The Mavericks event could have run Wednesday. Actually, it probably should have run on Wednesday, and a lot of people are wondering why it didn’t.
There are no blackout dates in 2016, so that’s not an excuse anymore. Maybe it has something to do with the multiple Titans crew who were out on skis all morning, shooting photos, live-streaming the session, and essentially drumming up valuable hype. After all, there’s a four-month waiting period for this event, and that’s a lot of valuable time in which to generate publicity. They’d hate to blow their entire load 10 days in.
But then again, the chances of getting another day like today this season—this big, and this clean, under blue skies and t-shirt weather—well, it’s just not going to happen.
There were some next-level waves ridden today, perhaps the heaviest of which was wrangled by local legend Ben Andrews. Ben isn’t an invitee to the Titans event, by the way, despite the fact that he pulled down an XXL nomination last year for his February 4 monster. Today’s wave was even bigger than that, and sitting beside Ben as he decided to turn and paddle into it, you realize the level of commitment this guy has. Eventually, the powers that be are going to take notice.
As has been the case all week, it was pretty crowded at the reef off Pillar Point today. More crew had flown in from Europe and Brazil, and there were a lot of guys scrapping over sets on the inside bowl. It was pretty consistently 15- to 18-foot Hawaiian (30- to 35-feet faces) in there, and a lot of good waves were ridden. But we’ve seen rides like that all week, with this recent run of swell, and it’s sort of easy to get desensitised to it all.
The real action was happening 30 meters outside, where a small crew was waiting for the occasional beast that would feather out to sea and send the inside crowd running for safety. These were dark, angry mountains of water that would mutate the bowl, and occasional wash through it.
Twiggy paddled a bomb and ended up getting compressed by the lip. Tom Lowe took yet another maniac wipeout, and Ben Wilkinson paddled a massive one with a 100-meter close-out section that left him in a pretty bad place. Lucas Chumbo was sending it too, despite flying in this morning at 4am from Maui (where he was the only guy to paddle into a wave on Wednesday at big, unruly Peahi). But Kohl Christensen might have been the man on the biggest mission. He paddled a suicide left, and attempted two rights that would have either killed him or won him an XXL award if he’d gotten into them.
You’d think the ocean would be quieting down now, after such a hell run of swells, but there’s yet another one stacked up for Saturday here at Mavs, and it looks pretty solid. Before it can get here, though, that swell will be impacting Maui on Thursday night, and the Peahi Challenge is a go for Friday. We might not be in an El Nino anymore, but it’s sure beginning to feel like we are.