California has some of the best surfing you’ll find anywhere in the United States, but if you thought it was all gentle waves and paddling in the sun, think again.
The Mavericks surf break in Northern California has some seriously gnarly waves year-round — and in the winter, they can be more than 60 feet tall.
Why are the waves so big at Mavericks?
A surf break is a place where the incoming waves break in a way that makes them suitable for surfing. When a wave approaches the shore, it will begin to slow down and lose energy. As the wave approaches shallower water, its base will start to drag along the bottom of the ocean floor, causing the wave to steepen and eventually break. The point where the wave breaks is called the surf break.