The goal is to be a Spectator at the Mavericks. This can be translated several ways, I’ve learned. I’m not sure if I was a spectator to the fullest, I think Jeff Clark would say no, but I have given it quite an honest and 3 day time consuming effort. I suppose I could still be a Spectator, but it’s all a little subjective.
To start, The contest itself is never a guarantee, as it all relies on Mother Nature. The window of opportunity- where the waves are at 30+ feet- ranges from November to March. This year, they opened with a Ceremony today, Friday January 6th. But the contest has yet to be called.
Second, unless you are a personal BFF of Jeff Clark, you’re likely to not know what the hell is going on either way. I asked a variety of locals what they knew, starting with the Oceano Hotel that was hosting a “Viewing Festival”. The operator, to the best of her knowledge, didn’t know what the Mavericks were. And that was an attempt of 3 different calls on my part. Another man we met on our walk out to the bluffs suggested an alternative route, which gave us great views-
But as you can see to the far left where the Maverick’s break, you can’t see anything. I did bring binoculars with me, and I don’t have a telescopic lens for my camera so none of these shots are going to be the best. We hiked back down and around to the other side where we got this view:
But, the thing about the Mavericks is that the good waves Break far beyond what we can see, and good thing too as the waves that spectators like me can see, break and then crash into some large rock formations. Initially, I was horrified and thought I understood what made these waves so dangerous to surf, but then it was explained to me that they are actually surfing much further out to sea and the only way commoners like us can see it is if we are up on the bluffs. The Bluffs where people have to scale up and then often die from falling off.
Anyway, long story short in order to view the Mavericks, you’re suppose to just find a live feed of it anywhere around the Harbor, or opt to prepay 25$ to get in to the festival and watch it on a big screen. That seems a bit risky, since you only get a few hours notice to show up and watch. What if I am in the middle of work on a Tuesday afternoon? What if it doesn’t happen at all? So, the way I see it, I went out to the Maverick’s breakpoint, saw a small sampling of surfers surfing those viewable waves, greeted and chatted with a few surfers- tho not sure if they were actually competitors- and enjoyed the overall vibe with all the other spectators. For now, I’m checking this one off the list.
However, maybe I should add “Be an extra in a major motion picture,” as I surely can be seen strutting around this beach in the new Maverick’s movie with all the film crews on hand: