When the numbers for Maverick's blip off the radar into the lofty realms of XXL conditions, you can bet that every big wave surfer feels a complex mix of nervous excitement. Careers can be made and bones may be broken, egos shattered at this most hallowed of turfs, confetti thrown at the feet of those who pitch into something that shatters our collective comprehension of what is possible. Because this wave is an icon. So much magnitude. So able to immortalise surfing's greatest moments with the snap of a shutter.
Yesterday, there'd been much hype around a roaring north Pacific pulse that was due to shoot straight into the States' west coast. The kind of numbers that thin the blood, make you breath deep.
And while the more mainstream surfing world glued eyes to Pipeline, a cast of hellmen snuck out at double XL Maverick's, the focal point of this swell's trajectory. Think the likes of Kai Lenny, who casually whipped into a few nukes, only to soar into the air with casual flair. Nic Von Rupp, too, who we know is permanently on it.
Moroccan Othmane Choufani made an appearance, Lucas Chumbo, Natxo Gonzalez, Tom Lowe, Nathan Florence, Koa Rothman, Billy Kemper, 16-year-old Luca Padua. The list goes on and on and on. If you were a mere mortal, taking a slice of the Maverick's pie was going to be no joke.
We'll let MSW forecaster Tony Butt break this one down: "The massive swell that hit Maverick's yesterday originated from a low pressure that formed off northern Japan last Wednesday. It intensified as it tracked from east to west across the north Pacific, maintaining an area of storm-force westerly winds on its southern flank.
"The persistence of those winds over several days and the trajectory of the system resulted in a classic case of ‘dynamic’ or ‘captured’ fetch, whereby the windfield follows the swell it is producing, continually pumping energy into the sea surface.
"Local conditions were originally forecast to be poor, with frontal systems reaching the coast at the same time as the swell. However, things turned out much better, as a ridge of high pressure pushed up from the southwest, giving light winds for most of the California coast."
A mix of paddle and two ensued and capturing all you see throughout from the safety of the channel is photographer, Manu Miguelez. Enjoy. Oh, and there's more to come. Keep it right here for updates.