Big wave surfing is unlike any other sport in the world. Any time these pro surfer’s head out into the lineup they risk their lives. However, there aren’t too many spots in the world where the waves get big enough for these pro surfer’s liking.
For some context, surfing a wave that is over 6 feet is big by any standard, but big wave surfing is a whole different animal. Consistently, big wave surfers call it “flat surf” when the wave height is under about 25 feet. On the other hand, the swell is pumping when the wave faces are over 45 feet.
Mavericks is one of the best big-wave surf spots in America. It is located in Half Moon Bay just outside of San Francisco. Mavericks is one of the most powerful – and dangerous – waves on the planet. In particular, this week, the surf swell has been pumping. So, Chuck Patterson, a pro skier and pro surfer from California decided that January 10, 2021, was his day to go try out Mavericks.
But he was ready to make the surf trip to mavericks a little bit different. He’s always wanted to ski down Mavericks massive wave faces, so he did.
Patterson grew up in Tahoe and quickly found his way into skiing. He has done big wave surfing on skis before, in particular riding a 60-foot wave in Maui. So, theoretically, he believes that surfing Mavericks on skis would be easy.
Skiing Down Mavericks: Pro Surfer Style
There are two ways to get into big waves like Mavericks. First, you can paddle into the wave, which is how the pro surfers have to catch waves on the official tour. Or, you can tow behind a jet ski into the wave while already on your board.
So, on skis, Patterson has to be towed into the wave, as paddling in while on skis would be rather difficult. But, Patterson was using special skis for his ski trip down a 40-foot Mavericks wave.
The skis that Patterson was using have typical ski bindings on them. But, the structure of the ski is wood, epoxy, and fiberglass, a little different than a typical ski.
So, on January 10, Patterson, with boots, skis, and ski poles, headed out into the lineup. Towing behind his jet ski driver, Patterson was just waiting his turn.
When his turn finally came, he dropped into the massive 40-foot right-hander. Patterson carves up the wave, sending rooster tails of water careening up behind him. Moreover, Patterson certainly makes skiing the wave look easy.
Patterson Still Wants More
Once he was back out of the water, he talked about his ride.
“It was absolutely epic. I am stoked for the last-minute road trip and the first turns of the winter season. I love to keep it spicy and to slide down liquid mountains. It was truly amazing to see Mother Nature flex its magic. At the end of the day. It’s all about doing out of the ordinary things that put a smile on your face while staying positive during these crazy times.”
Even in the cold, shark-infested waters, Patterson says that he isn’t quite happy with the size of the wave. He says that he wants another, bigger wave. But, luckily for the pro surfer, there will be plenty more opportunity for him.
This surfing feat is reminiscent of Candide Thovex’s Audi commercial, where he surfs a wave on skis. But, in comparison to Patterson’s 40-foot wave, Thovex’s wave is minuscule.
Nonetheless, Patterson is an adrenaline junky. He often does activities like snowboarding, windsurfing, kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, and speed flying. So, keep an eye out for Patterson’s next big wave skiing adventure at Mavericks, or some other big wave.
[H/T Surfer Today]