The Traveler Guide to Riding Waves; Part 3.3 Surfing Malibu, CA

The Traveler Guide to Riding Waves; Part 3.3 Surfing Malibu, CA


One of the best right-hand point set-ups in California, the iconic Surfrider Beach in Malibu is also one of the most storied.

With a history of wave riders and characters dating back to the 1930s, it became a popular destination in the 1950s-1960s and continues to attract surfers from all over LA, and the
world, especially on big south summer swells! Even if you feel intimidated by the level of surfing at Malibu and the challenging wave, it’s a great place to watch and learn as you will often catch some amazing live shows put on by the local talent.

  • Third Point: At the top of the point, near the lagoon, lies Third Point, where rocks and sand create a reef and fast breaking rights and lefts. You’ll find mostly shortboards up here, though on the inside after the wave energy dissipates, the wave hits another shallow spot and reforms into a lagoon where you can find beginners and groms having Waikiki style fun.
  • Second Point: To the left of Third Point, is Second Point, another fast-breaking sometimes close-out wave that offers a few shortboard turns, but rarely a long ride. It is mostly a right that breaks over sharp rocks with urchins and though it is rarely very crowded, it isn’t anything to write home about, especially with First Point a few yards away.
  • First Point: The famed right hand point break is best during summertime when the rock and sand bottom, combined with south swells, create beautiful, long, right- hand waves. Sometimes, the wave gets fast and can be shortboardable, but is typically a wonderful place to hone your classic noseriding and longboard style, like the generations of past log riders.

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