Wednesday night I took a flight from Oahu to San Francisco to surf Mavericks on Thursday and Friday.
That day I surfed in Sunset, Pinballs and towed in at Backyards so I was feeling already a little bit out of body at the airport. I flew all night and all morning on Thursday because I couldn’t get a direct flight and had to make a stop in Phoenix.
When I got to Oakland I called a few friends that surf Mavericks and they told me that it was on.
The swell was filling in with a 19 second period and the wind was good. They both told me that it wasn’t going to be a big afternoon, but a pretty heavy one as they waves were going to come with much power and thickness. Suddenly all the tiredness disappeared and I got a rush of excitement and anxiety. I couldn’t wait to get to the beach.
My friend Steve picked me up at the airport and we went to his place to drop my luggage and get my new surfboard. I got an amazing FCD Mavs gun that I couldn’t wait to try for the first time. In record time we had a fast lunch, got the board ready with fins, leash strings and new wax and drove to Half Moon Bay. I was so tired at that point from surfing the day before and all the flying that I decided I needed to save energy and talk the least possible.
Imagine how hard that was for me! But breathing slow and trying to focus on my next session was what made the most sense at the moment.
We suited up in the parking lot and I felt the first snap of cold in my body. Funny thing was how long it takes me to get ready with the wetsuit, gloves, booties. We walked towards the ocean without checking the surf, as we had only one hour left before the sun would set. The air was crisp and clean and far away we saw the first set breaking from the distance.
I decided that I wanted to just paddle out and see how I felt once I was there.
I could feel I was operating on a 20% of my energy instead of that 90 or 100% that one would wish to have to surf a place like Mavericks. But as soon as I got to the lineup and saw the most beautiful glassy, clean, bowly waves breaking, all I could think was: I want one.
It was nice to see a few of my friends and many familiar faces in the crowd, it made it all more fun and gave me a sense of safety in a way.
I tried to find my spot in the lineup, and I was luck enough to get a beautiful wave that came to me. I actually dropped in on Ian, but I swear that it wasn’t on purpose. Once I was going I was going no matter what and I never even saw him coming after I was at the bottom of the wave.
I was happy it was him because he is one of my friends and I knew he wasn’t going to get mad at me. The drop was steep and fast and my board felt like knife cutting warm butter. It just felt right. Everything in life felt right at that moment. It was all just perfect. I went back to the lineup to try get one more before the dark came.
Next to me was Savannah, a Santa Cruz girl that charges Mavs. Suddenly the biggest set of the day approached us and everybody started to scratch to the horizon. In the corner of my eye I saw Savannah paddling like crazy to get into the wave. I couldn’t believe she was going to do that, she seemed pretty deep and late.
She got on her feet and dropped half way and then she ate it really bad. We were all worried for her, looking to see her pop out in one piece. She was lucky that there were no other big waves behind that one, because she would have got in serious trouble if there were. She made it back to the lineup with a big smile. That was an inspiration to me right there.
The sun was setting and I started feeling a little bit spooked about sharks. I just wanted to get back to the beach, even though the waves were really nice. I wished I had three more hours of light to keep surfing at that point.
The next day we went back to Mavs, hoping to find those waves or maybe bigger. The opposite happened: it was smaller and onshore. Not good at all.
I knew it wasn’t going to be the swell of swells that I was chasing. I just wanted to put some time in Mavericks on a manageable day. It wasn’t anything epic but for me it was still worth it to make the trip. One good wave makes it all worth it. Also being in the lineup, adjusting to the paddle in and out and the different tides, it was all good learning for me in order to start feeling more comfortable with the place in general.
Mavericks is such a challenge in all senses.
The cold freezing water, the rocks, the steep take off, the fog, the sharks that surround the area, it’s all a little spooky. But the wave is so beautiful that it’s impossible to not want to surf it. Hopefully I can go back there soon and give it a try with more time.
Wave Tribe Eco Rider Mercedes Maidana made it to Oregon to participate in the making of history. “In perfect conditions on the Oregon coast, three women became the first to surf at Nelscott Reef, during the world’s first Women’s big wave event. Keala Kennely, Mercedes Maidana, and Savannah Shaughnessy battled it out during a 1-hour heat.”
“Mercedes had a very strong finish, catching one of the nicest waves of the day during the last set of the heat. In the end, Keala’s scores were strong enough to take the win.”
“We have been wanting to do this for years. I am so stoked that you three were able to make it and take part in the first ever women’s big wave event,” said John Forse, event organizer. The women were equally as excited and grateful. They came up to Oregon to show world what they do and that they can compete in conditions like this.
