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S P E C I A L El Niño Returns

Hey dude! El Niño spawns outrageous waves

surf March 15, 1998
Web posted at: 12:27 a.m. EST (0527 GMT)

SANTA CRUZ, California (CNN) -- California surfers are taking El Niño's waves by storm.

Water walls as high as 40 feet have drawn brave surfers to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, prompted by the prospect of a $50,000 prize offered by K-2 Inc. for the surfer who rides the biggest wave.

The company plans to throw in $5,000 for the photographer who records the stunt.

vxtreme CNN's Don Knapp reports
See the Surf
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Waters near Half Moon Bay, California, were thick with surfers and photographers eager to win the money.

"It's quite a rush," said surfer Mike Brumett of his El Niño-inspired wave running. "It gets you in touch with Mother Nature and gives you a real good respect for the ocean."

A panel of nine judges will look at all of the surfers' photos before making their decision, a company official said.

CNN correspondent Don Knapp contributed to this story

El Nino returns
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