In the Valencia Bay-farer 46, Noah Kilpack reports on a famous surfing contest.
Local Maverick Surfer
by Noah Kilpack, Age 10
The Mavericks competition is a breathtaking thing. I don’t think I would want to be in one of the Mavericks competitions, although I am very interested in sports. The Mavericks are big waves that are usually 30 feet tall and can get even bigger. The 2013 competition was in Half Moon Bay in the beginning of January and the waves are getting smaller now. In the winter the waves are biggest, so that is when the competition starts. In this amazing experience, Peter Mel won the 2013 Mavericks over Zach Wormhoudt, Greg Long, Alex Martins, Mark Healey, Shawn Dollar and many others. I looked for the others, but it looks like they didn’t take the time to place them on the internet.
I interviewed Alex Martins, who placed 4th in the Mavericks, and received amazing answers. One of the questions was what was his influence to start surfing? He replied, “Growing up at the beach in Brazil, I was around friends that started surfing so I picked it up too.” That is how our amazing surfer got to the Mavericks.
“I started surfing when I was 11 and never thought about surfing big waves. I moved to San Francisco and started surfing bigger waves at Ocean Beach. Eventually I was surfing the biggest days out here and some friends invited me to go surf Mavericks with them. The first time I surfed there I was 30 years old and I have been surfing there each year since,” he
Our surfer from San Francisco, Alex Martins, said the biggest wave he rode was 53 feet and the biggest one he has seen was 60 feet high. I can’t wrap my head around it, but they get taller.
I have always wondered how long you have to hold your breath under water. I got this answer from Alex Martins. “Every second feels like a really long time. When anyone gets held under water there even for 20 or 30 seconds, it’s like holding your breath on land for several minutes or trying to run while holding your breath.” He also said, “I’ve never counted or seeing (sic) a video with a full wipeout so I don’t know.” For my sake, I would not do that.
I’ve also wondered what the experience was for surfing the Mavericks. Alex said, “Surfing Mavericks is a big challenge, especially if you’ve never surf (sic) big waves before. That might take you years to really be able to surf the place. It is big and scary, but so rewarding when you get a wave there.”
I think the Mavericks competition is a competition for the skilled and the people that are becoming skilled. Me and you could not just walk up and surf one; although that would be cool, we would need amazing SKILL. These surfers have had years of experience, started to surf as children, and have never stopped trying. They have sucked up big blow after blow of being pushed underwater, but they come back and do it again. I would stop because of the cold. I don’t know about you, but I think you would do the same.