Surfers ready for big day at Mavericks with XXL winter swell

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(HALF MOON BAY, Calif.) Big wave surfers are waxing down their surfboards as an XXL, long period swell is due to peak Wednesday and Thursday.

Towering waves, relatively calm morning winds, and the swell’s west-northwest direction are setting up conditions to be ideal for Mavericks, the infamous surf spot off Half Moon Bay.

“It’s hitting the buoys pretty strong. This is the first real big swell of the year. It’s going to be 20-feet, but that’s 40 to 50-foot (wave) faces,” legendary Mavericks contest winner Darryl “Flea” Virostko told KRON4 Tuesday.

“It’s the heaviest wave in the world,” Virostko said.

The annual Mavericks big wave surf contest is not happening this year. But even without a contest, professional surfers from around the world are hopping on planes to fly in and paddle out.

“All the usuals who love big waves and charge will be here, guaranteed,” Virostko said.

A tight-knit pack of Half Moon Bay locals are emerging as the rising athletes to watch for, including: Hunter Murison, Luca Padua, Peter and Thomas Lundgard, Thomas Agramonte, Michael Joshua, and Adam Bloomer.

A high surf advisory will remain in effect for Central California and Northern California beaches through Thursday.

While the waves are beautiful, they are also dangerous when observed too closely.

A video posted on social media by Santa Cruz County officials showed a water rescue victim the moment a huge wave swept over the rock formation he had been standing on and dragged him into the sea near Davenport. State parks rescue crews managed to save the man before he suffered any serious injuries.

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