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Feb. 14, 2006
Mavericks 2006 - A Swell Time
We joke a bit about how, for a natural products company, there is a palpable lack of natural light available in our office (a converted warehouse). Well, days like last Tuesday make up for that in a big way. Vitamin D? Check, check aaand check.

I spent the day floating off the Northern California coast, watching 24 of the world's top big wave surfers drop into the bombing waves of Mavericks (25-40' faces). Our Clif Crew was down there for a third year in a row as an event sponsor, climate neutralizer and cumulatively awestruck observer of a growing contest, wherein extremely crushable humans taunt and carve some of the heaviest water in the world.

Pointillist patches of spectators lined the beaches and cliffs as we bobbed a half mile off Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay. Six hours spent watching multi-story air drops, listening to the distinctive percussion generated by exploding water, and contributing to a cacophony of cheers, gasps and whistles thick enough to choke a horse. Depending on the breed. The sun was bright and warm and the seas were relatively calm – swept steadily throughout the day by a light offshore breeze. Turkey sandwiches were made available on board the boat. I ate them.

We had a land-based team rockin’ the expo area, sampling product, selling Cool Tags and talking about all Clif Bar had done to ensure the event was certified Climate Neutral (Mavz 2006 was, proud to say, the first-ever Climate Neutral surf event in the nation!).

I was given boat duty to judge for the Clif Bar Green Room Award—a first-time award presented to the rider that spends the most time in the "green room"—referring to the green hue found only in the hollows of the illusive barrel ride. Mavz isn't a traditional barrel break so we weren't sure what we'd have to work with, but by the end of the day a couple riders had indeed pulled under the lip, thus putting them in the running. For both an award and a straight jacket.

The Clif Bar Green Room Award celebrates the sport of surfing, the willingness to go big amidst the big, and ties back to the green initiatives Clif Bar was proud to bring to the event, as it has others, for the first time. $500 went to the winner (Evan Slater) and another $500 will be donated on the winner's behalf to the Save the Waves Coalition; an organization dedicated to preserving one-of-a-kind breaks around the world.

Sea Swan, oooUUT!

For more photos, check out Paul McKenzie's pix on
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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