Big Wave Challenge 2019
1/1/19 The past few years have been all messed up as various Mavericks surfing contest organizers hassled each other and went bankrupt. Maybe in 2019 we’ll have a contest run by the World Surf League since in November 2018 a 5-year lease was granted. The surf contest window ends 3/31/19. See the links below for more information.
- Link 1: Background on 5-year lease.
- Link 2: Comment by World Surf League commission about 2019 Mavericks Challenge contest.
- Link 2: Most current contest information, when it becomes available, from the World Surf League.
In 2018 the Mavericks Big Wave contest was scheduled to be on the World Surf League’s Big Wave Tour for the first time. However, no waves showed up at right times so we had to wait until the 2019 season.
This is a one-day invitation-only event where the world’s top big-wave surfers tackle some of the biggest and most dangerous waves on earth. Some waves have been seen as high as 60 feet (a 6-story building) and their crashing impact can be recorded on the Richter scale. Read about the 50-60 foot waves on 1/19/18.
The one-day event is scheduled to be held sometime before 3/31/19 on 24-hour notice once the organizers determined exactly when the waves reached their biggest & best. The best place to keep current on the precise date once selected and is on the World Surf League website. We’ll also let you know on our hiddenSF events page when the news arrives that first heats are scheduled.
This 24-hour notice gives the contestants time to fly in from around the world to compete at Mavericks near Pillar Point Harbor in Princeton by the Sea. The location is a few miles north of Half Moon Bay and about 30 minutes south of San Francisco and 30 minutes east of San Mateo (both assuming no traffic which can get jammed, especially on weekends). See map below.
Due to safety and environmental concerns spectators are no longer able to personally observe the contest (note: I prefer live online for a close-in view anyway since the competition is 1/2 mile off shore and difficult to see even with binoculars).
During off season you can see Mavericks from the Pillar Point Bluff Trails. For the real skinny on local surfing visit Jeff Clark’s Mavericks Surf Shop on Pillar Point Harbor. Jeff Clark is the original pioneer who “discovered” Mavericks for big wave surfing as a teenager and who named it after his dog, Maverick. The waves were so scary that no one else would try it so for 15 years he had it all to himself.