The water is freezing. The rocks are sharp and jagged. Great whites lurk nearby. No worries: once a year, the biggest badasses in surfing congregate to tempt fate on the monster waves at Mavericks. Sometime between January 1 and March 31, the alert goes out— and within 24 hours, elite surfers have gathered on the beach north of Half Moon Bay to ride the 50-foot-tall walls of mean water. Why surf these waves? According to the original maverick, Jeff Clark, “I love the power. I love the challenge. I love the unknown.” Some of the gnarliest views of the waves are from the nearby bluffs, but that space can be muddy and crowded. Two good alternatives: Head for AT&T Park and watch the contest live on plasma TVs, or pay $250 for a charter boat to take you right into the action. Epic, brah!
BONUS: Be the first to know when the contest is green-lit; sign up for the email or text message alert here.
AT&T Park is $25 at the door. A percentage of ticket sales helps protect the natural environment at Half Moon Bay. More information.