Danger, excitement, competition, strength, adrenaline, and fearlessness describe the components of the Titans of Mavericks surfing competition. Over the years, professional surfers have faced the fatal waves of the Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California. With many deaths in the past, courage and bravery must be deep-rooted in each competitor’s character, as they will be facing the same challenge as those who have fallen before them.
Knowing the dangers ahead, these professional surfers still strive for that prestigious title and complementary bragging rights. Being invited to this competition is an honor that is not taken lightly. The event can take place any time from January 1 – March 31 every year. Committee 5, the acting governing body, tracks the waves, tides, wind, swell direction, and overall weather to determine the prime time for the biggest waves. Once the time has come, the competitors receive a call and must make their way from around the world to compete for the legendary title.
During pre-season, Committee 5 selects 22 competitors and 5 alternates. There are also 2 wildcard spots that will go to the surfers or alternates who makes the biggest impression leading up to the event start date of January 1st. Whoever shows the most skill and puts in time riding the biggest waves will earn their spot in the world’s premiere surfing event. The selected surfers are announced publicly and in random order before the opening ceremony in October. The alternates are announced at separate times; one on January 2nd and the other on the day the competition call is made.
There are a few events to kick off the upcoming main event. One is the opening ceremony, which is the celebration of the athletes and the upcoming big wave season. It’s a chance for the public and surfers to gather at the beach of Mavericks and paddle out as a community. Another big event is the Titans Dinner, where the chosen titans honor the history and are treated to a night of elegance filled with speakers, special announcements, delectable food, and more. After these annual events, the wait for the call begins.
The history of the Titans of Mavericks will help depict the reason for why this competition is so prestigious. The record of the massive waves alone, grabs the attention of professional surfers and fellow thrill-seekers. These record- breaking swells cannot be conquered by just anyone. It takes someone with not only strength and skill, but also mental toughness to even undertake the oncoming swells. For years, many surfers looked onto the waves but wouldn’t dare attempt to ride them. In 1975, Jeff Clark paddled out to the elusive waves by himself, as none of his friends would venture out with him. After his one incredible ride, word got out about the waves off of this little Northern California town, and surfers from all over started showing up to see it for themselves. From that, the first Titans of Mavericks competition was held in 1999 and has lived up to the name year after year.
Part of the history that makes the event what it is today is the Committee 5, which was mentioned before. This governing body is made up of five of the most important, top big wave riders that helped create the history of the Mavericks. These five people help with all of the decision-making surrounding the competition. This includes judging the potential selectees, which is based off of more than just their surfing skills. Throughout the year, they challenge the surfers to earn their spot in and out of the water by their display in character. The C5 is also responsible for event rules and regulations, judge selection, date of the call for the event, and the overall framework.
In addition to this thrilling event is the Festival. This new annual event will be a full display of the culture and influences of Northern California and the Bay Area. Attendees will be able to enjoy food, music, art and more. Throughout the whole competition, visitors will be able to enjoy different music experiences on multiple stages, along with several viewing areas that will give fans a great view of the whole contest. In the end, only one titan will win the title.