What/Where is “Mavericks?” A surfer’s perspective on Apple’s new OS name

Sections: Operating Systems, OS X Mavericks

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In a Bloomberg blog post, founding online editor and longtime Mac fan Chris Dixon weighs in on Apple choosing “Mavericks” as the name for the 10th public release of OS X.


Mavericks is a challenging surfing venue located not far from Apple’s Cupertino campus on the northern California coast. It’s two miles off the coast outside Pillar Point Harbor, and north of the town of Half Moon Bay, at the village of Princeton-By-The-Sea. There, an unusually shaped underwater rock formation can—after strong winter storms—create waves that routinely crest at over 25 feet, with peaks that can reach over 80 feet, making it one of the most dangerous and storied surf spots on Earth, according to Dixon.

This isn’t the first time the name for a major Apple product has been associated with a California surfing location. One of the best laptop computers Apple ever built was code-named (and became popularly known) “Pismo” after another famous California beach associated with surfing: San Luis Obispo County’s famous Pismo State Beach in the town of Oceano off California Highway 1.

In his Bloomberg piece, Dixon cites Brendon Thomas, editor-in-chief of Surfer, relating that, in 1961, Alex Matienzo—one of the pioneers of riding the waves at Mavericks—was forced back to the beach because his white German Shepherd, named Maverick, kept following him into the waves. Hence, the location’s puzzling popular name. Dixon observes that after a series of Apple operating systems named after big cats, OS X 9 is ultimately being named after a big dog.


Hmmm. being a cat person, that thought doesn’t especially enchant me, but I guess every dog has its day. It’s an interesting backstory, and the name continues Apple’s longtime association with the sport and culture of surfing.

For Chris Dixon’s Bloomberg blog, see:

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