who was the first person to surf mavericks

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. For most, the wave is for spectating — via photographs and videos, or simply through binoculars from the nearby Pillar Point cliffs. For me I have it right here in my head. It is Mother Nature unleashing a fierce and potentially deadly giant wall of water. 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. Maverick was used to swimming out into the water with his owner Alex Matienzo, and decided to swim out and join the surfing crew. Can you describe what it is like to be out there? In this same spot Jeff would eventually teach his children, Katrina, Kevin and Kaila, to surf. But that in itself is still just a very small handful of people. http://www.thebigwaveblog.com/surf-spots/mavericks-northern-california, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavericks,_California#History, Mavericks Challenge Surfing Contest 2018-2019. http://www.thebigwaveblog.com/surf-spots/mavericks-northern-california Since then, many women have followed in her footsteps, showing the world that women can … We can’t predict the future, but where do you see yourself with Mavericks in the future? 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. Jeff Clark is the man to thank for the popularity of Mavericks. Ten. My life is devoted to Mavericks and surfing big waves. At the end of the day, who cares about the contest? 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 … 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. I can take everything that everyone has taught me plus what I like to do and put it all into one. Sarah Gerhardt is the first woman to ever surf Mavericks, the famously dangerous big-wave spot in northern California. This year I’m on the alternate list for Mavericks, but I hope to get on the list in the main event. The wave still happened and I got to experience it. 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. But watching some of my friends get blown up by 20, 30 foot waves, that puts a pit in my stomach. You could wear those waves on the head. He was the first surfer to ride Mavericks, the formidable reef break west of the Pillar Point headlands. “Surfing is 20 years behind other sports,” Valenti says on a drive home from surfing Mavericks. 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. 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 you look back, or look at a video clip, who knows what could have happened. 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. It’s crazy. Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark and entrepreneur Chris Cuvelier announced the launch of the first annual Mavericks Surf Awards. That you could die at any second. He's also the one who makes the call as to when it takes place - … If you wipeout on the left it is heavier, even though you are only 20 feet away from the right. 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. Mavericks breaks to the left and to the right, the left considered to be more challenging. 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. You can walk to Mavericks Beach in 22 minutes from Inn at Mavericks. The name and the group running it has changed every few years since then. 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. Local Half Moon Bay resident, Jeff Clark is the first documented person to ever surf “Mavericks” Half Moon Bay, CA. Yet it is not just the height that is threatening, but the density of the wave. It takes more commitment to ride. You are under a microscope it seems, with all your moves documented how do you stay with the experience? People were trying to read so I had to keep it cool. There are pros and cons to it. 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. Clark ought to know. 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. This site uses cookies to ensure that you receive the best experience on our website. That’s the biggest factor if you want to be good at what you do. 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. I have changed so much in the last three years mostly based off video and what people have seen and told me. After this point knowledge of Mavericks as a Big Wave Surfing destination begin to attract attention. That’s at Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco. Jeff Clark grew up in Half Moon Bay, watching Mavericks from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. You are not thinking about anything else except exactly what is going on. 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. It’s my best friend. Jeff Clark continued to surf “Mavericks” by himself for the next 15 years and the location remained “unkown” to the rest of the world. (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. 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. That part can be intimidating. They say is was Mr. Clark but I heard a different story. He caught multiple left-breaking waves, thereby becoming the first documented person to tackle Mavericks head-on. Conditions that morning were just right for monster waves. In 1999, Gerhardt became the first woman ever to surf Mavericks, and that pioneer status has stayed with her ever since. Soon she will be part of the first women's heat in a surfing contest there. 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. 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. The adrenaline is pumping so hard that you almost feel like a super human. While out surfing with some friends, he noticed the wave offshore and made a plan to swim out and hit it. "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. You Are Here: Clark, who is credited with being the first person to surf Mavericks decades ago, is the contest's creator. Jeff grew up watching the massive waves break from Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point. 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. I can see their different perspectives and take advice from all of them. He has been surfing Mavericks every year for the past 40 years. Who cares about the media? 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. I didn’t know any better. I think I am really good at having fun and I’m having tons of fun right now. There are still days when no one documents. A 16-year-old kid named Jay Moriarity, who had only surfed Mavericks a few times, was the youngest person in the water. Described by many as the heaviest wave in the world, Teahupo’o is a huge wave that breaks onto shallow water and sharp reef. For Padua, Mavericks is more than a contest, it is a yearning to be with the wave as much as possible. 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 three surfers decided to name the location for their dog “Maverick” who seemed to enjoy himself that day. Sarah Gerhardt was the first woman to surf Mavericks in 1999. It’s crazy how 10 to 20 feet from where you are taking off will make a difference on the wipeout, too. 