Surf Ambassador Mercedes Visit to Mavericks

by Derek Dodds July 07, 2012 1 Comment

Wednesday night I took a flight from Oahu to San Francisco to surf Mavericks on Thursday and Friday. That day I surfed in Sunset, Pinballs and towed in at Backyards so I was feeling already a little bit out of body at the airport.

I flew all night and all morning on Thursday because I couldn’t get a direct flight and had to make a stop in Phoenix. When I got to  Oakland, I called a few friends that surf Mavericks and they told me that it was on.

The swell was filling in with a 19 second period and the wind was good. They both told me that it wasn’t going to be a big afternoon, but a pretty heavy one  as they waves were going to come with much power and thickness.

Suddenly all the tiredness disappeared and I got a rush of excitement and anxiety. I couldn’t wait to get to the beach. My friend Steve picked me up at the airport and we went to his place to drop my luggage and get my new surfboard.

I got an amazing FCD Mavs gun that I couldn’t wait to try for the first time. In record time we had a fast lunch, got the board ready with fins, Wave Tribe leash and new Wave Tribe organic wax and drove to Half Moon Bay.

I was so tired at that point from surfing the day before and all the flying that I decided I needed to save energy and talk the least possible. Imagine how hard that was for me!

But breathing slow and trying to focus on my next session was what made the most sense at the moment. We suited up in the parking lot and I felt the first snap of cold in my body. Funny thing was how long it takes me to get ready with the wetsuit, gloves, booties. 

We walked towards the ocean without checking the surf, as we had only one hour left before the sun would set.  The air was crisp and clean and far away we saw the first set breaking from the distance. I decided that I wanted to just paddle out and see how I felt once I was there.

I could feel I was operating on a 20% of my energy instead of that 90 or 100% that one would wish to have to surf a place like Mavericks. But as soon as I got to the lineup and  saw the most beautiful glassy, clean, bowly waves breaking, all I could think was: I want one.

It was nice to see a few of my friends and many familiar faces in the crowd, it made it all more fun and gave me a sense of safety in a way. I tried to find my spot in the lineup, and I was luck enough to get a beautiful wave that came to me. I actually dropped in on Ian, but I swear that it wasn’t on purpose.

Once I was going I was going no matter what and I never even saw him coming  after I was at the bottom of the wave. I was happy it was him because he is one of my friends and I knew he wasn’t going to get mad at me.

The drop was steep and fast and  my board felt like knife cutting warm butter. It just felt right. Everything in life felt right at that moment. It was all just perfect. I went back to the lineup to try get one more before the dark came.

Next to me was Savannah, a Santa Cruz girl that charges Mavs. Suddenly the biggest set of the day approached us and everybody started to scratch to the horizon. In the corner of my eye I saw Savannah paddling like crazy to get into the wave. I couldn’t believe she was going to do that, she seemed pretty deep and late.

She  got on her feet and dropped half way and then she ate it really bad. We were all worried for her, looking to see her pop out in one piece. She was lucky that there were no other big waves behind that one, because she would have got in serious trouble if there were.

She made it back to the lineup with a big smile. That was an inspiration to me right there. The sun was setting and I started feeling a little bit spooked about sharks. I just wanted to get back to the beach, even though the waves were really nice.

I wished I had three more hours of light to keep surfing at that point. The next day we went back to Mavs, hoping to find those waves or maybe bigger. The opposite happened: it was smaller and onshore. Not good at all. I knew it wasn’t going to be the swell of swells that I was chasing.

I just wanted to put some time in Mavericks on a manageable day. It wasn’t anything epic but for me it was still worth it to make the trip. One good wave makes it all worth it. Also being in the lineup, adjusting to the paddle in and out and the different tides, it was all good learning for me in order to start feeling more comfortable with the place in general. Mavericks is such a challenge in all senses.

The cold freezing water, the rocks, the steep take off, the fog, the sharks that surround the area, it’s all a little spooky. But the wave is so beautiful that it’s impossible to not want to surf it. Hopefully I can go back there soon and give it a try with more time. Mercedes ♥

Bonus Footage - Not Mavs but some fun tow-in with Darrick Doerner.




Derek Dodds
Derek Dodds

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1 Response

Media south beach
Media south beach

February 15, 2016

Came across your site yesterday when I was surfing, but I’m not really into the blog scene

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Wave Tribe Social Proof
Size Chart

Surfboard Leashes

You Break It We Replace It in First Year. 

Buy a leash closest to your board size—i.e. for 6'4 surfboard you need a 6' leash. 

All leashes are 7mm thick, competition leashes which are lighter/thinner 5.5 mm. 

Pioneer Day Boardbags - Fits One Surfboard

All boardbags have +2 inches. Thus a 6'6 board fit's perfectly in a 6'6 boardbag. All Pioneer bags have expandable fin gussets, so you can keep your fins on your board in the bag—or you can roll with glass-on fins.

Pioneer Sizes:

All bags have interior pockets (fins, leash and wax), bags fit industry standards. 

Our 8'6, 9'6 and 10' bags have fin slots and round noses. 

Pioneer bags also have an exterior pocket and zip all the way to the nose.

Travel Bags - Fits Two Surfboards

All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Surfboard Travel Bag Pockets Fin Wax Leash

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Travel Bags with Wheels - Fits Two Surfboards

New in 2016 is the double travel bag with wheels. Sometimes you want a smaller bag with wheels, now you can have it. All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Wave Tribe Wheelie Surfboard Travel Bags

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Boardbag Material & Hardware - All Bags

Side A of the bag is made from a strong density Rugged Eco Hemp exterior which is one tough fiber and naturally built to last with high impact padding protection with Rebound Foam Dynamics including open-to-nose technology.

Side B is the reflective (rental-car-roof-side) made from Reflective Energy Shield for "Cooler Surfboard Safeguard" protecting your surfboard from the sun's harmful rays made from an alloy-steel mesh weave.

All Sides are guarded by our Japanese Never-Rust-or-Break Nickel Platted Zippers streamline zipper trails and our trademarked Easy Flow Zip System.