April 12, 2013 in Mavericks, News, surf, Videos

Rocky Romano, an award winning filmmaker, has announced that the premiere of an episode from his documentary series “Maverick Moments” will be shown at this years highly praised San Diego Film Festival. Romano is an action sports athlete turned an acclaimed writer, producer and director with 20 short films and three feature films under his belt. Romano is more than honored that the San Diego Film Festival has recognized his work in this forum.

The short selected, titled “The Swell”, is a dramatically crafted film that glorifies the best swell to hit Mavericks in the 2011/2012 season.

Romano stated, “I am stoked and honored to be part of this prestigious surf film festival. We are proud to represent big wave surfing through our style of story telling. The humans that ride the biggest waves in the world deserve the highest level of recognition. The festival organizers stated that the competition was really tough this year, and to be selected along side talented filmmakers such as Kai Neville (“Lost Atlas” and “Sincerely Suburbia”) is humbling.”


The film features personal interviews with surfers like Ken “Skin Dog” Collins. Alongside Skin Dog, are professional surfers like Peter MelGreg Long and many more. Interestingly, several of the episodes were actually filmed during the same swell used in “Chasing Mavericks”, the Hollywood film starring Gerard Butler. Footage from the web series was actually used in the feature film produced by Walden Media/ 20th Century FOX as well as the TV special “The Making of Mavericks.” Footage from the series can also be found in the new documentary film titled “Discovering Mavericks” a documentary about Half Moon Bay’s dangerous surf break by Josh Pomer.

Alongside his San Diego FIlm Festival accomplishment Rocky and his V.P. of Operations Miranda Winters are continually re-defining “independent” filmmaking.  Episodes from the series have also been been selected for the 2012 Spanish Surf Film Festival and the 2013 Shore Shots Irish Surf Film Festival. His film ”Learning to Breathe” played as a closing at the 2012 Santa Cruz Film Festival.

“Mavericks Moments” was created by The Go Big Project, an award-winning production company founded by Romano in 2006. Based out of Lake Tahoe and Santa Cruz California, The Go Big Project Inc., also launched its website in 2010 highlighting action sports lifestyle. Rocky Romano and his companies have been featured on HBO, ABC, ESPN, The NY Times, Transworld Surf, USA Today, Surfline, Santa Cruz Sentinel and many others. He also founded the trans-media company iTVbranding in 2011, and has had his work premiered and been awarded at international film festivals. With many accomplishments and more to come “Mavericks Moments” is something you don’t want to miss.


2012 Mavericks Invitational Ceremony

November 14, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf

A short edit from the 2012 Mavericks Invitational Ceremonies. Held on November 9th at Pilar Point Beach.
Some of the surfers include Peter Mel, Ryan Augeinstein, Tyler Fox and many more.
Video and Edit by Elijah Crowell
Music by Toulouse Engelhardt

Billabong XXL 2012 Awards on Fuel TV

May 12, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf

The Billabong XXL Awards 2012 will air on Fuel TV on May 20th.
Click on the Link below to view all the nominees.!/surf/the-monster-paddle-nominees-in-the-2012-billabong-xxl-big-wave-awards

Maverick’s ride earns Ken “Skindog” Collins 2012 Billabong XXL Monster Paddle nomination

April 2, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf
Ken “Skindog” Collins is a Nominee for the 2012 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards in the  Monster Paddle category.

Video By Elijah Crowell from the Go Big Project

YouTube: Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards Nominees Edit 2012

The wave that earned Ken “Skindog” Collins a nomination in the 2011/12 Billabong XXL Big Wave surfing awards Thursday just found him.

Collins was nominated in the Monster Paddle category for a wave he caught at Maverick’s on Feb. 8. The wave, which he estimates at 40 to 45 feet, was a rogue that found him while he was sitting far out on the shoulder, trying to regroup after four waves pounded down on him during an earlier attempt.

“I didn’t want to catch a wave. I went way out to get my bearings straight,” Collins said. “Within 10

Professional surfer Ken Collins makes his way out of the water at the Pillar Point Harbor after a memorial paddle out for Hawaiian big wave surfer Sion Milosky on the one-year anniversary of his death at Maverick’s, Friday. (Jon Weiand/Sentinel)

minutes it came to me. I was like, ‘Oh man, do have to catch this?’ But then I have Shane Dorian screaming at me to go and I was like, ‘I’ve got to at least pretend to go for it.’ Then it was so glassy and beautiful.”


