Like Father Like Son

Seventeen-year-old Colin Dwyer comes of age at Maverick's. February 15, 2008

Seventeen-year-old Colin Dwyer knew he shouldn't have been out at Maverick's this past Friday. He was supposed to be in school, but a doctor's appointment got him out of class early and…well, you know how long doctor's appointments can take. Besides, he knew his dad would understand. Fifteen years ago, Steve Dwyer was one of the first guys to really put a dent in the Maverick's bowl. He was a standout on the standout days, but eventually his teaching job and family took priority over hucking himself over the ledge at his favorite big-wave spot.

Steve's bedtime stories must have been full of tall tales, because Colin clearly inherited his dad's charging tendencies. He started with competitive success in NSSA events and, over the past couple of years, has been putting in time at Mav's as much as possible. He admitted his dad got nervous when he had his first long holddown, but since then, he's given him the proud, "Go get 'em, son."

Friday was perhaps his best day yet. It was a mean, unforgiving paddle-in day at Maverick's. 15 to 20 feet with the occasional untouchable 25-footer. Dead winds, straight west and a 20-second interval that transformed every big set into concave skyscrapers with no entry points. Peter Mel tried one and got swallowed whole and tweaked his knee. Tyler {{{Fox}}} tried one and got blasted into the next county. And the rest of the guys out there took what they could get and cut their losses.

But Colin stood firm the entire session. Looking for ramps, hanging in the bowl, staying alert. His chance finally came late in the day, when he whipped it on a solid 18-footer and made it to the channel unscathed. "I was on my toes the whole time," he said, "but that one felt good. Worth an entire day of waiting."

It felt so good, he decided to postpone his weekend trip to Ventura for an NSSA contest. His dad was already entered in the Senior's divison, which meant he'd be driving down to the contest solo while his son stayed and surfed Maverick's on Saturday. "Kinda funny my dad's in the NSSA while I'm surfing out here," he said. "But he's cool with it. He knows what it's like to be obsessed with Maverick's."

Going down? La Jolla's Derek Dunfee suddenly takes the elevator shaft during the heaviest paddle-in day of the season. This one snapped his board and sent him in for the day.

Youth prevailed on this day, as 18-year-old Nick Lamb (inside) snagged the biggest wave of the day. Brian Conley got a piece of it, too.

Shane Desmond, about to feel the weight of the world on his shoulders.

The end result of most big set attempts on Feb. 15. Tyler Fox becomes a statistic.