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Artikel: Mavericks Secrets


Mavericks Secrets

What else makes Mavericks different?

There is no beach
At most spots, tired or injured surfers can just surrender and let the whitewater wash them onto the sand. The “inside” at Mavericks is an array of huge, jagged rocks – negotiable if you know the gaps, but deadly if you’re exhausted or struggling.

Water Temperature
The cold Northern California water – usually somewhere between 48 and 55 degrees in the dead of winter – has single-handedly kept Mavericks from becoming an international scene. Unlikely as it may sound, only a few Hawaiian surfers have made regular trips to Mavericks since it became popular. Others have come once, maybe two or three times, and then retreated to more tropical waters.
Dan Moore, who came from Hawaii several years ago, said: “I have so much respect for the guys who surf there all the time. They’re polar bears.”

Wind & Tide Conditions
At virtually every other surf spot in the world, surfers find nirvana in stiff offshore winds, smoothing the ocean’s texture and creating gorgeous, hollow tubes. That’s not the case with Mavericks. Surfers can’t afford to get stuck at the top of a Mavericks wave, and that usually happens with strong offshore winds – surfers try to get into the wave early and they wind up taking hideous free-falls or being sucked back down with the lip. The best days at Mavericks usually mean light offshore wind from out of the east. To top it off, Mavericks breaks best on a low tide, only adding to an already rare set of conditions.

Sharks and Other Marine Wildlife
Shark stories may be a back-burner item for those who devote their lives to Mavericks, but they exist. One helicopter pilot swears he once saw a shark follow a surfer for a couple hundred yards as he was paddling in. And the often-told story of the Hawaiian surfer who found himself surfing Mavericks alone one afternoon. First he saw a seal, then a sea otter, then a hefty sea lion, then an elephant seal. A little while later, at nearly point-blank range, a gray whale came noisily to the surface. “I was out of there,” he said. “I didn’t want to know what was coming next.”

Last season, 2007 Contest Alternate Tim West stared sraight into the eyes of that very monster – the Great White Shark who taste-tested his board and left a tooth behind.

For more info on wildlife in the area click here (Åbner i nyt vindue)

Other horrors:
-The open-ocean setting (nearly a half-mile from shore)
-South-to-north current, on west swells: if you’re in trouble, trying to swim out of the peak area is almost impossible. And if you start to get washed inside, that current will take you right into the rocks
-Unusually heavy and formidable waves
-The peak. At most spots, the best surfers launch into a wave at its apex – even behind the peak, in some cases…but at Mavericks, “when it’s really big you take off a little bit on the shoulder,” says Mavericks veteran Grant Washburn, “without any guilt whatsoever. In the end, you’d prefer to live.”

Even now, with the Mavericks allure and mystique in full bloom, only a handful of people have ridden the place with a vengeance. For some, one trip is too many.

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