Seems Thanksgiving can’t go by without a rideable, often times epic, Mavericks session. This year was no exception as Nor Cal photographer Frank Quirarte sent over some Turkey week photographic gravy. In between meals he and I took part in a little QnA. — Scott Bass

What were the buoy reading like on this morning? Was there any hype surrounding Turkey day or was this just a standard Mavs session?
The buoy readings were 13@17 nothing great. It was the conditions everyone was stoked about. It looked like it could be similar to the contest session in ’06. At one point the outside (Papa) buoy did read 20@17. What’s great is that Mavericks always breaks on Thanksgiving day or within the week. She didn’t let us down this year.

What about the oil spill issue? Any residue, oil on boards, etc?
Wasn’t really a factor. Most of the slicks have been broken down by nature and cleaned up by the contractor and volunteer crews.

Looks like Pete Mel, Evan Slater, Ross Clarke Jones, Grant Washburn, who else of note?
Jeff Clark, Grant Washburn, Greg Long, Ion Banner, Randy Cone, Sarah Gerhardt’s return to the line-up, Mike Gerhardt, Shane Desmond and Ryan Seelbach. All Mavericks contestants.

Any other craft in the water, i.e. Kite boarders, Garrett McNamara on a SUP?
Other than the Tony Hawk fishing boat… just a couple of skis and few fishing boats that stopped to take a look.

Tony Hawk was spying, what were his impressions? Any idea? Is he ready to give it a go?
They were stoked. I offered him a ride over to the peak on my ski but he declined. He wanted to stick with the family. They had their 80-year-old mother on board. In the photo you can see her holding on to the bow mast when they launched over that wave. I just got an email from Steve Hawk, he said there was a definite buzz at the Hawk T-Day dinner table!

It seems there is a lot of momentum for the Mavericks Surf Contest this year? Does that momentum translate in the water up there?
It doesn’t really effect it that much. On most utility swells like yesterday there’s no armada of boats and photographers. Just the same guys that have been out there year after year, all close friends and neighbors just having a great time. No hype.

Any dark horse standouts that you’ve seen in the water? John Whittle?
A few up an comers this year, Ben Andrews from San Francisco and a couple of Santa Cruz groms as well. There’s been a lot of visiting pros so far but If I had to choose the stand out of the season so far it’s Greg Long. He doesn’t live here but he’s committed to the spot. It’s like ten years ago when you hoped Pete or Flea would paddle out because you knew somebody was going big. That’s definitely been Greg this past couple of years.

What types of board designs in the water so far? Quads? Randy Cone’s board? Anything insight on design?
A mixture of everything. Randy Cone, Jeff Clark, Stretch, JC and Pearson

This swell looks ridiculously groomed? Do you think Mav’s is better when there is some onshore on it? Easier to get into?
It was at times. It’s a little harder because the wind coming up the face and it will hang you up in the lip and ruin your day. When it’s strong offshore like that Mavs is going to throw out so you need to get your feet set and start surfing down the face. Another problem when it’s north east like that it sends a huge chop up the face of the wave. Light offshore is the best for Mavericks. But isn’t that the case everywhere . . .

More on the way as the Western Pacific storm track has opened up of late? Is there swell anxiety up there or no?
It’s been a pretty good start and everybody is excited. The anxiety and sleepless nights will come at 30@20 on the Papa buoy!