From the crowd on the cliff, you would have thought the Titans event was running. Parking spots were at a premium, with cars lined up down the road waiting for people to leave. And the lineup was about as busy was it gets—way more surfers than waves. Welcome to opening day at Mavericks.
A much-hyped swell filled in late yesterday evening, and about 40 chargers were there to greet it. The local crew was in full effect, and a decent contingent of big wave pros were in town as well, including Jamie Mitchell, Damien Hobgood, Jojo Roper, and Josh Kerr.
And the swell? Well, it wasn’t exactly all it was cracked up to be. But it was still solid when the sets came, in that 25- to 30-foot range on the face, and by dark there were a couple mutants that might have been a touch bigger than that.
This morning dawned even cleaner than yesterday, with slow waits between watery beasts, and even more guys in the lineup. And girls. Bianca Valenti showed up and picked of a handful, making a case for her inclusion in the Titan’s women’s heat. And Sarah Gerhardt made an appearance as well, keeping the atmosphere light with her friendly banter.
Coco Nogales was there, having flown in from Mexico for the incredible forecast on tap, and retro aficionado/noserider extraordinaire Tyler Warren paddled out for his first go Mavs on a self-shaped 10'0. It was busy, there’s no denying that, but when Mavs wakes up from a six-month slumber on a week blessed with sunny skies and light winds, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
By noon, the rising tide had slowed down the declining swell, and most of the A-listers were gone. But a dozen of the local old-guard wasn’t willing to call it quite yet, and they were rewarded for their commitment.
Grant Washburn dominated the inside bowl while a talkative trio with a cumulative age of at least 160 entertained the lineup with their non-stop commentary. Josh Ryan and Benji Darrow sat on the outside, and Mavs decided to throw a bit of an encore. As the recent red tide painted the water a weird brownish burgundy, a handful of sets grunted through, lighting up the bowl and keeping the boys on their toes till the wind finally turned at around 3:00.
Today? We may have a baby session if you don’t mind dodging kelp. And from Sunday on we are looking at one of the best November forecasts in recent memory. It’s winter come early for the Mavericks crew. Let’s see how long this run can last.