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History of Surfing in Malibu
Surfing was invented in Hawaii and was first introduced to California in 1907 at Redondo Beach by Hawaiian George Freeth. Another Hawaiian, Duke Kahanamoku, gained fame by teaching surfing in Santa Monica along with colleague Tony Guerrero. They influenced the first surfers to ride in Malibu when the Rindge family opened Rancho Malibu in the late 1920s.
Tom Blake and Sam Reid first rode Malibu in September 1926, starting the trend that made Malibu one of the centers of surfing. The took the dirt road from Santa Monica and stopped before the gate at Las Flores. They entered the water with their 10' redwoods and paddled to the pristine beach at Malibu Point, in those days as deserted and private as a South Sea island.
After the Malibu Motion Picture Colony was established west of Malibu Point (now Surfrider Beach) in 1926, actor Ronald Colman built #16 Malibu Colony, one of the first residents. Duke Kahanamoku (namesake of the current Malibu restaurant Duke's) was a great friend of Ronald Colman, starred with him in motion pictures, and was often seen at at Coleman's cottage in the Colony in the late 1920s with his board heading for Malibu Point.
The history how surfing influenced Malibu's development in the 1950s and 60s is available on this MalibuComplete.com page.
Where to Surf in Malibu
Surfrider Beach in Malibu is where it started and remains one of the principal surfing beaches in Malibu. Surfrider is a south facing beach with a point curved out to sea at the lagoon at the mouth of Malibu Creek. Decades ago, before changes in the way water enters Malibu Creek, the beach had a different shape, with three crescent coves. The surfers talked about First Point (closest to the pier), Second Point, and Third Point (closest to the lagoon). The waves have a very well-shaped curl, sometimes up to 10 to 12 feet, more often 2 to 4 feet. Even small waves give good rides. Where the waves peak near The Point, good surfers can get a 1/4-mile ride.
The entire coastline from Santa Monica to Point Mugu always has some surfing activiyt, depending on the season and the activity of the ocean. Some of Malibu's other beaches have excellent access and you can find there surfers every day. In particular, try (from east to west) Topanga, Surfrider, Zuma, and Leo Carrillo.
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