04 January 2009

Mavericks Exhibit in Redwood City

Update 1/4/09: S and I finally checked out this exhibit before seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Both disappointed, the movie for having a plot element I've always detested (lovers get in the way of their own happiness, wasting years of their lives staying apart for reasons that shouldn't matter), and the Mavs exhibit for being so small and insubstantial. I had hoped for a bit more content, and looking out the window to imagine the drop (pic at right) just made me think about how I'd be about to die if my board was at that angle at the top of the wave. The exhibit is in a tiny room dominated by a fiberglass barrel which holds the most interesting feature, a video game in which you stand on a board to "surf" Mavericks on a screen displaying a pixelated view of Pillar Point from offshore. I wiped out a couple of times before I realized the game must have been designed by a non-surfer, since the board steered more like a snowboard than a surfboard; I needed all my weight on my front foot to turn. Then I managed to nail a ride through the rocks to the cheering finish before a gaggle of groms took over the room.
Now at the San Mateo County History Museum:

Just off the coast at Pillar Point near Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County is Maverick’s -- where 40-feet high thunderous waves draw the best big-wave surfers from all over the world. The exhibit showcases the history of Maverick's, a glossary of surfing terms, videos of surfers riding the Maverick's and some "memorable" quotes.

The highlight of the Maverick’s Exhibit will be the Waverider, a multi-sensory game interface where daring visitors can take a virtual ride …or wipe-out.

40-Foot Wave:
Step on a surf board and look out the second floor window of the exhibit to the plaza below. You are standing about 40 feet above the ground, the height of waves at Maverick's.


  1. Thanks for the writeup of the Mavericks Exhibit. Based on your description, I don't think it would be worth the drive and time for me and my family.

  2. ...and the $4/$2 admission charge. I wouldn't make a special trip just for that, but if you're in the area anyway, and have an interest in local history generally, the SMC History Museum does have a bunch of other exhibits. We'll probably go back someday when we have more time to check out the rest.