Mavericks Surf Contest is on for tomorrow.
February 12, 2010 8:45 AM   Subscribe

The swell is forecast at 17 feet at 16 seconds, but it's on Saturday. As the end of the seasonal window for big surf at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California approaches, the Sony Ericsson and Barracuda Networks "Mavericks Surf Contest®" will be available on FLO TV, Facebook, and on the big screen at AT&T park. But Jeff Clark, the founder, has been squeezed out of the event he founded. It's all about the money. And as of a few weeks ago, the lawsuit...

Jeff Clark, the guy who discovered the location where the swell gets jacked up to 60+ foot waves as it fetches clean across the entire Pacific Ocean, and who started the contest in 1998 finally breaks his silence and files a lawsuit against the company he co-founded to promote the event.

The underlying issue is whether Mavericks is a brand or a place. "The ambition to sell Mav's to a consumer base that doesn't know surf wax from candle wax has appalled those who do."

Previously, but without the lawsuit: 1, 2, 3.

Remember Mark Foo.
posted by lothar (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by Kirk Grim at 8:50 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

I grew up surfing in So. Cal. It has ever been thus that there are people who want to make a buck out of surfing. The really good surfers entered contests, got free boards from makers, etc. My sister was actually one of those people for awhile.

Then somebody thought of a pro circuit, a la tennis or golf.

I suppose that if I'd been good enough, I'd have embraced it and tried to make money but I wasn't so I hated it.

Still do.
posted by Danf at 8:53 AM on February 12, 2010

What's with the transformer logo on the first link?
posted by mikelieman at 8:58 AM on February 12, 2010

Is there anything business can't ruin?
posted by notsnot at 9:10 AM on February 12, 2010

After watching much of the Eddie thanks to MeFi, it's pretty clear where the emphasis is for the organizers at Mavericks(TM). It took a little poking around to find a list of participants: a heat listing with names in tiny print and no photos, bios, or anything else like the personal stories that brought me into the previous event. Oh, but I can get a "Mens Recycled Hoodie" for $75!

I don't know how anyone could get interested in surfing with shit promotion like this.
posted by Madamina at 9:16 AM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

This year, I will not go see the waves.
I will not go in a car,
I will not go in a boat.
Not from the crumbling cliff,
Nor from stick or skiff.

I do not care about the purse.
It's this 3-fin circus I curse.
I will not go on a lark,
As a shark, to AT&T park,
Or even as a Clark.

No matter what you paid me, I would not go.
Fuck the soul-sucking, profit-driven corporate freakshow that squeezed dry the very heart of Mavericks and all it stands for.
Nothing rhymes with that.
The End.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:21 AM on February 12, 2010 [9 favorites]

For me, Mavericks means I need to make sure and head north and only north on 1 this Saturday. Do not go south, for that way traffic and madness lies.
posted by stevil at 9:24 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wait wait wait...hold on.

Corporations ruined something?
posted by chronkite at 9:34 AM on February 12, 2010

Come to the meetup this Saturday instead! I live in Pacifica, and will also be heading north, inland, to celebrate Modomnoc and beer this Saturday with MeFite friends.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:34 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Clark has been uber pissed about this for a while, and a lot of locals have been having, er, issues with the general tenor of how the contest has been amping up and such.

Personally, I don't care about the contest all that much (even though I worked at one around 4 years back).

What concerns me is that people like Grant Washburn have been saying this looks like a really terrible swell to hold a contest on. The NOAA data that I've been looking at does look like there's two compete swells, and conditions might not be the cleanest.

Ergo, look for a lot of wipeouts, and the safety crews working overtime.
posted by Relay at 1:57 PM on February 12, 2010

shame. i met jeff clark when i stopped in his shop one day in 1999. he's a good guy.
posted by Shike at 3:48 PM on February 12, 2010

As someone who has lived in Half Moon Bay for several years now this whole kerfluffle has been somewhat odd to watch. While hardly a backwoods town this place is still pokey in a lot of ways and there's no danger of being turned into the next Carmel by the influx of tourists come to watch a surfing event. Heck, the Mavericks contest doesn't make driving that bad, that's reserved for the HMB Air and Auto Show and the massive Pumpkin Festival. Frankly I think the attempt to commercialize it is doomed to failure because the Maverick area is really only visible from a tiny strip of land near an area that is still fundamentally a working fishing harbor.
posted by Vaska at 4:12 PM on February 12, 2010

Their server seems to be struggling. Here's a direct link to the live feed.
posted by gimli at 8:27 AM on February 13, 2010

That live feed is terrific. I read about Mavericks a million years ago (1995?) in the New Yorker. It was an exceptional, two issue article that talked about Mavericks and Jeff Clark and really, damn-near pried me out of Brooklyn to move to California to surf that break every single day, rain or shine.

I never actually dreamed I would be able to watch it. From my couch. On a 'lap-top'.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:55 PM on February 13, 2010

Surfline's recap, with pics & video.
posted by gimli at 7:26 AM on February 14, 2010

OK, that shot of Flea half way to getting totally munched was pretty damn impressive.

Actually, all of those shots were.
posted by Relay at 3:08 PM on February 14, 2010

A different perspective: shots from the bluff.

posted by Relay at 7:48 PM on February 14, 2010

For you experienced surfers, I have a question. When one of those big waves goes over the top of you, do you experience the pressure of being under that much water? Is there some sudden pressure change that is painful or problematic? I've always wondered about that.
posted by Goofyy at 9:44 AM on February 15, 2010

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