Mavericks Opening Paddle Out Kicks Off Contest - NBC Bay Area

Mavericks Opening Paddle Out Kicks Off Contest



    A circle of surfboards marked the beginning of a famous surfing contest. (Published Friday, Oct. 25, 2013)

    Top big wave surfers gathered north of Half Moon Bay Friday for the opening ceremonies in the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational presented by GoPro.

    Around 100 people attended the ceremony at Maverick's Beach near Pillar Point Harbor in San Mateo County.

    MORE: Mavericks Opening Ceremony Held Friday

    The opening ceremony, which was open to the public, takes place on the beach and was followed by a paddle-out and prayer circle in the water.

    "The opening ceremony is our annual 'gathering of the tribe' -- a chance to get together before the season opens," contest director Jeff Clark said.

    "It's a more relaxed atmosphere than contest day and gives the fans, surfers and local kids a chance to meet the competitors and join them for the ceremonial paddle-out," Clark said.

    An international roster of 24 surfers are signed up for the annual competition, which can take place anytime between Nov. 1 and March 31, 2014.

    Surfers are given as little as 24 hours notice of when conditions are right for the competition to begin.

    Mavericks is a surfing break around a half-mile off the coast near Pillar Point Harbor known for producing huge waves. Event information can be found at