Frank Quirarte and Robert Brown caught photos of the ride and The Go Big Project captured it on film. They stand to split $4,000 if Collins wins, and he could win $15,000. Winners will be announced at a red-carpet event on May 4 and the show will be aired on FuelTV on May 20 at 3 p.m.

A Santa Cruz surfer has been nominated for an XXL award every year since 2004. Collins won the Ride of the Year — the XXL’s biggest award worth $50,000 — and the Monster Tube, in 2007 for a monster 50-plus-footer he caught near Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

“It’s the same thing, I’m going in thinking I have no chance. That’s the natural reaction,” Collins said. “You hope for the best. Looking at all the photos of all the waves, they’re all just really big waves.”

Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards Nominees

Surfer prize $50,000; Video prize $5,000

  • Nathan Fletcher, San Juan Capistrano: Teahupoo, Tahiti on Aug. 27, 2011 (Video by Simon Saffigna)
  • Ryan Hipwood, Australia: Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011 (Video by Nimai Strickland)
  • Greg Long, San Clemente: Puerto Escondido, Mexico on May 19, 2011 (Video by Alejandro Berger)
  • Garrett McNamara, Haleiwa, Hawaii: Praia do Norte, Nazar , Portugal on Nov. 1, 2011 (Video by Jorge Leal)
  • Jeff Rowley, Australia: Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on Jan 30 (Video by Wangdu Hovey)

Surfer prize $15,000; Photo/video prize $4,000

  • Ken “Skindog” Collins, Santa Cruz: Maverick’s on Feb. 8 (photos by Robert Brown and Frank Quirarte; video by The Go Big Project)
  • Danilo Couto, Brazil: Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on Jan. 4 (photo by Fred Pompermayer; video by Greg Browning)
  • Shane Dorian, Kona, Hawaii: Jaws, Hawaii, on Jan. 4 (photos by Bidu, Tracy Kraft, Bruno Lemos, Jason Murray and Fred Pompermayer; video by Elliot Leboe)
  • Jamie Mitchell, Australia: Todos Santos, Mexico on Jan. 6 (photo by Jason Murray, video by Graham Nash)
  • Dave Wassel, Haleiwa, Hawaii: Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on Jan. 4 (photos by Eric Aeder, Frank Berthuot, Bruno Lemos, Mike Neal and Fred Pompermayer, video by Bruno Lemos)

Surfer prize $15,000; photo/video prize $4,000

  • Andrew Cotton, United Kingdom: Mullaghmore Head, Ireland, on March 8 (photos by Andrew Kilfeather, Conn Osbourne and David Olsthoorn; video by Jamie Russell)
  • Garrett McNamara, Haleiwa, Hawaii: Priaia do Norte, Nazar , Portugal on Nov. 1, 2011. (photo by Wilson Ribeiro; video by Jorge Leal)
  • Axi Muniain, Spain: Agiti, Spain on Dec. 15, 2011. (photo by Eric Chauche; video by Walter Lang)
  • Ollie O’Flaherty, Ireland: Mullaghmore Head, Ireland, on March 8 (photos by Christian McLeod and Matt Strathern; video by Mark Waters)
  • Damien “Taco” Warr, Western Australia: Cow Bombie, Western Australia on Oct 16, 2011 (photo by Jamie Scott; video by Rick Jakovich)

Surfer prize $5,000; still photography prize $2,000

  • Kohl Christensen, Haleiwa, Hawaii: Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011 (photos by Brian Bielmann and Bruno Lemos)
  • Nathan Fletcher, San Juan Capistrano: Teahupoo, Tahiti on Aug. 27, 2011. (photos by Brian Bielmann, Pete Frieden, Bruno Lemos, Tim McKenna and Benjamin Thouard)
  • Tyler Hollmer-Cross, Australia: Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania, on May 17, 2011. (photo by Andrew Chisholm)
  • Bruce Irons, Hanalei, Hawaii: Teahupoo, Tahiti on Aug. 27, 2011 (photos by Brian Bielmann, Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer, Pat Stacy and Benjamin Thouard)
  • Everaldo “Pato” Teixeira, Brazil: Teahupoo, Tahiti on Aug. 27, 2011. (photos by Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer and Benjamin Thouard)



Watch it: Collins’ ride

Famous Big Wave Surfers and Tattoo Artists Help Grind Out Hunger

March 27, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf

A gallery on the West Side swelled with locals, film producers, and two Miami-based celebs to screen a surfing documentary and support Grind Out Hunger.

