I caught this shot on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. The surfer was waiting for a safe lull in the waves in order to climb down into the swells. Last week was the Titans of Mavericks Surf Contest, a once a year event where 25 big wave surfers are invited to Half Moon Bay (north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1) to compete. A Santa Cruz native, Nic Lamb, won the $120,000 purse this year.
The Mavericks were named after a German shepherd who swam the quarter mile to these waves from shore to be with his surfer master. They were also made a household by Apple and their operating system. These extra large waves only became popular with surfers in the 1990’s. Prior to that, few believed that big waves actually existed in California. Some California surfers said the discovery of the Mavericks was like being a mountain climber and suddenly finding that Everest, much to your surprise, was in your backyard.
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