When you're seventeen, and you're going to play hooky, chances are you're going to get into some trouble. Ferris Bueller opted for a Chicago joyride over his droning history teacher, and ended up catching a Cubs fly ball on national television then led a parade through Times Square. Point is sometimes a day off can be legendary.
“I woke up and had a doctor’s appointment that morning," says Dwyer. "When I got home, I checked the cam and buoys and I called my mom and said, 'I’m not going to school today,'”
Seventeen-year-old Pacifica native, Colin Dwyer, took a page from Bueller's book by charging twenty-foot Mavericks monsters while his brethren's No. 2 pencils bubbled in Scantrons and doodled notebook nostalgia. And Dwyer's results were pretty similar to Ferris Bueller's: he's plastered on every major surf website on the planet, and he had a freakin' blast.
"I woke up and had a doctor's appointment that morning," says Dwyer. "When I got home, I checked the cam and buoys and I called my mom and said, 'I'm not going to school today,' and threw my stuff in my truck and bailed and luckily got a parking spot right away. I saw there were thirty guys out so I just put my suit on as fast as I could to get out there."
At seventeen years old, you've got to respect Dwyer's gall. No second thoughts. Mavericks is breaking, so he's on it, and his confidence led him straight to the peak of a few of the day's biggest waves.
"There were a lot of ten to fifteen wave sets, and I was definitely trying to pick and choose my waves. I let like five come through, and then I was in perfect position and started to turn around and guys were yellin 'Yeah! F*ckin go, Colin, go! And Greg Long called me into it, so I was like f*ck I have to go, and it let me in super early and I thought I was just gonna air drop down the thing and die."
He didn't. Die, that is. Instead, he solidified his place as a pioneer of a younger, brass-balled generation who isn't afraid to put their neck on the line in serious surf. And he wasn't the only teenage face in the lineup at Mavericks this past weekend. Eighteen-year-old Santa Cruz native, Nick Lamb, joined the youth brigade in toppling some of the biggest waves at one of the world's most vicious spots.
Says Dwyer, "Honestly, there's basically just me and him. I haven't seen too many kids out there, Pat Shaughnessy from Santa Cruz has come up a few times, but it's basically just me and Nick pushing it out there."
Which begs the question, considering it would take a few lifetime's worth of money and maybe the promise of playing live with AC DC in London to force me to paddle in to a Maverick's beast. Do you ever think you might die?
"No. definitely not," says Dwyer. "I feel pretty safe. I've been worked super hard out there. I got sucked over the falls on a pretty big one and I took a few out there on the head, and I didn't feel like my life was in danger."
Pretty freakin' gutsy for a high school kid. Dwyer says it runs in the family – as his dad is one of the guys who started surfing Mavericks years ago.
So what's next for Colin? Aside from maybe a lecture from his principal?
"As soon as I see the Half Moon buoy get 10 feet or more at 14 seconds, I get excited and I know exactly where I'm going."
I guess more Ferris Bueller Days Off.