Malibu's Iconic Surfrider Beach Is The Perfect Beginner-Friendly Surfing Destination

Part of the Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Surfrider Beach is an iconic surfing destination of the U.S., helping to popularize the sport in Southern California and internationally. In the 1950s and 1960s, Surfrider Beach was the setting for popular surfing movies, introducing the sport (and surfing lifestyle) to American popular culture.

Per, Malibu Lagoon State Beach is comprised of Malibu Lagoon, which features 22 acres of wetland; Malibu Pier; and the one-mile stretch of sandy coastline that is Surfrider Beach. While the beach is a fun destination for surfers of all skill levels, Surfrider Beach is particularly accommodating for beginners. 

Not only did Surfrider Beach help popularize modern surfing, but the beach also helped create and popularize coastal conservation efforts. In fact, due to ongoing environmental concerns in Malibu, the protection of Surfrider Beach led to the creation of the Surfrider Foundation in 1984, per SurferToday. Whether you're a beginner surfer or surf historian, a trip to Surfrider Beach, 30 miles west of Los Angeles, is worth the trip.

Three point breaks to enjoy

The three main breaks at Surfrider Beach in Malibu are known as First Point, Second Point, and Third Point. First Point is considered by many as the best right-hand point break in California. Typically, First Point produces constant, low, and slow-moving waves, per SurferToday, making it ideal for beginner surfers riding a longboard.

The Second Point break provides more challenging waves, which sometimes connect with the First Point's break. The Third Point produces the largest and fastest waves, often offering both right and left breaks.

For a novice surfer riding a longboard or funboard, First Point is going to be the launch point of choice, while short-boarders or surfers with more experience will probably prefer either Second or Third Point. Regardless, Surfrider Beach is an awesome choice for a learning surfer. If you take to surfing pretty quickly, it's possible to get your feet under you on First Point, then try out one of the other breaks (on a smaller day).

Legacy of coastal conservation

Not only is Surfrider Beach an awesome destination to experience a day of Southern California surfing, but its contribution to beach conservation and coastal conservation cannot be understated. According to U.S. Today's 10 Best, Surfrider Beach was the first surf destination considered a World Surfing Reserve by the Save the Waves Coalition.

According to the non-profit, there are now 11 surfing destinations protected and managed by local communities with the support of Save the Waves. The goal is to protect the environmental, cultural, and economic attributes of iconic surf destinations around the world.

In addition, the Surfrider Foundation — initially formed to protect Surfrider Beach in 1984 — has since become one of the most impactful coastal protection associations in the world. From testing coastal runoff and organizing beach cleanups to advocating for ocean-friendly restaurants and against single-use plastics, the Surfrider Foundation has created a model that other environmental associations have followed.

Indeed, Surfrider Beach's legacy has been both to introduce the sport of surfing to new generations while conserving surfing ecosystems for these future generations to enjoy.