Luca Padua's Cold Dark Caverns - Stab Mag

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Luca Padua’s Cold Dark Caverns

‘Don’t go left on that!’

elsewhere // Apr 5, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: < 1 minute

“Maverick’s, yeah, it’s not nice,” Kelly Slater once said. 

Most would agree. Even homegrown 21-year-old Luca Padua, who first surfed the world’s biggest slab at age 13, knows it’s no playground. But the way Luca bottom turns, backdoors, stalls and accelerates inside the bowl, there’s an unmistakable aura of confidence that few have exuded at Maverick’s. 

If you think Luca’s ability came gift-wrapped from living with Laird Hamilton the last few years, any Half Moon Bay local will tell you that Luca’s gym-rat mentality came of his own accord. He earned his stripes at Maverick’s the hard way. Backdooring comes with beatdowns. 

As others have put it, Luca Padua is a Badass Motherfucker. Luca and his younger brother Dom have long had an affinity for raw, overcast and rugged days at Mav’s. Luca will snag a few bombs with Dom there documenting the whole thing. “LEFT.” is just the latest example of their dynamic duo. 

“There’s a certain spot in the bowl that I need to be to actually have the speed to make it out of the wave,” Luca says. “If you get panicked and want to get out of this thing, you’d actually be in a worse spot than if you were behind coming through with speed.

“There are other sports for speeding up, like foiling. This one I want to go slow enough to stand in the barrel.”

Watch the video above to observe Luca’s precision on Laird-approved lefts.


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