21 June 2005

Chaos Reigns Supreme

What did I learn about Malibu today? Those people are crazy!!!!

Within 20 minutes of getting in the water, I was run over by a guy on a pretty big longboard. Okay, see, there's no rhyme or reason to that place. We've all been schooled on the rules surfers should follow when out in the water. THOSE RULES DO NOT APPLY AT MALIBU. I've come up with a new surfing bumper sticker: "Fuck the rules. This is Malibu!" People are scattered all over the place so not only do you have to fight for the wave, you also have to fight to get out of the way. Well, I had nowhere to go. Three people started paddling for a wave and they were pretty much elbow to elbow. And they were all paddling straight at me! Where am I supposed to go? I was probably only a couple of yards inside of them (along with a whole bunch of other people.) You'd think someone would swerve or stop, right? Nope. All I could do was get run over. (Of course, many of us stopped paddling to keep from running over other people at various times throughout the session. What? Do I have a target on my forehead?) I wasn't even mad. I figure you take your life into your hands at that place. I was just glad it was the board and not me. What's funny is my friend thought I would be mad and want to get out. Fuck that! My attitude was, I'm here and I've got a gash in the nose of my damn board. Why get out? Now it's time to get some waves. So, that was the worst thing that happened today. Frankly, I figure I fared well. I saw people being hit by boards, people yelling and cursing about being hit by boards, and people writhing in pain from being hit by boards. I got off easy.

There was more good to the session than bad. I got two long rides, rides that showed my why people flock to Malibu. I don't remember the first one. I only recall being relieved that I was finally experiencing that wonderful Malibu ride. I do remember the last one. I was talking to my friend. I wasn't really paying attention to the approaching wave. I wanted to tell her we should get out. I was tired and I was getting cold. Then I turned around and saw that wave approach. I just went. I don't even remember thinking about it. I just went. It was a split second decision. Lo and behold, I got the wave and I think I had it to myself. I started hearing people whooping and hollering and wondered what they were so excited about. Then I realized they were yelling for me! Some kid started to drop in on me. I maneuvered around him and kept on riding. That one wave was amazing. It made the fin gash worthwhile.

There were quite a few bombs that passed through later in the morning. When I say bombs, I'm not kidding. These were some big waves with power. I managed to paddle over them. My friend said on one of them, a guy in a black hat rode it while perched at the top of it on the nose of his board. She said it was truly beautiful. Black hat? Who is that?

Oh!!! Him!!!! How cool is it to see a former World Longboard Champion in the lineup? What was even more astounding was when he paddled for a wave, everyone else stopped. I couldn't help but yell, "How come he gets a wave to himself? What's up with that?" He's a nice guy too. I congratulated him on the birth of his son and got both a smile and a response.

Yeah, I'll go back to Malibu. But I'm taking the big gun next time. I think I was hamstrung by the Tyler in previous visits. I was worried that I'd hurt someone with that big thing. Now I realize I need that big thing for protection! The bigger the board, the better!


At 6/21/05, 8:21 PM, Anonymous daddio said...


At 6/21/05, 10:15 PM, Anonymous srfdad said...

What you need to understand about Malibu is that there is actually an intricate and complicated pecking order to the lineup. All the rules are designed to give the
advantage to the more talented surfer. While this may seem unfair,
realize that the better surfers are usually the ones that surf rings around the rest of the crowd.
Talent is a huge factor at Malibu
however, it is not the only factor governing the lineup. Age plays a role too. Any talented grom who has cut his teeth at the 'Bu has stamina, ability and the agressive attitude of youth, will always rank high in the pecking order. Many times the groms are blocking for the older surfers who have earned a certain amount of respect.
In this way they make their bones, while chasing the complete kooks out of the lineup.
Time spent at Malibu definately has place in determining the pecking order. While a any surfer, talented or otherwise, can always come to Malibu and have a nice time. One must understand that he will always fall lower on the totempole than any person who surfs Malibu for a great many years. While I surfed Malibu a bit as a kid, I personally have spent the last decade surfing Malibu and it's only been the last few years that I have received any amount of respect.
Time spent also gives one another
valuable tool, knowledge of how the place works. Who are the good surfers, where the wave is sectioning, where are the takeoff zones, which surfers are making the sections and which ones aren't. While I generally
do not condone dropping and shoulder hopping, knowledge of where and when the wave sections occur, will give one opportunities too pickup waves others might miss.
A closeout for one soul is a new wave for somone else. A last word on dropping in on a "Party Wave" at the 'Bu, You had better be sure
you are going to make it. If you don't make the wave, you are going to have to contend with several people behind you and they're going to be pissed!
So why do we put up with the sh*t
that governs Malibu? The wave man, the wave. If you are lucky enough to ride one of these waist to headhigh beauties all the way from first point too the sand, you will understand why. If these tips don't help, try to remember "it's always the other guys fault!".