“Thank you Nelscott Reef for giving us the chance to surf this amazing wave”, said Mercedes Maidana. “Thanks to all the organizers and crew for believing in us girls and for giving us this space to show the world what we love to do the most. We’ll see you next year for sure, hopefully with more women and bigger waves!”
We’re super stoked for these 3 fantastic women!
Seven of the world’s best women have been invited to compete in this years’ Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic.
“We have been pushing for this for years”, said event founder, John Forse.
“Things finally fell into place this year, as we changed the format to paddle in. We are stoked to see what these women can do out there”.
The Nelscott Reef contest is now in its sixth year and is a stop on the Big Wave World Tour.
Nelscott Reef is the first annual Big Wave Contest to add a womens event.
We’re stoked for you!!
Eco-rider Mercedes Maidana otorgó una entrevista a la ciber-revista correrolas.com en donde nos cuenta un poco de su trayectoria, sus opiniones sobre el mundo del surf, Hawaii y sus planes para el futuro.
Mercedes Maidana, una chica argentina viviendo el sueño de muchos en Hawaii, ella se está convirtiendo rápidamente en una destacada tablista de ola grande.
Su nombre hace rato está sonando en este exclusivo circulo, llegando a participar en prestigiosos eventos como el Billabong XXL. A continuación lo que conversamos con Mercedes.
CO : Cómo aprendiste a correr olas y en donde?
MM : Aprendí por casualidad. Estaba de vacaciones en Brasil y probe surfear con la tabla de un amigo. Me enamoré del surf de inmediato y desde ese día nunca pare de surfear.
CO : Que opinas de la evolución en la tablas, materiales, wetsuits, accesorios, etc..
MM : Todo va avanzando rapidamente, lo que hace que el nivel de surf crezca a pasos agigantados. Hoy en día estoy usando tablas de Fletcher Chouniard (FCD surfboards). Están fabricadas con resina epoxy lo que las hace más livianas y mas durareras. Con respecto a los wetsuits, por lo que probe por experiencia propia, puedo decir que los de Patagonia son los mejores.
Estan hechos de materiales reciclados y tienen una capa interna de lana que hace que uno genere calor con su cuerpo y no sienta frío en lo más mínimo. Hablando de accesorios, estoy contenta de ver que cada vez más companías se preocupan por el medio ambiente y la calidad de sus productos. Una de ellas es Wavetribe de California que hace leashes, fundas de tablas,deck pads, todo de materiales reciclados.
CO : Que es lo que más te gusta de correr olas?
MM : La sensación de libertad y contacto directo con la naturaleza. Me gusta mucho bajar una ola grande remando. Me da mucha satisfacción y felicidad.
CO : Qué otros deportes practicas?
MM : Practico Bikram Yoga, aunque no creo que se lo considere un deporte…
CO : Sigues algún tipo de entrenamiento y/o alimentación especial?
MM : Entreno mucho, todos los días. El entrenamiento es parte de mi vida, además de surfear. Hoy en día estoy haciendo un entrenamiento de cardio de alta intensidad de intervalos. Es el ejercicio más fuerte que he hecho hasta el día de hoy. Me prepara muy bien para tener buen estado físico para aguantar las olas grandes.
Me alimento de manera sana y balanceada. Mi dieta está basada en frutas, vegetales, cereales, pescado, pollo y poca carne roja. Es muy importante para mí comer bien para tener la mayor cantidad de energía posible para surfear. Trato de no tomar alcohol, sólo bebo en ocasiones muy especiales.
CO : Hemos visto ya algunas fotos tuyas en olas grandes, te gusta ir detrás de las grandes crecidas?
MM : Es lo que más me gusta en el mundo. Quiero convertirme en una buena surfista de olas grandes. Apenas estoy empezando y sé que tengo muchísimo para aprender, pero es lo que me apasiona y estoy feliz de poder hacerlo.
Mercedes Maidana en un olón en Puerto Escondido, Mexico – foto : Jeff Munson
CO : Has probado el tow-in? Donde fue? Con quienes?
MM : Si, ya he hecho tow in en El Buey, en Chile con Kurt. También hice en algunos outer reefs en Hawaii con Darrick Doerner. Una vez en Jaws en un día chico para Jaws…Y este año en Puerto Escondido, con Godo.
Mercedes Maidana en El Buey, Chile – foto : Tomate Peralta
CO : Crees que existe un límite en el tamaño de las olas que pueden ser surfeadas?
MM : Hoy en día con el tow in, quién sabe…
Sé que en la remada hay un límite y este año que pasó lo han demostrado en Mavericks, surfeando olas gigantes de 25 y hasta 30 pies hawaiianos. Hay un grupo de surfistas de olas grandes que ha llegado a un nivel que es de otro mundo. Creo que esos surfistas surfearían lo que sea en tow in. El mar sólo va a decidir hasta que tamaño un humano puede surfear.