Famous surfers, tattoo artists, filmmakers and hunger fighters got together Saturday night in Santa Cruz for what is the start of a new nationwide reality show featuring local nonprofit, Grind Out Hunger.

Grind Out Hunger and The Go Big Project raised 4,000 meals for hungry children in an event that spotlighted the screening of the acclaimed surf documentary Danger from the series Maverick Moments, by Award Winning Filmmaker Rocky Romano.

Around 200 people packed the warehouse space of the R. Blitzer Gallery, which featured huge oil and resin-painted works by local artist, Robert Hyatt.

Danny Keith, founder of Grind Out Hunger, said he co-created the event “to raise awareness about kids going hungry in Santa Cruz County, and to use surfing to bring attention to it. And hopefully get some donations and feed some kids.”

“Surfing is a lifestyle, and the people that live it care about the community and making sure kids do not go hungry, we are here tonight to proclaim a war on childhood hunger and malnutrition,” he said, introducing the film.

His objective was more than successful, and he told Patch on Sunday morning that it is just the beginning of something really good for Grind Out Hunger: An influential conglomeration of artists coming together to combat childhood hunger locally and nationally.

Special guests at the event included Chris Nuñez of Miami Ink and Ink Master, and Joey Hernandez, CEO of Empire Entertainment, who came to kick off their upcoming projects with Rocky Romano ofThe Go Big Project, as well as show their support for Grind Out Hunger.

“We’re friends with Rocky and Ken “Skindog” Collins and we’re working with them on some projects and we wanted to come down and show our support and start building on our working relationship as well,” said Hernandez, who says he hopes the new relationship brings them back to Santa Cruz often to “put the spotlight on the map, with a new wave of surfers out there, young guys, it’s time to get them showcased and build some more brands.”

The collaboration of Empire Entertainment and The Go Big Project seeks to meld the world of action sports and tattoos with a reality film and TV series. It will also have a clothing line  and an action sports management company, according to Romano.

The connection between tattoos and extreme sports may not be immediately obvious, but the guys say they have a vision.

“Basically guys that’ve been getting tattoos have been pretty much extreme athletes and people associated for as long as I’ve been tattooing,” said Nuñez.

“You know, it always kind of went back to skaters, dudes that built ramps, surfers, snowboarders, it was always those kinds of kids that were just kind of thinking outside the box, that were the first kids to come home and really piss their parents off all tattooed, you know?”

It’s a certain demographic– tattooed or not tattooed –  that the partnership is looking to base their art around, and Romano has a knack for tapping into Action Sports culture.

“They’re both niche markets that work well together so we just want to join forces and blow it up,” said Romano who also hinted that there is a Big Wave surfing TV series with two-time Emmy award winning Doug Stanley of The Deadliest Catch and Big Wave Surfer Ken “Skindog” Collins in the works.

But the artists said they were also thrilled to be supporting the Grind Out Hunger cause.

“We really believe in a double-edge sword business approach where we’re making money but also doing the right thing,” said Romano, who has been known to produce documentaries for free for Ride a Wave and other non profits and has been active with Grind Out Hunger since meeting Keith years ago while filming.

Nuñez, who traveled across the country from his Miami base, explained the other side of his sword, saying:

“It’s also about what Grind Out Hunger does for the community, giving back, feeding the community and really setting the action sports world as a pioneer leading into humanitarian services, it’s incredible, a great thing to be at.”

The night couldn’t have not gotten any better but it did when Volcom Stone donated hundreds of dollars in product to be given away to the crowd. Ken “Skindog” Collins and Grind Out Hunger’s newest addition to it’s Surf Division summed it up.

“I cannot believe we have 1 in 4 kids going hungry in Santa Cruz County…I have kids…that just makes me mad”

Despite the torrential downpour, the star studded attendance for the evening included Chris Nuñez of Miami Ink/Ink Master; Joey Hernandez, CEO of Empire Entertainment; Brian Laing, CEO Hive Media; Eric Oejten of Empire Entertainment; Elizabeth Gummere, President of the Santa Cruz Film Festival; Robert Blitzer of R. Blitzer Gallery;  Jason “J-Willz” Williams of Ribsys Nickel; DJ Rudy B; Shawn Hatjes Photography and surf shooter Ryan “Chachi” Craig.

