We knew this was going to be big. So the question then had to be, how big? And, then when is too big, big enough? Maverick's continued to pump yesterday and is set to carry on steam-rolling waves into Half Moon Bay, albeit, not as beastly as this, until the week's end. And if the long-range forecast is anything to go by, we could be seeing a crescendo to this incredible run of swell in a few days' time.
So many stories from yesterday – Twiggy air dropped into oblivion, but he's fine, of course. Peter Mel surfed an absolute monster, perhaps the biggest tow wave ever seen at Mav's. And this was only a few days after paddling into what is being called the wave of the decade, century, ever – pick your superlative. The stars aligned for MEl until he copped a wipeout that sent him packing with pieces of board to boot. (He's fine.) Oh and if you somehow haven't seen Pete's insane-o wave from Friday, go here. It is next level Maverick's.
“This place rules,” said Pete, “where else on earth does it do this? It’s such an adrenaline rush. My regular lineups were nonexistent today. I looked in and at one point the inside bowl looked like it was 1,000 yards away. Okay…maybe 500.”
Speaking to Surfline, Twiggy added: “Maverick’s has been so good to me over the years. I think I just got a little too confident today. I ended up flying out the lip on that one, and stabbed the nose at the bottom on another. I hardly ever wipeout. Not that often. But Maverick’s gave me a slap, and showed me who’s boss.”
Moroccan charger Othmane Choufani was psyching from the channel too. This hellman had made the trip over for some back-to-back Mav's action, before pulling the pin on a few bombs and wrapping out the day. “Got some bombs,” he said. “Stoked with that. And it should be good for days.”
About this swell, MSW forecaster Tony Butt said: "The low that produced the giant swell at Maverick's started off as a weak feature off Japan on Tuesday January 5. At this time, there was also a giant, complex area of low pressure filling up the northeast Pacific, with a strong westerly airstream on its southern flank. The developing low initially drifted eastwards and deepened only slowly over the first 36 hours or so.
"But when it reached about half way across the pacific on Thursday 7, it got sucked into the flow south of the ‘mother system’, and deepened explosively. It tracked east through Friday 8, generating a humungous pulse of westerly swell from the storm-force winds on its southern flank. On Saturday 9 the system veered northeast around the periphery of a large anticyclone that was stationed off the coast of California.
"Several factors contributed to this swell being so big and clean at Maverick's; The fact that the low deepened on the eastern side of the Pacific rather than on the western side, which meant that there was less circumferential spreading of the swell, hence bigger wave heights at the coast.
"The windfield on the southern flank of the low was intense but quite small in area. However, the movement of the system created a much longer ‘virtual’ windfield (dynamic fetch, which I’ve talked about a lot), which greatly enhanced the size of the swell.
"At Maverick's there is intense bathymetric focusing, which increases the local wave height and really comes into its own with long periods. At the time the swell peaked, the peak period was about 19 secs and the breaking wave height was more than twice the offshore height.
"The swell initially arrived on top of a previous dying swell from the last few days, but this practically disappeared by mid- afternoon when the main swell peaked.
"The high situated off the coast meant that any fronts or local winds associated with the storm didn’t come anywhere near, so there was no short-period local swell to interfere with the main swell and the local winds at Maverick's itself were perfect all day"
We'll drop more images and videos in here as they're processed and sent in. Stay tuned.