Nobody’s immune to missing out on an epic day at home. Couldn’t call in sick from work. Or maybe family obligations that you just couldn’t get out of (at least for anybody with a family that doesn’t quite get it). But the ones that really sting are the days we made the wrong call based on a forecast that undersold and over delivered.
Tucker Wooding almost fell victim to the latter when he chased last week’s Pacific Ocean holiday swell and left California for Maui. Granted, everybody and their mother knew the West Coast was set to light up just a few days after Christmas but Wooding wasn’t convinced he could miss one of the best days in years back at Maverick’s. “The wind looked bad,” as he put it, so rather than scramble on another flight directly back to California, he considered staying on Maui.
“It’s something I always look at doing,” he told us of catching back-to-back flights between Hawaii and California for big swells like this one. He’d just pulled it off in late October for a swell that kicked off the season and it paid off, but considered staying put this time around. “But (I) didn’t wanna pass up on seeing a swell that size even if it didn’t pan out conditions-wise,” he added. “And I knew that the best guys out there would be trying to surf it so there would be something to film.”
It paid off once again. The forecasts for December 28th at Mavs were heavily advertised and it didn’t exactly sneak up on anybody, including Wooding. Jojo Roper made the trek from Southern California and arguably bagged the wave of the day for his efforts. Kai Lenny and Lucas Chianca did Kai Lenny and Lucas Chianca things, taking lines at XXL Maverick’s like it was a head-high day at home. Hometown charger Bianca Valenti navigated a bone-chilling two-wave hold down and didn’t back down. Andrew Cotton made the trip halfway across the world. It definitely was a helluva way to send off 2023.