Despite moving to Orange County a few years ago to work at Quiksilver, Pete Mel never turned into a Salt Creek groveler. One of NorCal’s all-time best, Mel returned to his home waters just in time to wax the competition at the 2013 Mavericks Invitational—one of the pinnacles of big wave surfing. And while the lulls were long enough to make spectators and competitors alike fall asleep, when the waves did come through they were picture perfect 12-15 foot peaks. Mel’s casual style and long swooping turns were enough to get past fellow finalists Zach Wormhoudt, Greg Long, Alex Martins, Mark Healey, and Shawn Dollar. And in a move that has become tradition in big wave surfing events, Pete decided to split his $50,000 pay day with his fellow finalists. Congrats Condor!