Huntington Beach Surf City California Information and Travel Guide

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Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest is a Go in 2008


Last year they waited and the waves never came, at least not the monster 50 footers that only the elite list of surfers from around the globe get invited to ride. That was 2007. What a difference a year makes.

This year, the contest is on. Contest organizers haven't gotten the big ones yet, but they're getting skiddish about all the heat they took for not having an event last year. So now, organizers such as Keir Beadling of Mavericks Surf Ventures, which runs the event, is stoked that this weekend will bring some adventure, whatever it may be.

While other California beach cities might only dream of a 10-to-14 foot swell, try doubling that and you're in the ball park for what's predicted in the 2008 competition. And the stakes are high. $75,000 in prize money is sweet, but the dangers are real, and the surfers who can handle the waves can be wiped out in serious ways.

Half a mile from shore and barely visible from Pilar Point, it's a mystery who 50,000 people show up to watch. The sleep hamlet of Princeton by the Sea can handle a couple hundred people on a clear day in May. So organizers are supposed to be offering a live broadcast of the event on

While some of the contestants already signed up for an event in Oregon this weekend, all bets are off as to them turning back for Mavericks. Peter Mel, a Santa Cruz favorite, turned back with tow-in mate Ryan Augenstein and hope to arrive in time for the event.

Competition begins at approx. 8 a.m., with the finals dictated by the weather. 24 big-wave surfers are invited to compete. Invited from places such as South America, it's always a surprise to see who arrives.


When the rooms are booked in Half Moon Bay, you may have to stay in Santa Cruz, San Franciso, San Mateo, Pacifica and commute.