PRESS RELEASE. From the San Mateo County Harbor District Agenda for the June 16th, 2021 meeting.
Complete Agenda2021_06_16_Final Agenda
SUBJECT: SMCHD Tenant Highlight
Topic: Mavericks Surf Company: Economic and Social Impact on Pillar Point Harbor
Recommendation: For information only.
Background: After reading a social media post about Jeff Clark presenting a custom made surfboard replica as a trophy at the Women’s U.S. Golf Open at the Olympic Cub, staff believed the District should highlight all the good work Jeff Clark, and Mavericks Surf Shop does for the Coastside and San Mateo County Harbor District.
Jeff and Cassandra Clark, owners of Mavericks Surf Shop, and tenants of the San Mateo County Harbor District. They have been and continue to be heavily invested in water safety and were key organizers of the world-famous Mavericks Surf Contest. A detailed summary of the work, outreach, and initiatives conducted by The Mavericks Surf Shop is attached. The Surf Shop and its mission reflect well upon Jeff and Cassandra Clark, as well as the District as a tenant of the District.
In 2011, the owners of Mavericks Surf Company – Jeff and Cassandra Clark – partnered with community members to take back the big wave surf contest at Mavericks. These were the most successful years of the event, ensuring that we utilized local resources (contractors, vendors, employees, photographers, water rescue, boat charters), supported local charities (Boys & Girls Club, Coastside Hope), and created the Mavericks Festival to provide a location for the thousands of fans and media to “attend” an event that takes place ½ mile off shore.
The success of these events ensured that every obligation, including bills, were met and that our community was highlighted in the best possible way. In the 2011‐12 season, the organizers initiated plans for a women’s division for the competition, thanks to founder Jeff Clark, with an equal prize for the competitors. While focus on this issue has led the public to believe that female competitors were not allowed, the reality is that this was already in the works. Mother Nature always rules, and while there were a couple of years that the event did not take place, the Festival and media attention endured.
Our ongoing social media outreach and media relations still bring attention and visitors to the area to witness the beauty and ferocity of Mavericks, even with no annual contest. As a result, local restaurants and businesses of every scope have benefited from these efforts, with an economic impact of more than $24 million in San Mateo County (according to a University of Hawaii study).
Throughout this time, Mavericks Surf Company has served as the epicenter for news, information and pure stoke about this amazing natural phenomenon. And while the contest in its old form is gone, Jeff and business partner, Chris Cuvalier, have created the Mavericks Surf Awards, reigniting keen interest and excitement in big wave surfing at Mavericks. What Jeff Clark founded and continues to foster in Mavericks and the shops, has launched the careers for many surfers, photographers and filmmakers, boat captains, rescue operators, and has brought millions of people to feel that Mavericks adrenaline rush – and has put Half Moon Bay and Pillar Point Harbor on the worldwide map as a not‐to‐miss destination.
Movies, Television and Media
We have been involved in hundreds of media projects over the past decade while in Pillar Point Harbor. Perhaps the most notable is Chasing Mavericks, a Hollywood movie about Mavericks that was filmed, in part, in Pillar Point Harbor and Half Moon Bay. Jeff Clark served as an adviser on the movie and operated the jet boat that captured some of the most unique perspectives of Mavericks ever filmed. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Jeff has worked on filming for television, movies and advertisements, often related to Half Moon Bay and Mavericks. During and after the filming of Chasing Mavericks, our surf shop served as the epicenter for the media, crews, fans and events. We hosted events at our shop with the stars of the movie following its premier, complete with giveaways (including one of the surfboards from the film). That film boosted travel to Pillar Point Harbor from 2015‐17, and still brings out fans today. But that’s just one film out of so many that feature Jeff, Mavericks and big wave surfing, including Riding Giants, Discovering Mavericks, Step Into Liquid, and Ocean Driven.
In addition to movies, we have worked with travel media (Trip Advisor, Surfline, Trip Savvy, Fodor’s, California Living and others) on travel articles, recommendations on things to do on the coast and an insider’s guide to Pillar Point Harbor. Jeff, the shop and the area have been featured in countless media interviews and television shows ranging from local and international media to ESPN’s “30 For 30,” The Golf Channel (2 full episodes on the relationship between big wave surfing and golf), and CBS Sports. Print media coverage of Jeff Clark, Mavericks and the shop occurs almost daily, particularly in the winter, from publications in the Bay Area and worldwide, as well as published books such as Mavericks: A Portrait of a Wave and Stoked. Our social media presence has a large and diverse audience on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In and of course our website that shares local information and is home to our online store. These sites have tens of thousands of followers combined and create our connection with fans and friends worldwide.
Safety and Water Ops
Through our shop in Pillar Point Harbor and our secondary location adjacent to the Yacht Club, Jeff is able to broaden his efforts in water and ocean safety. His work launched in 1994 with the creation of the Mavericks Water Patrol. Jeff has been certified in water rescue with several organizations and serves as an instructor and ambassador for water safety. He has worked in water rescue and safety in a variety of capacities, including big wave events, speed boat races, and on movie sets. He has most recently assisted in the Chris Bertish Trans‐Pacific Wing Project both on the craft and during the testing and ultimate launch. Chris Bertish is now underway on his solo crossing from Half Moon Bay to Hawaii, a 60‐ day unassisted journey across the Pacific Ocean.
One of the roles Mavericks Surf Company and our team members take on is an ambassador for the community. So many visitors come to our shop to learn about Mavericks and big wave surfing, to meet Jeff, and to hear about local recommendations. As a result, our employees go through training about local activities, restaurants and destinations. Owners Jeff and Cassandra are involved in the HMB Coastside Chamber of Commerce, the HMB Yacht Club and are supportive of local events, businesses and fundraising. Jeff is a sought‐after Motivational Speaker, working with companies such as Cisco Systems, HP, Boy Scouts of America and UGG. When Chevrolet released its newest electric car, the Volt, to an international group of auto writers, they chose Mavericks Surf Company and Pillar Point Harbor as a pit stop and gift destination for the reporters. Like so many other companies, they recognize the unique spirit, authenticity and raw power of the brand. Locally, Mavericks Surf Company partnered with the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay to place our Mavericks Surf gear in their stores. And Jeff, as a pioneer, innovator and surfboard shaper, has worked on many projects to link our brand and community with events and world‐class organizations. His most recent project was working with the US Golf Association to design and build Clark Surfboard trophies for the 2021 US Women’s Open (held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco) and the 2021 US Open to be held at Torrey Pines in southern California.
Mavericks Surf Company was a founding sponsor and remains a sponsor of the Half Moon Bay Surf Club for both the high school and middle school teams. We are proud supporters of Coastside Hope, Boys & Girls Club, Sea Hugger, HMB Coastside Chamber of Commerce, local public and private schools, Cabrillo Education Foundation, Pacifica Beach Coalition, Save the Waves, and the Mavericks Foundation. As a public figure, Jeff is often called upon to support organizations and events that help others, and he puts a particular emphasis on health, safety, military, youth programs and ocean awareness, including: the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Cancer Society, Sonoma County Children’s Charities, Schulz Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Navy Seals Foundation, and many more.
While it is estimated that Mavericks brings in more than $20 million in visitor dollars annually, Mavericks Surf Company contributes to our community through employment, benefits, community contributions, and of course payroll, sales, state and federal taxes. As a tenant of Pillar Point Harbor, we also pay our portion of the San Mateo County property taxes in the harbor. We recognize our responsibility as representatives of the community and, in particular, San Mateo County Harbor District, and proudly take it on with enthusiasm and a sense of community so that everyone benefits.