Today was easily one of the most intense, dramatic, hyperbole-worthy days of surfing in recent memory—oh, and I guess there was a contest at Pipeline or something.
In all seriousness, though, you’d be forgiven for being glued to the World-Title-deciding Pipeline Masters, where Gabriel Medina clinched his second title, getting an insurmountable points lead over Julian Wilson after a semifinal victory, and then clinched the event win as well for good measure.
But while all eyes were on the North Shore, another kind of show was happening in Half Moon Bay for a much smaller audience. SURFER staff photographer Ryan “Chachi” Craig has spent the whole day in the channel at Mavericks, shooting photos and texting us tiny morsels of video that you can watch now on our Instagram stories (a full gallery of the madness from Chachi and an “Amp Sessions” highlight reel are forthcoming). And there have been more than a few interesting Insta shots popping up in our feeds from folks watching the chaos from the bluffs at Pillar Point, such as the above image from Nick Johnson of Kai Lenny hucking an air on what appears to be a liquid mountain.
We don’t know if Kai stomped this or any other XXL aerial attempts, but we do know that today offered up some of the most incredible Mavericks surf in recent memory (which had many raising eyebrows about why they called the Big Wave Tour event there off for the week) and the surfers on hand were sending it hard over the NorCal slab.
Stay tuned for our full coverage of the swell event over the next few days.