CO : Que playas has podido correr, algún viaje que recuerdes especialmente?
MM : He surfeado en Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Hawaii, California, Australia, Tahiti, Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, Brasil…. Acabo de pasar dos meses en Puerto Escondido donde me enamoré del lugar, su gente, sus olas y su comida! Espero poder volver todos los años para mejorarme en los tubos, ya que me falta mucho todavía.
Mercedes Maidana disfrutando de la increibles olas de Waimea Bay, Hawaii – foto : Bidu
CO : Dónde corriste las mejores olas de tu vida?
MM: En Waimea Bay.
CO : Cual es el surfer que más admiras?
MM : Greg Long. Es el más completo, en olas grandes, tubos y también increíble en olas chicas. Uno de los más dedicados, profesionales y humilde como pocos.
MM : Me encantaría verlo ganar un décimo título. Kelly es un animal, se lo merece porque está en un nível aparte del resto de los mortales.
CO : Has estado en el Perú? Has podido correr algunas playas?
MM : Todavía no tuve la suerte de ir a Perú, pero muero de ganas de surfear Pico Alto algún día y Chicama!
MM : Hoy en día nos llegan las noticias mucho más rápido, podemos ver fotos de un buen swell en el mismo día que han sido sacadas. Principalmente, creo que el hecho de poder tener previsiones de olas por internet con sitios tan buenos, ha hecho que hoy uno pueda seguir un swell y estar en el lugar correcto en el momento justo para surfear las mejores olas del mundo en cualquier momento.
CO : Que planes tienes para el 2011, en lo personal y profesional?
MM : Espero poder seguir creciendo en mi surf de olas grandes, viajar a nuevos lugares y mejorarme en lugares como Puerto Escondido y Teahupoo. Ahora arranca la temporada en Hawaii así que espero poder surfear Waimea cada vez que quiebre y también ir a Mavericks para algunos swelles.
CO : Alguna otra cosa que quieras incluir para tus fans de CorrerOlas.com
MM : Gracias a CorrerOlas.com por darme este espacio. Sólo queria pasar el mensaje que sigan sus sueños, no importa cuán difíciles o imposibles que parezca realizarlos. La vida es una y con dedicación, disciplina y entusiasmo todo se puede lograr.
Muchas Gracias Mercedes por tu buena vibra, y no dejen chicos de seguir su Blog que es muy recomendable!! Buenas olas!!
I’ve just finished a one month trip to Teahupoo.
It was an interesting month, very different from what I was expecting.
I was hoping for sunny days, perfect glassy barrels and being surfed out of my mind—instead, I found another reality.
I found that it rains every day and sometimes it pours and floods the home you are staying at.
The wind was usually strong and the waves that came during September were mostly from a pure West angle that closes out the barrels and shows you how death in a meat grinder could look like if you don’t make the drop.
There were also a few epic days. Those were on my first week.
As soon as the WCT left the town, a 8-10 foot swell showed up for a few of the pros that stayed around. It was my first time ever in Teahupoo so I opted to paddle out just to get a feel for the waves, with no expectations of catching anything and hoping to not be caught by any big set. That day was super fun even though I couldn’t get the courage to even attempt to get a wave.
Seeing those barrels under sea level from the lineup was a great experience. It showed me how much more I need to grow in my surfing and how far I am from a good level in heavy barrels!
There were smaller days were I got my waves and had fun. I guess that you never really have fun and relax at Teahupoo. There is always some big wave that comes out of nowhere and will scare the crap out of you.
There was lots and lots of down time.
I watched dvd’s in my computer endlessly, did my workout in the outside gallery while it poured rain for days, read and meditated. I surfed Vairao once, a really fun perfect left that barrels across a shallow non forgiving reef.
Teahupoo is a beautiful place with lush green mountains everywhere, golden sunsets every day and double rainbows that look out of this world. It is a great place and the wave is the most perfect heavy slab I had seen with my eyes.
I’ve basically learned that Teahupoo is not a place I want to return to spend a long time. I’d rather just fly for a good swell in the future and try other places for travel were the waves are more consistent and I can have more fun. I guess that if I would have left on my second week I would have had just highlights and great memories.
Not that it was bad, but it was boring and lonely for a month when I got about only 8 sessions at Teahupoo and only two of them were of good waves. It makes you wonder when you surf each time with just boogieboarders in the lineup and no surfers…Only a few times two guys were catching waves on a surfboard. The West direction is just too heavy.
Walking to the waterfall
Overall, I’m happy I came here. I will use all the things I learned for my next trips and I am sure that whatever waves I surf in the next days in Hawaii are going to look wayyyy easier and more forgiving than Chopes!
It will be fun for sure!
