Mavericks Challenge Surf Contest 2018-2019 Season - the Window Is Open!

There are few events in the surfing world as exciting as the annual Mavericks Challenge California Surf Contest. This one-day, invitation-only surfing competition is held at the legendary Mavericks surf break just minutes away from Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., 20 minutes south of San Francisco. What makes the Mavericks Challenge so special? Winter storms in the Pacific Ocean can sometimes drive waves that rise as high as 60 feet. These conditions draw the best surfers from around the world to test their skills on some the biggest and most dangerous waves to be found anywhere on earth.

Something else that makes the Mavericks Challenge truly unique is that neither contestants nor fans have a lot of advance notice for when the competition will take place. Since ocean conditions and big waves are unpredictable, when big storms move in, no one knows for sure what day the waves will reach their peak size. Some years the waves don’t get to their legendary size at all.

The 2018-2019 Mavericks Challenge window is November 1 – March 15

That means the next competition can be held any time between those dates. When conditions look “just right,” contest organizers will, on the spur of the moment, call a select group of invited entrants to let them know the Mavericks Challenge is on. Surfers have just 48 hours to make it to Mavericks. Surfing fans, who want to be there in person, have only 48 hours to get to Half Moon Bay as well.

Where is the best place to watch the Mavericks Challenge?

Here at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, we feel that the absolute best place to watch the competition is in our dining room or bar, where you can watch live streams of the action, while sipping on your favorite brew. And, Visit Half Moon Bay, our city’s official tourism website, agrees.

According to the website: “For most people, the easiest way to catch the contest is on a screen near you. The shoreline and bluff tops that overlook Mavericks are closed to the public on the day of the contest both for the safety of visitors and the protection of delicate habitat. Still, standing on the beach was never the best way to watch - the break is too far from shore to be seen clearly. Many local restaurants and pubs serve as gathering spots where guests can watch live streams of the action.”

A little Mavericks Challenge history

In 1990, a local Half Moon Bay surfer named Jeff Clark led two Santa Cruz surfers into a monster swell and the rides of their lives. Almost instantly, the word got out that California had a big wave that rivaled Waimea, but was colder and gnarlier than anything anyone had seen before. Soon, surfers from all over the world started showing up, along with photographers, helicopters and the crowds to watch.

The first surf competition, originally named the Titans of Mavericks, was held in 1999. In 2017, The World Surf League purchased the rights to the contest, changed the name to the Mavericks Challenge, and added it to its 2017/2018 Big Wave Tour. In 2017-2018, women were invited to compete for the first time, but, unfortunately, the contest wasn’t held because the big waves never came. For this season’s (2018-2019) contest, equal prize money will be awarded to men and women. First-place prize money will be around $25,000 for both men and women.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is an award winning, ocean front brewery and restaurant, a favorite for locals, and a destination for world travelers to come together to celebrate beer, friends and fun.

Mavericks Event Center is situated on an oceanfront bluff in Half Moon Bay, the perfect waterfront space for your wedding, business meeting or event. Conveniently located to San Francisco and the South Bay, Peninsula area.

Inn at Mavericks is nestled on a small bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay. Six spacious, luxuriously appointed ocean view suites.