There were also professional big wave surfers; Shawn Dollar, Nic Lamb, Tyler Fox, Anthony Tashnick, Andres Flores and the hosts for the evening Rocky Romano CEO of The Go Big Project and Danny Keith Founder of Grind Out Hunger.

On March 31 Grind Out Hunger will be attending the first Mavericks Invitational in Half Moon Bay with skate ramps and the  cast and crew listed above.

Visit for more information and advance ticket purchases.

Grind Out Hunger is an Action Sports Based Charity with the mission statement Empowering the youth by utilizing the passion of skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding to recognize the importance of community and food literacy.”

To get involved with Grind Out Hunger please visit in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County.

Related Topics: Empire EntertainmentGo Big Project, and Grind Out Hunger

March 19, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf

Maverick Moments: The danger and beauty of big wave surfing

Posted Mar 18th, 2012 at 3:59 PM and seen 305 times
Two miles off the coast of northern California, an unusual underwater rock formation creates waves so massive, only a select group of surfers dares challenge the water’s power. Described as “one of the heaviest waves in the world,” Mavericks attracts the world’s most talented big wave surfers for an annual competition filled with big rides and big falls.

The Go Big Project brings the Mavericks into the spotlight with a short film featuring incredible ocean footage and interviews with some of the surfers who brave the wave.

Via The Go Big Project.

Shane Dorian Billabong XXL 2012 Ride of The Year Award Entry

March 17, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf

View the Entire Clip here on the Billabong XXL 2012 You Tube Page

Maverick Moments “Danger”

March 13, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf

Maverick Moments “Danger” from The Go Big Project on Vimeo.

The Go Big Projects "Danger" is a short film in the doc-series titled "Maverick Moments" produced in conjunction with Chasing Monsters. The series highlights the athletes, sport, culture, and realities of Big Wave Surfing in Half Moon Bay, California at the legendary "Mavericks" wave.

Billabong XXL 2012 Ride Of The Year Award Entry

March 10, 2012 in Mavericks, News, surf

Ken Skindog Collins XXl 2012 Ride of the Year Award Entry
Filmed By Elijah Crowell
Santa Cruz Photos (The Go Big Project)

Holy Kaw Maverick Moments

February 21, 2012 in Mavericks, News
An interview with Ken “SkinDog” Collins about the unique experience of “Maverick Moments” [video]
Posted Feb 20th, 2012 at 6:20 PM and seen 4340 times

An interview with Ken “SkinDog” Collins about the unique experience of “Maverick Moments” [video]


Frank Quirarte Photography

Mavericks rolls out the red carpet for the surfing world, according to Ken “SkinDog” Collins, because a gift of Nature as wondrous as Mavericks is one that never stops giving and provides more than enough adventure for all who seek the thrill of these incredible waves.

Filmed February 8, 2012, “Mavericks Moments,” a production of The Go Big Project and Chasing|Monsters, features footage and feedback from some of the world’s top big wave surfers, including Shane Dorian of Hawaii, Grant “Twiggy” Baker of South Africa, as well as local legends Nic Lamb, Anthony “Tazzy” Tashnick, Pete “The Condor” Mel, Tyler Fox, and, of course, Ken “SkinDog” Collins.

Maverick Moments: Episode 1 from The Go Big Project on Vimeo.

Holy Kaw got the incredible opportunity to ask Ken more about the surfing experience and community of Mavericks, as well as to get his input on the more dangerous aspects of surf this extreme—a subject he’s unfortunately become all too familiar with.

HK: Do you sleep the night before a big wave day?

SkinDog: I used to have a hard time falling asleep the night before a big swell, but now I am getting old and tired, so sleeping is not a problem, getting up is the issue. Ha ha.

Eric Gillespi – The Go Big Project

HK: For you, Mavericks is a local wave. How do you feel about non-locals coming over for the big wave days?

SkinDog: I love watching new guys come and charge, seeing the next generation of big wave legends push the limits. At the same time, anyone visiting needs to know they are a guest, and should be good guests. All in all, Half Moon Bay hosts many world-traveling big wave riders, and they take good care of them. The community there is small and cozy, and they to like to see new faces and hear new stories. Some of the travelers will hang out for a month or two and pick up a side job at The Old Princeton Landing, a local watering hole, and really get to meet the roots of the community.

