Watch CBS News

Big Wave Surfers Warm Up For Mavericks Contest

PILLAR POINT (CBS SF) -- The monster surf along the coast this week would pose a danger to most, but is a magnet to elite athletes.

Surfers were doing their best to warm up for the Titans of Mavericks event which could begin any day.

On Friday, big waves drew people to the water's edge, with sneaker waves sending them running and screaming in the other direction.

"It's quite big yeah? Some of the waves were really big. It's exciting. It's fun," said Alpa Kuikel, who was visiting from Dallas.

For some, it was their first time seeing the Pacific Ocean.

But even professional surfers taking on the massive swell at Mavericks were impressed.

Mavericks surf pioneer Grant Washburn called the past two days some of the biggest and best surfing days Mavericks has ever seen.

"I've been here a long time and that was one of the bigger days in the last ten years," said Washburn. "And over 25 years, there's only a handful of days that big that are surfable.  Some of the rides were some of the better rides we've ever seen here."

Surfers said waves were topping 60 feet. But surfing here could be life threatening.

The waves are so beyond human scale surfers get lost get lost then reappear for brief moments when watched from the shore.

Washburn said riding one of these giants feels like being chased by a monster.

"It's like Godzilla stomping through the jungle. You feel really lucky just to get through there. A small mistake could be your last mistake," said Washburn.

Officials with the Titans of Mavericks contest decided this weeks waves were too rough to call the contest. But big wave riders from around the world are paying close attention in case conditions improve.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.