Best surf spots in Malibu

Written by Scott Squires

August 25, 2016

With a long coastline filled with world renowned surf spots, Malibu really is one of the best places to find and catch some amazing waves.

Here are spots you don’t want to miss:

  • Malibu Lagoon

Few locations have had as big an impact on the world’s surfing culture as this spot. Waves here are considered the gold standard for point surf during summers.

Best season: Summer

Best swell direction: South and west.

This spot is home to three separate surfing areas collectively known as Surfrider Beach:

    • First Point

One of the most iconic right-hand point breaks in the world. This is where you’ll find the most consistent waves and perfectly shaped tubes – the legendary waves of Malibu that propelled SoCal surf culture. It’s loved by longboarders and short-boarders.

Best tide: Low

  • Second Point

Waves break faster in this area known for connecting with bigger swells that stay long and hollow. Great for high performance surfing.

Best tide: Medium

  • Third Point

South swells from late August to September can take riders all the way to the pier. It’s popular for its long and fast barrels found off the northern edges.

Tide: Medium

How to get there. This spot can be easily accessed along Highway 1 near the Adamson House Museum.

  • Zuma Beach

Zuma is a long beautiful patch of white sandy paradise known as one of the largest and most popular beaches in Malibu. This site offers excellent surfing on one of the cleanest beaches in all of Los Angeles County.

This area is known for surf that can get gnarly, especially at an area in the south end called Drain Pipes. Best suited for intermediate to advanced surfers only.

Use caution or avoid the rip current-prone areas in front of Towers 8 and 9 of the Lifeguard Headquarters.

Swell direction: South, southwest, west, and northwest

Best season: Spring, summer, and fall

Best tides: All

How to get there.  Zuma Beach is right on Highway 1 starting from Zuma Canyon to Trancas Canyon.

  • Topanga Beach

This is a long right-handed sandy point break located on Lower Topanga formed by Topanga creek. It’s not as shapely as Malibu’s point but it’s not as crowded either.

It’s been a great spot for surfers since the 1960s. Swells here can reach from six to eight feet and  can even dish out double-overheads so it’s best suited to intermediate and advanced surfers.

Swell direction: West-northwest

Best season:  Fall-winter

Best tides: Low-mid

How to get there. Topanga Beach is at the east end of Malibu along Highway 1 with easy parking and access right on the point.

[Suggestion: Place image of Leo Carillo State Park here]

  • Leo Carillo State Park

A beautiful beach and state park that’s popular with campers, Leo Carillo offers some really nice swells courtesy of a submerged reef that acts as a right-handed point break.

Waves here are decently sized, reaching from two to eight feet, and are ideal for intermediate surfers.

There are no nearby creeks so the water quality is clean. The only things to watch out for are the giant rocks near the relatively small launching point.

Best swell direction: Northwest

Best seasons: Spring, summer, and fall

Best tides: Mid

How to get there. This area can easily be spotted along Highway 1 between the Arroyo Sequit and the North Beach Campground.

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