Gerard Butler tells his Mavericks story

We need no more reminders of just how treacherous the surf at Mavericks can be. With this season’s contest window open, the world’s elite surfers are standing by, awaiting their chance to tame the wild waves, if even for a ride or two.

Before Christmas, word got out that Gerard Butler took a bit of a spill while filming “Of Men and Mavericks” on location at the famous break. In the film, Butler plays surfer Jay Moriarity, a Mavericks pioneer who died freediving in 2001.

The AP reported at the time that Butler was shaken up but not seriously hurt when he was held underwater for two large waves.

Last weekend, Butler appeared on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show and we got to hear Butler’s Mavericks story from the man himself:

It was a pretty close call… Suddenly these waves came out of nowhere. I’m with three of the best surfers in the world, and they’re just going ‘paddle, Jay, paddle!’ … This wave spread across the sky, it was about 30 feet high. I just dived in, and it took me.

Butler told the astonished Norton that the two waves held him underwater for nearly a full minute. Butler said he ripped the leash off his surfboard and was paddling to the surface when he felt the second wave hit, and he went tumbling all over again.

By the end of his story, Butler is shiny from sweat and visibly shaken from “reliving” the experience.