HK: There are occasionally three or more surfers dropping in on a wave but everyone seems cool about it. Is everyone really that friendly?

SkinDog: It is not cool, but it happens. When you are paddling for a wave that size your blood is pumping and your mind is racing a million miles a minute. When you are at the point of catching a wave, it is too late to pull back, you will end up getting sucked over so you have to go. If someone is dropping in on guys over and over, they get called out. Dropping in on another surfer is against the code of conduct, and you should never burn anyone no matter what size the surf is. The biggest waves usually seem to have the fewest guys paddling for them.

Eric Gillespi – The Go Big Project

HK: The water’s cold, the waves are big – how long is a good session?

SkinDog: With the guys all wearing 5/4/3 (a thick wetsuit) a majority of the time, we can surf for four to five hours. Keeping water and bars in a PWC (personal water craft), you can refuel to stay warm and stay out all day, or about eight hours.

HK: A big outside set can pummel you. How do you avoid getting rag dolled?

SkinDog: Don’t get hit. If you get hit, you’ll get pounded. You can only handle a couple beatings out there in one session, then you’re cooked and out for the day.

Eric Gillespi – The Go Big Project

HK: Did you have any bad hold-downs on this day? What was it like?

SkinDog: My first wave, I hooked an outside rail and went down hard, karma for dropping in on T Fox. I had a total of four waves hit me, and they rag dolled the hell out of me. I was winded and seeing stars when I came back out. I have a V1 wetsuit with an expandable air bladder if I need it. I was down on one of my waves so long I was thinking about pulling the cord, but popped up right then.

HK: How big would you estimate the wave face was on the ride that was highlighted in the video?

SkinDog: I do not know. My board is 10 foot 7 inches, so there’s a starting reference. All I know is it looked pretty big looking down, and I did not want to go, but it was so glassy I had to. I don’t care how big it is, all I know is it was one of the most beautiful, glassy blue walls I have ever caught out there, and I am just happy I made it to the bottom.

Frank Quirarte Photography

HK: PWC (personal water craft) are banned in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Why is that a big deal for surfers at Mavericks?

SkinDog: It is a big deal for Mavericks surfers because we use the PWC as Rescue Devices. There’s not a better machine for going into the heavy, thrashing waves to pull out a surfer in trouble.

Every lifeguard in the world has a PWC next to the lifeguard tower, to go in and pull people in trouble out. When Jacob Trettes drowned last year, my surf buddy, Russell Ord (Australian Firemen/rescue), was out watching over us on my PWC. It was illegal to have it out there, but thank god it was, because Russell was able to rush into the rocks, pull out Jacob’s body, drain the water from his lungs and have him on the beach to perform CPR, all within two minutes. Marine rescue would have taken thirty minutes to get to Mavericks, so you can see the importance of having a friend on a PWC watching over you and shadowing your moves.

HK: How do you feel about women out there on the big wave days? (My wife made me ask this.)

SkinDog: At first, you would think Mavericks is not a place for women and children, but after surfing out there for twenty years now, I have seen the ladies get plenty of big waves and ride them with skill. They are going to have to let some of them in the contest pretty soon or have a women’s event.

HK: So what do you do when you are not chasing after those big waves up at Mavericks?

SkinDog: I am the Northern California Sales Representative for Volcom Stone Clothing. It is an action sports brand that sells product to all the surf/skate/snow shops. So, when I am not surfing, you can find me driving all over NorCal to all the surf/skate/snowboard shops. It is a really fun job because my accounts are really cool mellow people that live the boardsport lifestyle. One week I might be on the beach selling bikinis, and then the next week I might find myself up in Tahoe selling Gore-Tex outerwear for the snow. I usually bring a paddle board with me so I can train by doing 5-10 mile paddles on Lake Tahoe, Folsom Lake, or any body of water I can find. I also have a wife and 2 kids and chasing after them is big part of my life. I am really lucky because I work with my wife, so we get to spend a lot of time together. We travel as a famiy, do a little business, then go snowboarding or something cool.

• More big wave action at Chasing|Monsters.
• More Mavericks stories at The Go Big Project.
• Mavericks photos at Frank Quirarte Photography and Mavsurfer.
• Video at Vimeo.

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