Standing in Awe of Big Waves in Princeton-By-the-Sea, California
Just south of San Francisco on Highway 1, Princeton-By-The-Sea is a quiet little village most of the year. But in the winter, it becomes the home of the Mavericks Surf Competition. The Mavericks is a legendary big-wave break, considered one of the most dangerous in the world. After winter storms in the northern Pacific Ocean, waves routinely crest at over 25 feet and top out at over 50 feet. The amplitude reaches such critical levels that scientific models, which describe wave dynamics, often become invalid. It is here that surfers from all over the world descend to do battle with nature. Only 24 elite surfers are invited to participate in the competition itself. Come to feel the rush of world-class surfing and be awestruck by the force of nature. Or once the winter storms subside and the spectacle ends, come and listen to gentle lapping waves and the cries of seagulls.