Expectations are cruel. They create standards and standards are impediments of pleasure. When last weekend’s swell locked lips with the California coast, it was burdened with expectations — especially those put forth by the Maverick’s Invitational. The swell must be bombing. It must be dangerous and the 24 surfers must put their lives on the line. This was the standard. After all, we spectators wanted to see a lion, not a kitten, show up at the Coliseum.
But we saw both. We saw kitten lulls that left the competitors with nothing to do but scratch their heads and toss around conversational yarn. And then we saw lions. We saw Mark Healey get barreled and we saw a medley of closeouts packed. The event proceeded with this dichotomy of stop and go, but in the end it was neither a kitten nor a lion that stole the show. Rather, it was a Condor. Praised by all as one of the best Maverick’s surfers there is, Peter Mel was delighted to finally live up to his expectations. — Brendan Buckley
Photos by Frank Quirarte