Big talk from a legend.
Now, I have never met the Maverick’s pioneer Jeff Clark, personally, though I have heard things. Namely, that is grouchy. And grumpy. Grousy. Cantankerous. Crotchety. Querulous. Etc. Certainly not the sort to make superlative World Surf League-esque claims about “biggest” or “best” or “the momentum of professional surfing being real.”
And so, when the 67-year-old curmudgeon told the San Francisco Chronicle that the recent super swell event that blessed the entirety of California was the “best Maverick’s footage of all-time” it is worth consideration.
Clark, famously, paddled Maverick’s alone at the age of seventeen, friends refusing to join him, and proceeded to surf the beast alone for the next fifteen years.
Then, one morning, a teenager snuck into Clark’s van and secretly came with him to Maverick’s. After discovering him, and being cantankerous, Clark agreed to teach the young man the “foundation pillars of surfing.” These involved treading water for 40-minutes and being able to hold breath for 4-minutes underwater.
Though not thinking his charge ready, Clark was proved wrong after the kid followed him into the lineup and impressed with both fearlessness and rail control. Clark told him to keep the break secret, but his notebook accidentally fell into the wrong hands and the next time the two went for a surf it was crowded with many boats etc. While Clark was frustrated, none of the surfers could ride successfully until the kid paddled. At first he wiped out too but gave it another go, airdropped to sick bottom turn and everyone got super stoked.
In any case, here is the footage. Not that your opinion matters, since Clark already claimed it was the best of all-time, but what is it?
Also, why don’t big wave surf contests exist anymore?
Something to ponder, maybe.