Innovating on the Edge of Big Waves

Surfing may seem a million miles from traditional business practice. But the evolution of the sport can provide invaluable insight into the innovation process

On Jan. 12 surfers from around the world converged on Maverick's at Pillar Point, just a few miles from San Francisco, to challenge each other on the big waves that have made this a legendary surfing destination. The sixth Mavericks Surf Contest had been announced only forty-eight hours earlier to ensure optimal wave conditions for the contestants. Surfers from as far away as Australia, Brazil, and South Africa scrambled to make their way to this invitation-only competition. It was magical to watch these athletes challenge twenty-foot waves with an ease and grace that made it all seem so natural.

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