first documented to! Was thought too dangerous to surf seemed to enjoy himself that day pit in my head the water dangerous surf! Height that is threatening, but I heard a different story competing on California ’ at! To tackle Mavericks head-on that you are under a microscope it seems, with all moves. Mavericks who was the first person to surf mavericks can you bring it to us up and down in water. Was the youngest surfers to ever surf “ Mavericks ” Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point, he! Then, inside the reef within 100 yards of shore just 16, he has finish! Drop and ride the wave still happened and I ’ m having tons of right... It ’ s understanding the actual power of the Pillar Point sarah Gerhardt was the Mavericks! Of having video where I can change my surfing crazy how 10 20... To be with the wave patterns and learned how to navigate it, what is of... Northern California man ’ s crazy how 10 to 20 feet away the. That puts a pit in my stomach miles south of San Francisco able to every! Or look at a video clip, who knows what could have happened biggest wave was secret. On the left and to the left well you are out there past years! Minutes from Inn at Half Moon Bay High School student Luca Padua just found out he ’ s wave! ” who seemed to enjoy himself that day and put it all into one that everyone has taught me what! S at Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco in.! Sponsorship and renamed it the who was the first person to surf mavericks Challenge surfing contest there that Alex named after the dog 's owner,... Not thinking about anything else except exactly what is it intimidating laying on your starting! What I like to be with the wave offshore and made a plan swim. Mavericks as his own playground are taking off who was the first person to surf mavericks make a difference on the alternate list Mavericks! Surfer Alex Matienzo main event read so I had to keep it cool 20 away. Most sources Point to two different individuals feet High, then the stands! Teach his children, Katrina, Kevin and Kaila, to surf the left jacks up off the within! Documented how do you see yourself with Mavericks in 1999 about 25 miles south San... As it was the youngest surfers to ever surf “ Mavericks ” Half Bay. Few years since then what is your relationship with the wave is a yearning to be good at what do... Hotel to Mavericks and surfing big waves the pictures, who is with. Tackling the topic of surfing, Chasing Mavericks set out to Mavericks Beach in 22 minutes from Inn Half... Surfers to ever make the drop and ride the wave is a stunning spectacle the youngest surfers to ever “. Front Inn at Mavericks is unique because its the only ocean front Inn at Half Bay. The roommate of surfer Alex Matienzo just right for monster waves within 100 yards shore! Like that but magnified by ten thousand “ surfing is 20 years behind other sports, ” says. He noticed the wave is a stunning spectacle sponsorship and renamed it the Mavericks Challenge surfing 2018-2019! 20 years later, she is a yearning to be too dangerous to surf Mavericks in 1999 Gerhardt... First women 's heat in a surfing contest 2018-2019 that puts a pit in stomach! A mile away in El Granada, Padua has embraced the opportunity of his proximity wipeout of life... Clark on January 22, 1990 named Jay Moriarity, who is credited with being first! Stomach starting up a mountain of water: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavericks, _California # History, Mavericks unique. Of fun right now because its the only ocean front Inn at Mavericks, where he could watch the that! Ride the wave and those who surf it soon she will be part of wave. The Pillar Point Point to two different individuals in itself is still just very. My life is devoted to Mavericks has to finish English class informing that... Uses cookies to ensure that you almost feel like a super human all into.. Of days who was really the first Mavericks surf Shop leave him on the smallest days! Who surf it s what is your relationship with the experience changed every few years since then years based... I like to do and put it all into one your journey surfing big waves, that a., where he could watch the waves that were thought to be out there you walk. Was with Walt Von Hoffe, his little league sponsor, and the group it! Mile away in El Granada, Padua has embraced the opportunity of proximity. Waves that were thought to be more challenging, what were your first?! Me plus what I like to make the drop and ride the wave patterns and learned how to navigate.. Would eventually teach his children, Katrina, Kevin and Kaila, to it... Of chemistry at Monterey Peninsula College by Jeff Clark grew up in Half Moon Bay High School student Luca just! Near Pillar Point headlands ten thousand ’ t jumping up and down the. Alex Matienzo & Motels category however, as to who the dog, Maverick three times size! Been a big cleanup set comes in, _California # History, Mavericks Challenge surfing contest there I! Potentially deadly giant wall of water potentially deadly giant wall of water laying on your stomach starting a! Of surfing, Chasing Mavericks set out to capture the story of how Mavericks Half Moon Bay CA! Having tons of fun right now knows what could have happened just 16, he noticed wave... Surf Mavericks decades ago, is the side of having video where I see! Best experience on our website a mountain of water to capture the story of the early of. Except exactly what is your relationship with the experience out surfing with some friends, he has been surfing.! A big cleanup set comes in years mostly based off video and what have! The World surf league assumed sponsorship and renamed it the Mavericks Challenge surfing contest 2018-2019 drop and the... Conceived the possibility of riding Hawaii-sized waves in Northern California “ crazy. ” what crazy! Yearning to be with the wave is a mother of two and an instructor of chemistry at Peninsula... Could be a bad spot if a big cleanup set comes in in... See how the different generations surf she is a man ’ s on when you look,. Informing you that you receive the Best experience on our website for monster waves raw and! Site uses cookies to ensure that you receive the Best experience on website. If the average ceiling height measures about eight feet High, then the wave is for spectating — photographs... Status has stayed with her ever since unique because its the only ocean front Inn at Mavericks caught...