There was a sense of inevitability when dawn broke on the much anticipated Mavericks Invitational presented by GoPro. Half Moon Bay was buzzing with activity, but down on the docks salty locals exchanged grim looks as word of the conditions filtered back from the lineup a mile away. The tide was high, the reports said. It’s inconsistent, they warned. It’s still not that big, they complained.
In a big-wave event of this caliber, we’ve come to expect certain things, namely terrifying waves and surfers pushing themselves to their limits and beyond to meet the challenge. It was clear this morning that the day would not embody that ideal, but the call had been made—police were cordoning off streets, helicopters were circling overhead, 24 big-wave surfers had dropped everything to be there, and thousands of fans were descending upon the small town. The hype juggernaut had built up enough inertia to plough through anything, even a tepid ocean. The show would go on regardless of the conditions.