Big pictures of big waves
There are other totally legitimate -- and utterly frightening -- big-wave destinations in the world besides those on Oahu's famed North Shore, although few non-surfers know a lot about them.
"Inside Maverick's: Portrait of a Monster Wave"
Photography by Doug Acton
Edited by Bruce Jenkins and Grant Washburn
(160 pages, hardcover, $35)
But one break is gaining more notoriety with each massive swell generated by Aleutian storms every year: Maverick's in California. Perhaps this is because it is in Half Moon Bay, not far from San Francisco. Perhaps it's because Maverick's is full-blown spooky for more than its mountainous waves -- with ice-cold water, plenty of sharks and monolithic boulders protruding the surface in its inside section. Then there's the fact that Maverick's has already proven itself lethal, with its first victim, of all people, being Hawaii big-wave legend Mark Foo in 1994.
These reasons, and more, are blown up to coffee-table-book-sized proportions in "Inside Maverick's: Portrait of a Monster Wave."
With photography by former Surfing magazine senior photographer Doug Acton, and words from noted surf writer Bruce Jenkins and Maverick's surfer Grant Washburn, the book includes well over 100 color photographs and first-hand accounts from the surfers who somehow center their lives by challenging Maverick's waves.
No, Maverick's isn't Hawaii, but that's exactly the point. There are other freakish waves of nature, and for those who prefer the vicarious experience, or just need some time to catch their breath after too many hold-downs after wipeouts, this might be just the tome.