Mavs Goes Mental; Contest A No-Go

By Garrett Wheeler

After a slow start to the ’09-’10 surf season, the N-Pac is now wide awake thanks to the back-to-back mega-swells that slammed Hawaii and the mainland West Coast within a two week period. The first swell arrived in California around Thanksgiving, and was a fitting precursor to what the surf world has dubbed Monster Monday.

On Monday, December 7 things got heavy on the North Shore as Waimea Bay held solid 40-footers for those brave enough to risk life and limb. Aussie legend Tom Carroll was among those to feel the wrath of the Bay, suffering a broken leg and ankle after an exploding lip detonated on top of him. Two days later, after the Eddie ran in perfect 25-foot Waimea on December 8, the swell hit California and our very own big-wave spot went absolutely mental. Here’s a glimpse of what the action looked like at Mavs on the morning of December 9:

Half Moon Bay's hell-wave gets evil on Dec. 9, 2009.

And the contest? No-sir. Contest directors gave two reasons for not giving the green light on Wednesday: the possibility of sub-par conditions and the fact that most of the world’s big wave contingent was in Hawaii having just surfed the Eddie the day prior. As far as excuses go, well, I guess I’m half-buyin’ it. As you can see by the photo above , conditions were A-quality, but the fact that Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Greg Long (who won the Eddie, by the way), and even Flea were a half an ocean away on Oahu was surely a bit of a problem. Could the surfers have boarded the red-eye Aloha Airlines flight and made it to HMB by 8am Wednesday morning? Sure. But did they want to?Probably not, as the decision to run the contest ultimately comes down to a vote by the surfers themselves.

Ocean Beach has also been going ballistic, and for those of us who don’t wax up 10 foot guns on giant swells, there were plenty of thrills up in SF. I’ll leave you with a little pic of the same day as above, at OB.

Cold, yes. But well worth a little ice-cream to nab one of these suckers.

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