Last month, professional surfers ran in the New Year by battling some of the largest waves locals can remember. Casual and intense surf fans alike were stunned with the footage coming out of Northern California, showcasing the jaw dropping power our backyard ocean holds. Half Moon Bay, around an hour and a half drive from Bellarmine, was the epicenter of this swell that attracted both fans and professional surfers from around the globe.

Massive waves only occur when the correct conditions come together perfectly. When storms materialize, thousands of miles away, the violent wind they carry is transferred into a swell. If the storm is strong, long, and has lots of open water to travel across, then one can see the raw power mother nature can unleash upon our world. The waves early this year were the accumulation of these conditions all moving perfectly across the deep water off Half Moon Bay. The result was waves 40 feet high, blocking the horizon line, crashing against the water and detonating in a fury of white water. Big names in the surfing community paddled out to try to catch a wave of a lifetime. Big wave surfers Kai Lenny, Manny Resano, local Santa Cruz surf shop owner Peter Mel, and many more all braved the numerous and terrifying dangers to pursue their passion. Peter Mel caught what some are calling the largest wave ever surfed at Mavericks. Going right, Mel went down the roughly 35 foot face and pulled in to get barreled by the dark and cold water. Getting barreled is a rarity at Mavericks, even in smaller and less dangerous days. For a true barreling wave to happen on a day so heavy points out the incredible reward to this incredible risk.

Those who paddled out put a life’s work into catching a wave that large. While the waves may be an accumulation of perfect conditions, the rides the surfers had was the accumulation of years of hard work and incredible bravery. With hard work paying off and nature showcasing its pure power, Mavericks displayed the show of a lifetime.

Article written by

Will Prentice