~Mavericks Maiden Voyage

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments

This mission was up to Mavericks.  I’ve been up there a number of times and looked at it, but have never had the chance to surf it for one reason or another… too crowded, too windy, not enough swell, but last week the stars finally aligned for my opening day out there.  I was fortunate enough to have been put in contact with Grant Washburn, one of THE guys, who agreed to take me under his wing and show me the ropes.

I pulled up to the lot mid-afternoon on Wednesday, as he had instructed.  The forecasts were all calling for the swell to arrive that evening, peak through the night, with “the day” being Thursday morning.  The lot was relatively empty, only a handful of cars which seemed to be of the non-surfer type.  As I hop out of my truck, Grant, this 6’8′, 250lb beast of a man approaches with an excited demeanor but with hushed delivery tells me “I think we’re out there!  Ocean beach just doubled in size, buoys are 12ft @ 16sec.  The swell is here baby!”  Without checking it, we quickly suit up and make the hike out to the jump-off rock.  No one is around and things look relatively quiet out where I am assuming the wave is supposed to break.  “O well, we’re here early.  Grant can show me the lineups, there’ll be some good conversation and maybe we’ll get a wave or two just before sunset.”  We make the jump, thread our way out through the rock garden and begin the long paddle out.  As we’re about three quarters of the way out, all of the sudden we see corduroys stack to the horizon and right before our eyes, this four wave, 18ft, oil glass set marches through the bowl.  Our cadence of paddle doubles and Grant yells “That’s real deal!”  We make it out the back and within minutes another stack comes through.  Grant, with zero hesitation, turns for the first and goes.  (I found out later that the first ridden wave of the season is a big deal, so I am glad I didn’t disrupt.)  We spent the next three hours trading all-time Mavericks with, by the end of our session, less than half a dozen guys.  I could not have asked for a better intro, although this is not where the story ends…

As the session came to a close, I started to get cold and the calf cramps began setting in.  No good.  At this point, its time for a wave in, so I irrationally turn for the first wave of the next set, a bad move on my part.  I make the drop and get to the mid section of the wave that tends to be a little bumpy and frothy.  Before I know it, the whitewash mows me over and I go down.  The wrists of my wetsuit get blasted up to my elbows, the ankles up to my knees, and I almost lose my left bootie.  After a violent couple somersaults , I come up to see the rest of the set detonating and stacking to the horizon.  Great.  I took four whitewash steamrollers on the head, each one with a little more punch than the last.  Finally, the set subsides, luckily with everything ending fine.  Thankfully I didn’t get pushed into the rocks, but it was definitely a nice little “Don’t take me lightly” spank by miss Mavericks herself.  I am hooked… what a wave.


Nic Vaughan – Mavericks 9-24-2014 Video: Dayla Soul from Nic Vaughan on Vimeo.

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