This year was the first year I was able to make it to the Mavericks Invitational to “watch” it live. While things aren’t quite the same as previous years (hence watch is in quotations) it was still a really cool event to go to. For those of you that want to capture these legendary waves on camera, you really only have one option competition day. Rent a spot on a charter boat. And from what I’ve read online, it is not cheap. We’re talking $475+ a seat! While I cannot confirm every charter service charged that much or if scheduling way in advance is any cheaper, I was a bit too broke to afford that kind of luxury this year. So I did the next best thing possible. Headed over to Half Moon Bay the day before the competition where the beach access was unrestricted. The wave forecast was about the same for the day before as it was for competition day so we weren’t going to miss much out there, and I had been informed that surfers from the competition would be out freeriding the day before in preparation. So it became a no brainer to head out.
It’s true, if you want up close and personal photos of the surfers you either need a lens in the 500-800mm range if your shooting from the beach. Or to get out on a boat where you’d still need atleast a 300mm lens while a 400mm would be a lot better. I have neither a boat or a lens in the 400-800mm range. So I did what I’ve quite often done and made do with what I have and put my trusty 300mm lens to work. Getting up close and personal wasn’t even my goal for shooting the Mavericks. I wanted to capture the Mavericks as a whole, not just the surfer. I wanted to capture just how large these waves are, how aggressive they can be and how magnificent they are as a whole. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to shoot the Mavericks as long as I would have liked so I don’t have as many photos to post as I would’ve liked to. And while there were a group of surfers out there the entire time we were there, only a couple dropped in on a wave. No worries though! There’s always next year. And who knows, maybe they’ll be up in their legendary range of 40-80ft!!