Thanks to Patagonia, FCD surfboards,Wave Tribe and Future Fins for their support on this trip!
Back to the lineup after a fun wave!
~ WAVE TRIBE RECOGNIZED BY ESPN ~
I hope everyone had a great summer! Wave Tribe is humming long and super stoked on all the great energy we are seeing get behind the brand. We even got a call from ESPN a few weeks ago and they gave us a stellar review on our Pioneer Surfboard Bag.
“Essentially, the production of this board is better for the land, the durability causes less waste, and its biodegradable nature is good for all of us.”
Read the complete review here: ESPN Wave Tribe Review
~ NEW REPS ~
Wave Tribe is proud to welcome our new sales superstar Michelle Connelly to the team. Michelle is a surfer, mom, wife, business owner and now eco warrior rep that is REPRESENTING in San Diego.
“I am passionate about in life, having a wonderful family, helping the environment, and surfing my brains out with good friends and good waves.”
Shoot her an email to see the line at michelle (at) wavetribe.com if you own a shop and you would like to see Wave Tribe’s line. She will be servicing shops in SD and bringing the love!
~ NEW PRODUCTS ~
We continue to add new ecological business partners to our family, now available on our website are the following:
Check out our new great gear from our partners and don’t forget all that Awesome Wave Tribe product too.
~ NEW SHOPS ~
We’ve added a few shops to the eco friendly line-up. Support the cause and sign up today for some gear!
We love these shops! Sign up to sell Wave Tribe today.
~ SHOP TIPS ~
Suggested reading for all surfers and business owners, Let My People Go Surfing. If you haven’t read this, you’re missing on one of the great pioneers in ethical and eco business.
~ TEAM NEWS ~
Does this guy rip or what? We are proud to announce that San Clemente ripper Don Stefano Esposito has joined our army of eco-riders. Wave Tribe riders are not just people who love surfing and rip, but peps that cherish the intimate relationship we as surfers have with the oceans and the environment, therefor lead their lives with gratitude and respect towards them.
“Everything started when I was young. As a kid we used to attend Surfrider sponsored clean-up days in Italy, going to beaches near Rome to clean up the mess left on the sand from tourists. I realize then that we could do so much more for the environment and we can make this planet a better place. With all the environmental disasters happening these days and talk about a bad economy it feels good to do something positive and put energy toward a local beach clean-up.”
Big shout out to Wave Tribe Team Rider Mercedes Maidana for organizing a beach clean-up in Puerto Escondido. Mercedes got the local kids involved in cleaning up the their beach and they had a talk about what it means to care for the environment. Changing lives! In her own words,
“When I met the Junior Lifeguards I was surprised to see how eager they were to clean up the beach. We had a little talk before we started. I explained them how all the plastic harms the beach and the animals, and how we could start making a difference in small ways. I asked them how would they feel if their beach was so polluted that one day that they could not go to swim or surf there anymore. They shared how much the ocean is a part of their lives.”
Also, read this great story of our sales superstar Paul surfing with whales in Brazil.
“It’s so amazing to see these majestic animals from so close, especially when you are inside the water, and you only have a laminated foam block under you.”
This is what it is all about folks, if you don’t change for yourself, change for the whales!
Peace, Love, Respect.
Derek D, Wave Tribe Founder
P.S. We love this video by wave tribe eco artist SOUL MAJESTIC, it talks about making it a better world, we totally agree!
P.P.S. You are loved!
Wave Tibe Rider (versión español abajo) Mercedes Maidana twice finalist for the Billabong XXL Awards in the Women’s Overall Performance category!
Mercedes (Meti) comes from Buenos Aires, Argentina, about a 4 hour drive from the closest respectable wave. However, when she tried surfing at age 20, she realized that she was meant to be somewhere else. Ever since, she has traveled the world to test the best waves in the globe and eventually settled in the North Shore of Hawaii, looking for the best training grounds.
Once in Hawaii, she fell in love with big waves, and becoming a professional big wave rider became her dream.
Mercedes has since caught the attention of the world by surfing Sunset, Waimea, El Buey and Mavericks among others, and is presently in Puerto Escondido to further increase her repertoire.
Not only that, she belongs to the breed of surfers that feel our connection to the ocean and are aware of our responsibility to give back. That is why she fits so well with Wave Tribe and it’s values.
She will be also testing products for Patagonia this year.
This last April 23rd she was a finalist for the Billabong XXL Awards in the Women’s Overall Performance category for the second time in a row, and we know for certain this is not the last time the surfing celebrity world is hearing of her!
Meti we are extremely proud of you, keep pursuing your dream, we are stoked to be part of it!
To follow Meti’s dream chasing: http://mercedesmaidana.com/
Article by: Paul, Wave Tribe Nerd