About Mavericks (Half Moon Bay)

One of the seven natural wonders of the world, Maverick's is that rarest of things: not just a perfect wave and not just a giant wave but a perfect, giant wave. The peak lies a little less than a half-mile off of Pillar Point and is marked by a clump of Stonehenge-like boulders lining the inside (two of these boulders have even been christened: Mushroom Rock on the south end and Sail Rock on the north). Massive swells looming out of the deep approach a shelf - made up of black, ungodly reef and boulders 20-feet beneath the surface - at breakneck speeds. From there, Maverick's becomes a 20-foot version of Stockton Avenue: a perfect, jacking AAA-frame breaking both ways, the right going long and the left a short-lived explosion of hell and spitfire.

The hot spots on the Maverick's playing field are as follows:

1. Outer Bowl: On the biggest of days (20 feet at 20 seconds and beyond on the Half Moon Bay buoy), there's a takeoff spot about 100 yards out beyond Maverick's proper. Few waves have been caught here, but all of them have been memorable;

2. The Corner: This is the peak on the extreme north end of the break that, if surfers time it right and choose the right one, allows them to get into the wave and down the face. Since it's the deepest takeoff point for the rights, it's often regarded as the triple-diamond takeoff zone;

3. Lates Bowl: This is an overflow section on the south end that occasionally serves up the rogue monster. When a big set shifts wide of the Corner, it usually breaks on Lates Bowl;

4. The Cauldron: Just inside the Corner, there's a wicked set of boils to be avoided at all costs. This is the focal point for the majority of Maverick's wrath and is the spot where most two-wave hold-downs happen. Strange phenomena -- whirlpools, undertows that suck people into the abyss, etc. -- have been known to take place at the Cauldron.

Source: Mavericks (Half Moon Bay) Surf Guide

Ability Level


Beg Int Adv


Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

It exists. Do something stupid and you'll hear about it.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

It's getting crowded out there, but there are a lot of lookie-loos. Real takers are the minority.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

World class for experts or big-wave dudes. Straight scary for anyone else.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Yes and can be very strong when XXL.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty


Additional Information


Death by drowning, sharks, run over by a whale, run over by a PWC, a trip through the rocks, hypothermia, broken boards, ego deflation.


Parking in the lot, maybe, if you're lucky. Also, Wave Runners out of Pillar Point Harbor.

Bring Your

Gun, tow


You don't want to know.

Best Season


Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos