SoCal skier rides giant waves at Mavericks on custom water skis

Posted: Jan 13, 2021 / 10:16 AM PST
/ Updated: Jan 13, 2021 / 10:16 AM PST

SAN DIEGO — Daredevil surfers have been riding the giant waves for years, but a Southern California skier is breaking new ground by skiing the same big surf.

Chuck Patterson spoke to FOX 5 from Dana Point about tackling the world-famous big waves at Mavericks surf break near Half Moon Bay. Patterson said he has been skiing since he was 2 years old and got into big wave surfing when he was older. So it seemed only natural to combine his two interests.

“It’s kind of a cool thing to blend the two — a little spicy obviously,” he said. “Nowadays, being ordinary is a little too ordinary.”

Patterson uses custom water skis to ride the big waves. The skis have design elements from both snow skis and surfboards. They have standard snow ski bindings.

“I use regular ski boots, so obviously if I do fall … I can’t really click out,” he explained. “It’s like wearing cement shoes.”

The skis are about 5 feet longs and wider than normal water skis. They also have a small find on the underside to help with tracking and turning, Patterson said.

He said that skiing big waves is definitely more challenging than surfing them.

“Skiing is definitely hard to do — two separate boards versus one,” he said. “You get a lot more glide out of a regular board, obviously.”

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