It also means that the current El Niño conditions in the Pacific have attracted the cream of the world's big-wave surfers to California to take on a bounty of record-nudging monsters.
But such extreme sport comes with a high risk, as Irish-American surf pro – and record-breaker – Garrett McNamara knows only too well after wiping out last week on "one of the heaviest waves a human being has ever attempted paddling into", according to Outside magazine.
Video of the jaw-dropping moment has gone viral online, as McNamara is thrown like a rag doll from his board when the Mavericks break crashes over him.
Surf rescuer Frank Quirarte, who was watching events unfold, described it as “literally one of the worst wipe-outs I’ve seen in big wave surfing in a long time."
And the effects on McNamara were severe, as he required immediate surgery on a badly broken arm and shoulder – though he was lucky to escape with his life, let alone avoid more serious injury.
Outside has much more on the story HERE.