Last weekend marked what was arguably the most crowded opening swell in Mavericks’ history. A venerable horde of gun-slingers, furiously scratching for the horizon as quadruple-overhead, square, hollow heavers detonated on the bowl. But as a handful boarded flights to Maui for the Pe'ahi Challenge, the lineup thinned just as conditions grew thick, thanks to a large WNW swell that gave elbow room for steeper drops and heavier wipeouts. Grant "Twiggy" Baker, one last sequence before heading to Hawaii. Photo: Chachi

Twiggy, looking behind and seeing a preview of what's ahead. Photo: Chachi

Photo: Pompermayer

Ben Andrews. Photo: Chachi

Pedro "Scooby" Boonman (Left) and Lucas Chicana, hoping to get over that ledge.
Photo: Pompermayer

Scooby and Chicana. Photo: Pompermayer

With the added hassle of jostling crowds, more surfers are looking at the Mavs left. Kohl Christensen, taking a risky detour. Photo: Chachi

Kyle Thiermann, Mavs yard sale. Photo: Chachi

Lucas Chicana. Photo: Chachi

Sometimes Mavs is a burger, and sometimes it’s an oversized Backdoor slab. Photo: Chachi

Manny Resaro, all alone and over the ledge. Photo: Chachi

Nathan Fletcher, keeping it casual. Photo: Chachi

The only serene scene at Mavericks. Photo: Chachi

Othmane "Hotman" Choufani, the underground Moroccan who's earned steady respect after his performances at Puerto and Nazaré, hunted down this Northern California piledriver. Photo: Chachi

Nic Vaughan (Deep) and Travis Payne, twinning deep on the Mavs bowl. Photo: Chachi

Manny Resano. Photo: Pompermayer

Ryan Augenstein (Deep) and Dunfee, reaping the benefits of sharing. Photo: Chachi

U.K. hellman Tom Lowe, pinwheeling. Photo: Chachi

Lucas Chicana (Deep) and Matt Becker. Photo: Chachi

Ryan Augenstein (Deep) and Mark Sponsler. Photo: Chachi

Long Island's Will Skudin hooked into of the morning’s meanest mutants. Photo: Pompermayer

Santa Cruz charger and entrepreneur Tyler Fox, waiting for the avalanche. Photo: Chachi

Skindog Collins, another notch on his belt, during one of the most eventful Mavs openers in recent memory. Photo: Pompermayer