Mavericks is a popular surfing destination about a half mile from the shore in Pillar Point, which is near Half Moon Bay. Waves frequently reach 25 feet at Mavericks, but have been known to get to 80 feet, due to a strange rock formation under the water. Winter is the best time to surf Mavericks, but not too many surfers are brave enough to take on the challenge. Surf contests in the winter are by invitation only and has a varying schedule based on the weather. Mavericks was more or less named in 1961 when Alex Matienzo, Dick Knottmeyer, and Jim Thompson tried surfing in the area. They brought their German Shepherd, Maverick, with them while they surfed and the dog swam out to the surfers. Although a good swimmer, they knew the surf was too rough for Maverick, so they led him back to shore and tied the dog to the car. Knowing the dog had enjoyed his swim and experienced a great day, they named the area after the dog and it soon became well-known as Maverick's. In 1994, Mark Foo surfed with a group of other experienced surfers but unfortunately lost his life on the big waves. The wave that did him in was an 18-footer that caused him to fall forward onto his board. The Maverick's Water Patrol was formed soon after the event. Mavericks remains a popular surf destination and is legendary when it comes to big wave surfing.