Surfing 40-foot Waves at the Maverick’s Big Wave Competition

Today, the world’s top surfers descend on Half Moon Bay, California, to compete in the Maverick’s Invitational big wave surf contest.

For the first time since 2010, the Maverick’s organizers have decided an incoming swell is strong enough for the competition to take place. Usually, Maverick’s notifies the 24 invitees that waves are breaking just a day before the Invitational starts; this year, however, the organizers were able to alert surfers 80 hours before the contest because of their confidence in the quality of the incoming swell. Wave faces promise to be 30-40 feet and exceptionally powerful.

The beaches will be closed to spectators for their own safety, but you can get close to the action on Instagram. Be sure to follow @surfline, @surfer_magazine, and @gopro for updates from the competition, and stay tuned to Maverick’s competitors @carlosburle, @donkeyshow, and @jamie_sterls for an athlete’s perspective. You can also visit the Maverick’s Beach location page to view photos taken by the lucky few close to the action.