Surfers arrive in Half Moon Bay for Mavericks

Surfers have been arriving with their boards in Half Moon Bay ahead of Friday's Titans of Mavericks surf competition.

Twenty four surfers were invited to compete, and they're flying in from all over the world.

The one-day invitation-only event starts at 7:30 a.m. a half-mile off Pillar Point Harbor and only if surf conditions are good. Organizers held the event in 2014 and 2013, but called it off last year and in 2011 and 2012.

Ken Collins of Santa Cruz spoke with KTVU about the contest saying, "It's such an adrenaline rush. It's an all day Iron Man adrenaline rush. You're surfing heat, getting waves, getting beat up. And taking a break and then going back again." 

He said everything is coming together tomorrow. They are expecting it to be one of the best contests they've ever had with 40 to 50 foot waves. 

There was an epic day during the Super Bowl, but the contest did not get the green light that day. Collins said although it was a letdown, it was nice because the surfers could get a day like that under their belts. 

He calls Mavericks one of the scariest places on Earth. "It's the pinnacle of big wave surfing. It's one of the biggest, gnarliest waves in the world."

Collins explains Mavericks gets such big waves because of the topography. Really deep ocean water is coming into a shallow reef, which magnifies the swell. Collins says the $30,000 prize is secondary. He has his eyes on the trophy. 

If you're planning to take in some of the action, organizers say there are plenty of places to watch the event. 

There is no festival or viewing site in person this year for the contest, but people can watch it live via webcast on the event's website at or at several restaurants and businesses from Santa Cruz to San Francisco. We'll also be streaming coverage from Sky Fox here on

Fans can watch the event at six places in Half Moon Bay and Princeton-by-the-sea including the Mavericks Surf Shop; Half Moon Bay Brewing Company; Flavor; Old Princeton Landing: Public House and Grill; Miramar Beach Restaurant; and Cameron's Inn, Pub and Restaurant, according to organizers.

In Santa Cruz, fans can watch the competition at Pleasure Pizza East Side Eatery, Berdels, New Bohemia Brewery Co. and Pono Hawaiian Grill.

In Pacifica, fans can watch the surfers at La Playa Taqueria and in San Francisco, fans can catch it at Pete's Tavern and the Wipeout Bar and Grill, according to the event's website.