Mavericks, Kevin Starke And Olympics discussed on KQED Radio Show


Debut of surfing at the Olympics this year coincided with a tropical storm hitting Tokyo. The high winds brought a big swell, highlighting the intricate link between the sport and the weather. Experienced surfers are skilled at watching for the right conditions, knowing when they can catch massive swells. And during the ongoing climate crisis, this kind of sixth sense among surfers has gotten essential. Right here in the Bay Area. Mavericks is the legendary surf break near half Moon Bay. The waves can crest taller than apartment buildings during a serious swell and as temperatures warm, the waves are changing, too. They're bigger, faster and more powerful. We're joined by a KQED science reporter Kevin Starke, who's been talking with surfers who ride this monster waves. So, Kevin, what are you hearing from big wave surfers. I started talking to maverick surfers this past winter when the break was pounded by huge swell after huge swell, and you know, some years, Mavericks never breaks at all. It's too stormy for surfing. Or maybe there isn't swells and the water is just as tranquil as a lake. When the conditions are right. You know when the wind and the swell and the weather align the towering blue giants rise above the reef in the conditions align perfectly dozens of times this year, surfers called it Mind blowing, they said. You know, this is the best maverick season ever. And it turned up the volume on

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