It's been a while since we put out a Hi-Shred and when the opportunity came up to shoot an episode revolving around Mavericks I jumped at the chance. Not because I love to surf big waves, or feel deeply connected to the culture of big wave surfing, but because its lineups are known for holding a diverse crowd of surfers (from PhD Professors to punk kids), who share a common love for one of the heaviest cold water spots on the planet.
I've heard over the years of super interesting characters outside the limelight, who get little to no press in the surf mags, and charge Mavericks for their own unique reasons. It's such a heavy, intimidating and sketchy place that in order to become a regular in the lineup, you've got to have a powerful, magnetic draw to the place that is totally personal. When you hear about the sheer power, the freezing temperatures, the strong currents, nasty beatings and two-wave hold-downs that eventually every surfer out there has to deal with, you realize it's not a place to take lightly, and if you are choosing to surf it for the wrong reasons, you won't last.
I guess it takes a certain type of character to commit their life to such a crazy and ultimately useless endeavor. I can't imagine what it takes to huck yourself down the face of a 25-foot bomb without hesitation, but it was interesting finding a diverse cross section of people who share that common characteristic. People as different as they come who have all been hooked by the magic of Mavericks in a life changing way.
I have not been hooked -- and don't think I ever will -- but when you look into the eyes of someone who has, it's clear in an instant that it's a damn powerful thing.