You can almost feel the history when you hit up Malibu’s Surfrider Beach, the quintessential surf spot that popularized California waves in the 1950s. As old school as it gets, Surfrider was originally surfed during the 1920s. While longboards typically dominate the lineup, the diversity of surfers is as wide as it gets. It’s the most unique blend of good surf, picturesque beauty and a classic point break—and a great place for people watching as well.
Once the infamous home of George Jung, the man who established the cocaine market in America, El Porto has an expansive beach break that attracts surfers of all levels. The winter months bring a bigger swell that’s perfect for intermediate surfers, and when the large south swells come in with their perfect A-framed peaks, even the most advanced come in droves. The often powerful beach breaks are more forgiving when the waves are small, so it’s also a great place to learn during the summer.
Experienced surfers flock to Topanga Point, because it’s all about the options. The consistent waves break on both beds of sand or over rocky terrain—the choice is yours.
Lunada Bay is a premier, rocky reef surf spot that produces killer waves for even the most advanced riders. But the urban folklore of hostile locals makes it intimidating to earn your place in the lineup. Maybe I’ve had better luck there since I’m female, but many surfing publications warn outsiders against going there without insurance. Whether that’s true or false, I can’t say, but there’s definitely a locals only vibe.