Good morning, fellow Escapists. Six hours up the coast from Los Angeles churns the premier big wave surf break in the continental United States. Once a secret held by just a few locals, Mavericks is serious stuff: From October through March, waves can break at 10 feet, 15 feet and even higher.
Over the years, it has claimed the lives of surfing legends such as Mark Foo and Sion Milosky. “It will just add to the lore and legend of this spot,” a local surf shop owner said of Foo’s tragic death while speaking to The Times in 1994. Today, Mavericks is known around the world as a destination for experienced big wave surfers and those interested in watching the beauty and brutality of the ocean from afar.
But in nearby Half Moon Bay, it’s an entirely different story.
The coastal town in San Mateo County is home to beaches that are ideal for beginners — and plenty of surf instructors happy to teach newcomers the ropes, just a few miles from the fearsome waves of Mavericks.
Ella Catalano-Dockins, 20, is one of those instructors. A surfer since age 10, she owns and operates Blue Swell Surf School with her younger sister and mother. The school offers lessons for surfers of all skill levels, as well as surf camps and walking tours of the coastline, where guests can easily spot marine wildlife.
Continue Reading in Los Angeles Times