In the beginning, there was the wave.
A beast of a thing off the coast of Northern California, the wave started when a storm near Alaska raged long enough and strong enough to send its energy barreling over two thousand miles of open ocean. That energy hit the continental shelf about 80 miles offshore and continued full force until it slammed into a shallow reef a mile from Half Moon Bay. From there, the underwater topography focused the energy and forced the water to stand up into a 40- or 50-foot wave.
In the 1960s, some surfers who surfed nearby named the beast after their dog, Maverick. They considered the big wave, which breaks a half mile offshore, un-rideable. That seemed to be the prevailing thought until 1975, when a 17-year-old local named Jeff Clark paddled out.
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