Stab Magazine | Swell Of The Season Set To Hit Hawaii, U.S. West Coast

'Vacation Presented By Monster Energy' Drops 5pm on Thurs, March 30 (PT)


Swell Of The Season Set To Hit Hawaii, U.S. West Coast

Jaws is going to be huge, Mavs might run Tuesday—buckle up, baby!

news // Jan 13, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There’s no current waiting period for Jaws, but if there was, the contest organizers would be screaming Green Alert! GREEN ALERT! 

That’s because at this very moment, a massive low-pressure system is cruising across the Pacific at the angle of West-North-West. This is the biggest swell of the winter, by far, and it’s forecast to pass Hawaii with just enough breathing room as to not disrupt the local wind patterns. Which is to say it’ll be a gargantuan and relatively clean swell at Pea’hi.

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 11.55.33 AM

Would ya just look at it!

As is tradition, big-wavers from around the globe have wrapped their ten-sixes in oversized coffins and boarded flights for the island of Maui. The swell is due to hit Saturday afternoon, peak early Sunday morning, and hold throughout the day, while the winds look relatively light (for Maui standards). On top of the talented local crew, we’re looking forward to see what Laurie Towner will do on his maiden voyage. 

While the majority of big-wave freesurfers will be scouting Jaws, the guys and gals on the WSL’s Big Wave Tour will be headed to California (while some greedy bastards might try to do both!). That’s because the Maverick’s Challenge, a recent addition to the BWT’s schedule, is on Yellow Alert for Tuesday. While Monday might offer slightly bigger surf, the local forecast is calling for a ghastly southern breeze, which is known to cut through the Mavs lineup like a serrated blade. On Tuesday the winds will return to their typical side-onshore northwest, which is a more manageable lump at California’s mega-reef.

According to the WSL and Surfline, “Latest model guidance shows increased S wind on Monday. Confidence also slowly increasing that Tuesday will offer a larger and more consistent swell. Wind doesn’t look perfect by any means, but looks manageable at this point with building NW flow 8-12kts over the afternoon (S wind possible early morning). Neither day look like slam dunks and both have risks/uncertainty, but Tuesday does look more promising at this point.”

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 1.26.50 PM

Screen Shot 2018 01 12 at 1.27.04 PM

Here’s who might be looking over the ledge and into the Mavs bowl come Tuesday:

WSL Big Wave Tour Top 10:
Grant Baker, Pedro Calado, Greg Long, Jamie Mitchell, Billy Kemper, Nic Lamb, Will Skudin, João De Macedo, Cristian Merello, Kai Lenny

Big Wave Award Performers:
Lucas Chianca, Francisco Porcella, Tom Lowe, Peter Mel

Local Mavericks Wildcards:
Travis Payne, Tyler Fox, Anthony Tashnick, Ben Andrews, Jason Stark, Pat Shaughnessy

Injury Wildcard
Makuakai Rothman

Big Wave Tour Wildcards
Three surfers to be announced upon Green Light

Performer of the Year Alternates: Nathan Florence, Alex Botelho, Jojo Roper

Local Mavericks Alternates: Ben Wilkinson, Nathan Fletcher, Ryan Seelbach, Matt Becker, Colin Dwyer, Luca Padua.

And while we’ve seen contest at the fabled Northern California slab for the better part of two decades, this year’s WSL event marks the first in which women will be surfing.

Here’s the hardened females hanging with the boys, competing in a 6-woman invitational heat to decide the champion: Paige Alms, Bianca Valenti, Keala Kennelly, Justine Dupont, Sarah Gerhardt, and Emily Erickson.

For those of you who steer clear of 40-foot walls (squad!), California should offer a number of exciting options up and down the coast. Per usual my head is spinning at all the possibilities, but if history tells us anything, I’ll probably end up checking five different spots and settling for some mediocre closeout. Maybe I’ll slip out of one or two. 

Either way this could be the biggest swell of the winter, so I’d recommend you call out of work, gas up the Tacoma, and load that bitch up with a full range of surfboards. You might score, you might not, but who can fault you for trying?*

*Wives, husbands, bosses, etc. excluded.  


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Rio Waida Has Been Surfing Onshore, Oversized Bells Alone

...and he might not go home all year.

Mar 29, 2023


John Florence Releases Long-Form Piece On The 243km Great Ocean Squiggle

Tourism Victoria going, ‘he just did our job for us’.

Mar 29, 2023


Japanese Rice Farmer Enjoys Frightening Sumatran West Bowls

Kaito Ohashi is on his best behavior.

Mar 28, 2023

Extended Cut: Luke + Eddie

"Now when you watch a regular surf meet its like grinding your teeth… when's the…

Mar 28, 2023


Diamond Tail = Diamond Hands?

We'll explain everything in the Rusty D-Min Joyride.

Mar 27, 2023

Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*

May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.

Mar 27, 2023

An Unordinary Life Structured Around A Tidal Bore

Long Read: The life and times of Pete Beachy.

Mar 26, 2023


Watch: ‘Haiku’

Scenes From a Remote Reality, by Vans & Karina Rozunko

Mar 25, 2023

Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band

What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?

Mar 25, 2023

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6

An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer

Mar 23, 2023


Caity Simmers — Extreme Competitive Surf Vlogger

Cool is chemical.

Mar 23, 2023

Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game

…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.

Mar 22, 2023

Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing

But will surf final CT event at Bells.

Mar 22, 2023


Fancy An Ale, Some Good Music, And A Bunch Of Tubes?

Ballet's minimalist full-length will satiate your needs.

Mar 22, 2023

João Chianca Spent Seven Years On The QS Without A Sponsor

And look where he is now.

Mar 22, 2023

Take Stab’s 2023 Audience Survey, Win A 3-Board Quiver

Stab towels and Premium subscriptions also up or grabs.

Mar 21, 2023

Jessi Miley Dyer On The New Challenger Series Schedule And More

Did you know that you could miss the mid-year cut and still theoretically win the…

Mar 20, 2023


Don’t Miss The Last Wave Of The First 2023 SEOTY Entry

Jacob Willcox's ‘Into Dust’ just set the bar.

Mar 20, 2023