At 6/22/05, 6:08 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Homie, I'm not mad. I think Malibu is actually fascinating and I liked the session. Once you "get it," the place makes more sense. By the end of the session yesterday, I got it. You can see that there is some order there. What helps to cause the chaos, in my view, are the people who aren't locals (because we have no idea what's going on so we just go). So if you're new to the spot, it seems like one big free-for-all. But I did see some semblance of a pecking order (believe it or not). And yes, the wave is amazing!!!! As for dropping in, yeah, I pulled out of a lot of waves because I didn't want to drop in on people who were already moving down the line. I saw others do it, but I don't think that's cool (even at Malibu).

At 6/22/05, 8:55 AM, Anonymous another surfpop said...

Srfdad said what I was about to...

Some advice for surfsis.
First get the party wave mentality out of your game plan. Pay attention, if you hang inside and a set wave comes bee line out of the way, nothing is more irritating than having to deal with that "dear in the headlights" look and see a perfect unridden wave pass by because someone was in the way inside, most likely the people that finned your board were thinking they could make it and thought they would teach a lesson at the same time, unfortunate but it was your fault, believe it or not. Also, there definitely is a pecking order and at times mind games.

The party wave mentality (as you mentioned in a previous post) will just get you into trouble here.

At 6/22/05, 10:44 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Sorry about your board.

Your story makes me all the more sure that the only time I'm going to try out Malibu is pre-dawn when I get Coop fixed. I might enlist the help of the Malibu dawn patrol regular who sold me Coop last year.

At 6/22/05, 12:14 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I was moving out of the way. I know better than to just sit there. But I got the impression that these people were having a paddle battle and I was the least of their worries. No matter. What's done is done. As I said, I'm not mad.
The waves I did catch were those I managed to get without dropping in or cutting anyone off. In essence, I waited for my turn. I have no problem with that. I wouldn't go to your house and put my feet all over the furniture. Nor would I go to your break and act like I can do what I want. I waited and watched. My friend, however, made a lot of people mad and she knows it. Phranc even called her a "snake". Thanks to both of the dad surfers for your input. Believe it or not, I do listen.

At 6/22/05, 1:43 PM, Blogger crustyripper said...

My two cents - If you run over someone, 9 times out of 10 you are a kook. I don't care if they are just sitting there frozen like a deer in the headlights. If you're such a great surfer you should be able to pull up, or go around them. You don't just keep paddling into them because you're going for a wave. A perfect analogy is sailing. Just because you're on starboard tack doesn't mean you can slam into a boat on port if you can avoid the collision. Yes, you have the right of way, but you also have the obligation to avoid hitting the other boat if possible. If you're in a race, file a protest, don't hit the boat. From Sis' description, this was not her fault, the wave zealots should have pulled back. They can feel free to yell at her for being in the way (if she was), but running over her is unacceptable. It could have been her head with that gash and not a surfboard.

At 6/22/05, 3:13 PM, Anonymous surfpop said...


To be clear, I'm not saying it's right to fin someones board just saying it happens and you should be aware of it for that reason. Sis, just be careful when your inside and it's crowded and a sneaker set shows up.

At 6/22/05, 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so Malibu has the following pros and cons associated with it:


1) according to some the ultimate longboard wave
2) 20 to 30 min. drive from LA


1) serious crowds
2) the risk of serious bodily injury as a result of the aforementioned crowds
3) poor water quality which could make you sick
4) did I mention serious crowds?

At 6/23/05, 9:46 AM, Anonymous Tony said...

i agree with crusty. Right of way does not forgive nailing someone. I always look inside before I am dropping in. Even if everyone is on top of thier game, you can get caught inside, kook or not. Anyone who says they are never in the way is either lying or not paying attention.

At 6/23/05, 12:06 PM, Anonymous TONY said...

Clarification: I meant dropping into the wave, not dropping in on a surfer.


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