A Complete Guide to Surfing in Malibu
With its expansive beaches, turquoise waters, salty air, and perfect waves, there is no better surfing destination in the Los Angeles area than in Malibu. There’s something for every level of surfer, whether you’ve never stepped foot on a board or you’re training for a competition.
While the area’s best surfing can typically be found in the summer, surfing is a beloved local pastime year-round. Here is your ultimate guide to surfing in Malibu, including where to go and where to take lessons. Surf’s up!
Where to Surf in Malibu
Malibu Surfrider Beach
Just off the Malibu Pier, Malibu Surfrider Beach is considered to have some of the best waves for surfing in all of California. It was the first World Surfing Reserve, an organization dedicated to preserving wave breaks and protecting the local marine environment. There are three surf breaks here: First, Second and Third point, and while there are waves that can accommodate every level, this beach tends to attract seasoned surfers. Not into trying it out yourself? The nearby Malibu Lagoon Museum can educate you on Malibu’s long-standing surfing history.
This beach is most known as the filming location for Baywatch, but it’s also a great place for summer surfing. The swells here are great for beginner and intermediate surfers who are eager to learn, but on occasion, the waves can get to 20 feet high. Zuma Beach is more private than Malibu Surfrider Beach and is a good spot to escape the crowds. Its wide, long sands are great for other beach activities and games, especially for families with kids.
Featuring jutting cliffs, rocky coves, and vast stretches of sand, Point Dume State Beach has so much to explore. Not only is it great for scuba diving, swimming and fishing, but it also hosts some of Malibu’s best surfing. When the conditions are right, it’s a great spot for intermediate to advanced surfers. It can get quite busy and requires a bit of a trek if you’re parking nearby. Regardless, it’s a beautiful spot to enjoy the California sunshine and more interesting terrain than your classic white-sand beach.
Not as crowded as other Malibu Beaches, Topanga Beach offers several types of terrain for surfers. There are waves that break onto the sandy shores and also waves over rocks. Choose from either, depending on your skill level, and enjoy the breaks here, which provide a longer ride. Topanga Beach is colored with history, and this surfing location is one that saw some of the first surfers in the area, who helped create Malibu’s unique surfing culture. Even if you’re not surfing, there are plenty of surfers to watch ride the waves while you stroll the spacious beach or bask in the sun.
Where to Rent and Take Surf Lessons in Malibu
Malibu Surf Coach
All ages and all levels can learn and improve their surfing skills by booking a coaching lesson through Malibu Surf Coach. Run by a surfing professional named Stingray, a lifeguard, professional surf instructor, and coach of local high school surf teams, rest assured you’re in good hands. He brings more than 30 years of experience and plenty of expertise on the best surf spots for the right age group and levels. Book a one-time lesson, or if you live nearby, book a package of lessons to hone your skills.
Founded in 1991, Malibu Makos offers surf lessons by professional surf instructors, ocean athletes, and ocean lifeguards. They offer year-round private surf lessons for children five years and older for one to eight people. Group lessons outside of your party can also be booked. Lessons are conducted on Zuma Beach, one of Malibu’s best surfing spots, by experienced instructors.
Malibu Surf Shack
Malibu Surf Shack makes it easy to embrace the Malibu lifestyle with its beachside shop. They offer surf lessons throughout the year, and even a surf camp for kids aged 7 to 17. Instructors will even help kids bodyboard and swim, as well as provide a range of activities from sea glass hunting to exploring tide pools and building sandcastles. After your lesson, pick up a Malibu Surf Shack t-shirt or hat at their retail shop as a memento.
No matter what time of the year you’ll be in town, Malibu Beach Inn is the ideal location to enjoy all of what Malibu has to offer. Allow the concierge to help set up your surfing lessons or give you advice on where to go and what to do during your stay.
Private Fliteboard Lessons at Malibu Beach Inn
The ultimate surfing experience, however, awaits just steps from your room. Exclusively for Malibu Beach Inn guests, book a private 60-minute Fliteboard lesson from an instructor at Just Ride Los Angeles. A high-tech version of classic surfing, Fliteboards are self-propelled, electric-powered hydrofoil surfboards. Your lesson will take place on Carbon Beach and is a safe and fun family activity. You will receive a Johnnie-O beach tote, Sun Bum sunscreen and S’Well water bottle. Book this adrenaline-fueled experience here.