If you're tired from a long week, or depressed over the election results, here's a good excuse to hit the beach today: The opening ceremony for the Mavericks Invitational.
As most locals know, Mavericks is the famous big-wave surf competition at Half Moon Bay featuring 60- to-80-foot waves that break a half-mile out to sea.
"It's not just, 'I'm going to throw my board in and go, "you have to get there first"'," says Jessica Banks, Mavericks spokeswoman.
Fans are invited to participate in the opening ceremony this afternoon where they can join the surfers as they take part in a traditional paddle-out and prayer circle.
The contest window lasts from today until March 31, but the contest itself only lasts for 24 hours. Director Jeff Clark and his crew will be watching the waves roll in from Japan and Hawaii all winter and will determine when to call the contest.
When the decision has been made they'll put out "the call," and the contestants will stream in from all over the world. If you're looking join the competition this year, too bad. It's invitation-only.
"It's not just some guys who rent a board," says Banks. "When you have an 80-foot liquid mountain fall on you and then you get held under by another wave, you have to know what to do."
Fans can come out and cheer on their favorite surfer, however. This year, permit regulations require there be no access to Pillar Point, the beach or the bluffs, but crowds can see everything from the festival hosted at the Oceano Hotel & Harbor Village.