Professional big-wave surfer Peter Mel was born in 1969, in Santa Cruz, California. He began surfing Maverick’s before it was a well-known wave, and became part of the Santa Cruz big-wave pioneers. Although Mel admittedly struggled with drug addiction during the early 2000s, he overcame these battles and rose to the top of the rankings. With his large ‘Condor’ wingspan, he became the 2011/2012 Big Wave World Tour Champion and followed it up with his first Victory at the Mavericks Invitational 2012/2013. Mel frequently commentates events and helps run his family’s business Freeline Surf Shop.