All photos by Ryan “Chachi” Craig

Mavericks turned on yesterday. While it may not have been as big as the all caps CERTAIN DEATH for all who enter the sea warning from the National Weather Service would lead to believe, Mavericks was heavy, consequential and in SURFER staff photographer Ryan “Chachi” Craig’s word, “Scary.” Despite the WSL calling off the Mavericks challenge for the week, the most talented big-wave surfers from the Bay Area and around the world still took to the lineup to both paddle and tow into the famed big-wave spot.

Kai Lenny continued to push boundaries in big-wave tow-in surfing with his aerial attempts, much like he did after the Jaws Challenge was called-off after being deemed “too dangerous.” Hell, if the WSL calling off a big-wave contest means an inevitable Kai Lenny tow-in exhibition, then who cares if another Big Wave Tour heat ever runs again? As you’ll see from Chachi’s photos below, yesterday wasn’t just a Lenny show but a day of charging by surfers hellbent on taming the raw Aleutian energy Mavericks threw at them.

Mavs goes long with a slabbed-out lip toss.

The WSL calling off the Mavericks Challenge this week didn’t stop invitee Peter Mel from wrangling a few monsters.

North Shore’s Nathan Florence finds himself at a fork in the road.

When even mind surfing puts a pit in your stomach.

While most are just racing down a line that will ensure a safe getaway from the maw of a giant wave, Lenny is eyeing air sections.

Jeff Clark (right) pioneered surfing at Mavericks and Lenny (left) is pioneering airs at the famed big wave spot.

Big Island’s Torrey Meister leans into a frothy one.

Portugal’s Nic Von Rupp

Mavericks flexes for its audience.

Kai Lenny draws out a power-stanced bottom turn while racing a hungry lip.

Francisco Porcella and Nic Von Rupp’s party wave.

No takers on this monster.

San Francisco charger Ryan Seelbach