Carla Brennan's Blog

Reflections and Photos from The Big Trip and Beyond . .

Big Waves in Santa Cruz



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.

(Please do not use or reproduce these photographs without permission.)


Sea lions like big waves too.



2 thoughts on “Big Waves in Santa Cruz

  1. Carla, These pictures ROCK!!! Personally, I cannot imagine willingly putting myself out there in them!

    Today we’re getting together with Lynda Leonard and her man Stephan of 2 years (we like him!). We’ll hike in the Galisteo Basin and then come back here to eat and play Hearts. My idea of a good day!

    How about a phone call some time soon???

    Love and hugs,


    Jane Perry MA, PCC

  2. Wow! Great photos!

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