Kai Lenny makes his case. Frame: @wsl/@powerlinesproductions
Should The WSL Have Run Its Maverick's Event Yesterday?
Kai Lenny and Billy Kemper pontificate.
While the Pipe Masters delivered one of the finest days in competitive surfing history, Maverick’s, that sleepy old beast off California’s central coast, embraced one of the biggest swells in recent memory.
The WSL’s Big Wave Tour opted not to run the Maverick’s Challenge due to unfavorable conditions and a swell that was arguably too big. Despite this, many of the world’s best big-wavers descended upon Half Moon Bay for their bi-monthly dick measuring contest.
Kai Lenny, Billy Kemper, Grant Baker, Eli Olson, Anthony Tashnick, Willem Banks, Tom Lowe, and more were on the scene.
While many surfers opted to paddle the oversized wedge, a significant contingent chose to grab the rope and whip into the bowl on sub-six foot crafts.
Most notably it was Kai Lenny, who launch a corky punt off the feathering Maverick’s lip.
Another moment came Nic Von Rupp, the Portuguese-born charger, shared a wave with his friend Franny Porcella on the ski.
Stab asked Mr. Lenny what he thought about the swell overall, and if he thought the WSL made the right call by not running the event.
“Towing Mavericks was amazing, a completely different experience to paddling the spot. It really felt like a giant slab. In the morning it looked like the right call they didn’t run, but it pretty quickly shaped up into good paddling. I think it was fully contestable. Chunky and mean waves but easier then the Jaws Challenge.”
And did he land an air?
“I landed that one on the top but wasn’t able to ride it out.”
We also messaged Billy Kemper about the swell, to get the Jaws champion’s take.
“Unfortunately the swell wasn’t as big as we expected and also was very unorganized. Not the day we want for a contest. I didn’t see one really good wave ridden, lots of beatings!”
Quite diverging theories and what should we take from that?
Was Kai’s perception skewed by the ease with which he whipped into the slab, or has Billy become too accustomed to the beautiful Jaws bowl to accept Mav's inherent flaws?
Very many questions, but at the end of the day Mav’s is still a special beast, and we so delight in her back-breaking plunge!
Let us bask in the glory of one final image from the venerable Nate Lawrence...