Above photo: Grant Washburn surfing Maverick’s, photo by Ed Grant.

Cover of La Peninsula Winter 2008 Surfing and Shipwrecks

Explore what makes Maverick’s an internationally-known surfing spot.

Mavericks exhibition at the San Mateo County History Museum

J ust 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 and an interview with a surfer who dared to ride it.

View of square in front of the San Mateo County History Museum from the Mavericks exhibit


A young boy rides the WaveRider at the Mavericks exhibit at the San Mateo County History Museum

Catch a virtual wave on the WaveRider without having to brave the chilly Pacific!

The highlight of the Maverick’s exhibit is the Waverider, a multi-sensory game interface where daring visitors can take a virtual ride …or wipe-out. Located inside the barrel of the wave, visitors stand on a surfboard and ride a virtual wave. Sensors within the board measure balance and stance, giving a live reaction on a large screen. A successful ride takes the visitor past Maverick’s infamous rocks and toward a cheering crowd on shore.

History Museum Quiz

Take our little quiz and test your knowledge on Maverick’s.


The surf spot was named after:

Correct! Wrong!

Surfer Alex Matienzo unsuccessfully attempted to surf the spot in 1961 with friends. They named it after Matienzo’s dog, a German shepherd named Maverick.

The first person to successfully surf Maverick’s.

Correct! Wrong!

Raised in Half Moon Bay, Jeff Clark first surfed Maverick’s in 1975. For 15 years, he rode Maverick’s by himself. He is in the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.

Maverick's Quiz
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