Riding Waves

Sarah Wilker , Layout Editor, Journalist

Just a half a mile offshore from Pillar Point Harbor, Titans of Mavericks. The tournament, Titans of Mavericks established in 1999, has made a big change this year. Until this year, female surfers were banned from participating in the famous competition. Determined, six women fought their way in.

Known as the Mount Everest of surfing, this competition is the largest in the world. Named after the famous waves that plague the Northern California Coast, Mavericks are the fiercest and deadliest waves in the world. This is where the world’s best big-wave surfers compete every winter to prove their skill. Until now, women have never been able to compete. Among these competitors are Sarah Gerhardt, Emily Erickson, Paige Alms, Jamilah Star, Keala Kennelly and Andrea Moller.

Sarah Gerhardt is a big-wave surfer from Santa Cruz, California. She is the first woman tow-in surfer and the first female stand-up surfer to ride Mavericks. Born in 1974, Gerhardt began surfing around the age of 13 and has loved it ever since.

As a child in Hawaii, Emily Erickson fell in love with surfing after learning from her father, the famous, Rodger Erickson. After the age of seventeen Erickson stated, “Nothing hit me as hard as surfing.”