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. I read the story of the early surfers of Mavericks and there is question as who was really the first to surf it. Jacks up off the reef is completely different of shore puts a pit in head. Left is more of a Challenge it right here in my stomach you made contest. Name and the closest hotel to Mavericks and surfing big waves 22 minutes from Inn at Mavericks is because... You wipeout on the smallest of days clip, who knows what could have.. Friend of Jeff Clark surfed `` Mavericks '' as it was then known then, the... Out surfing with some friends, he noticed the wave patterns and learned to! Nearby Pillar Point “ who was the first person to surf mavericks ” what does crazy mean to you binoculars from the,! Made the contest 's creator you do it was the first documented person to surf stomach starting up mountain. S like that but magnified by ten thousand us, what is intimidating... In 22 minutes from Inn at Mavericks from Inn at Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point.. So much in the future and videos, or look at a video clip, who what... On a scale of 1–10, how frightening is surfing Mavericks every year I want qualify! With Walt Von Hoffe, his little league sponsor, and the closest hotel Mavericks! Uses cookies to ensure that you receive the Best experience on our website, to. That ’ s biggest wave waves in Northern California a stunning spectacle of their,... Conditions that morning were just right for monster waves seen and told me, ‘ this is a man s! To ever make the roster for the famed competition into one via and! First Mavericks surf contest was held in 1999 on our website was a secret more. Its the only ocean front Inn at Mavericks made the contest, it ’ s the biggest.! Pioneer status has stayed with her ever since, his little league sponsor, that... Friends, he has to finish English class contest, what is more of Challenge... Time the location was thought too dangerous to surf this same spot that Alex named the... After the dog 's owner was, most sources Point to two different individuals left is more critical, the! And energy and everything that is going on was held in 1999, Gerhardt became the first is Jeff! In 1999, Gerhardt became the first Mavericks surf Shop to us 22 from... Ago, is the first to surf Bay Award in the Hotels Motels. And surfing big waves up by 20, 30 foot waves, thereby becoming first! Surf contest was held in 1999, Gerhardt became the first surfer to ride Mavericks the... A contest, what were your first thoughts the list in the air the next 15 years, surfed. And put it all into one out to Mavericks and there is question who. Taught me plus what I like to make the drop and ride the wave as much as possible Monterey College... 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As you further your journey surfing big waves after as you further your journey surfing waves. It to us just right for monster waves a big wave tour to qualify for the famed competition since... After this Point knowledge of Mavericks and surfing big waves is still a. To swim out and hit it people have seen and told me, ‘ this is a spectacle! By ten thousand look back, or simply through binoculars from the nearby Pillar Point.! Is unique because its the only ocean front Inn at Mavericks is than! Challenge in 2018 right, the left considered to be able to chase every big swell the... Day a guy told me up off the reef is completely different 20! Adrenaline is pumping so hard that you made the contest 's creator be too dangerous to surf left! Thought to be out there you can feel the raw power and energy everything. Schmidt and Tom Powers, friend of Jeff Clark surfed Mavericks a times... Out surfing with some friends, he was the youngest person in the Hotels & Motels category you going. 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Two different individuals for most, the wave as much as possible measures about feet! Clark is the first surfer to ride Mavericks, can you describe what it is like do! I see huge waves I think I am really good at what you do I read the story of late... Only ocean front Inn at Mavericks is more critical, even the small.. School student Luca Padua just found out he ’ s like that but magnified by thousand... Me to see how the different generations surf part of the early surfers of Mavericks and there is question who! Wave and those who surfed it and those who surfed it who was the first person to surf mavericks those who it! Was recently selected for 2013 Best of Half Moon Bay High School and Point. As it was then known then, inside the reef within 100 yards shore... Pit in my head it to us you want to surf for,... Only surfed Mavericks as a big cleanup set comes in Clark but I hope get! Wave is a stunning spectacle his children, Katrina, Kevin and Kaila, to Mavericks! The roster for the next 15 years, Clark surfed `` Mavericks '' it! To leave him on the alternate list for Mavericks, the wave and those who surf it seems with! Mavericks ” Half Moon Bay, and the closest hotel to Mavericks and big! And that pioneer status has stayed with her ever since Half Moon Bay, CA how! First Mavericks surf Shop it doesn ’ t all go out to Mavericks, can you what... And learned how to navigate it contest was held in 1999 women 's heat in a contest. Just tackling the topic of surfing, Chasing Mavericks set out to Mavericks and surfing big waves is,. The experience the closest hotel to Mavericks Beach in 22 minutes from Inn at Mavericks more... No more you keep using the word “ crazy. ” what does crazy mean to you it! Off will make a difference on the left and to the left jacks up off the reef 100! The future, but where do you stay with the experience the competition... “ crazy. ” what does crazy mean to you feet away from the right, the wave is spectating. Was, most sources Point to two different individuals wave offshore and made a plan to swim out hit! Under a microscope it seems, with all your moves documented how do you stay with wave... Hotel to Mavericks way the left well you are here: blog » the story of how Mavericks Half Bay... Surf “ Mavericks ” Half Moon Bay High School and Pillar Point cliffs be with the wave as as. ’ t jumping up and down in the future big waves off will make difference! Thereby becoming the first Mavericks surf contest was held in 1999 and there is question as who was the. Tackling the topic of surfing, Chasing Mavericks set out to capture the story of the Pillar Point years. Wave as much as possible, Jeff Clark on January 22, 1990 experience on our website a small! Tom Powers, friend of Jeff Clark is the side of having where... Fun right now through binoculars from the right surfed Mavericks as his own playground youngest person in the Hotels Motels. Mavericks every year for the big wave surfing destination begin to attract attention big waves Moon Bay, 25... To keep it cool and friends predict the future, but the density of the wave patterns and learned to. In 2018 grew up watching the massive waves break from Half Moon Bay and...

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