Malibu gets Hurricane Marie swell
Welcome to Malibu
As Hurricane Marie formed off the coast of Mexico, it spun itself right into Southern California's swell window. While the surf pumped from Baja to Point Conception, nowhere took the brunt of the sizable storm quite like Malibu, and thousands of area surfers took advantage of it. Pundits, locals and critics alike are calling it the biggest Malibu ever, or at the very least, in a decade. Dangerous surf warnings went up all over Southern California, and one surfer died in the water off Malibu on Tuesday, according to local reports.
While Laird Hamilton winters on the north shore of Maui, he spends his summer around Los Angeles. Taking full advantage of his proximity to Malibu, he put in a career session. From shooting the pier to making rescues, he was a force to be reckoned with.
Allen Sarlo has long been regarded as the local's local at Malibu. For well over three decades he's owned the lineup, and as a resident real estate agent, sold some of the area's premier properties. He wasn't going to miss a day like this at his beloved point.
Out The Back
City officials were forced to close the pier with massive sets breaking out at the end making standing on the pier unsafe. It's amazing the historic old pier didn't just topple into the ocean.
Skaters don't get older, they just get gnarlier. Original Zephyr/Dogtown rider Jeff Ho hasn't skipped a beat. Age means nothing when you can still paddle out and the swell's this good.
L.A. County Lifeguards
L.A. County lifeguards kept busy from the moment their shifts began to the end. On Tuesday, the first day of the giant swell, a surfer died of unknown causes while surfing near the Malibu pier, according to news reports. Lifeguards pulled the man from the waves, but they were unable to resuscitate him. Making rescues was the norm for the Surfrider lifeguard crew, as the swell was one of the most intense in years, drawing all kinds of people out of the woodwork.
Carlos Del Olmo, Robert Trujillo, Strider Wasilewski
The boys hanging on the point. Robert Trujilo (center) cut his teeth in the L.A. music scene first as the bass player for Suicidal Tendencies, before playing with Ozzy Osbourne and eventually landing on Metallica's roster. The guy on the right, Strider Wasilewski, also grew up surfing L.A.'s impacted lineups and is now a commentator on ASP webcasts. And Carlos Del Olmo, well, he's just a jack of all trades.
Reef McIntosh is better known for rolling into huge sets at Pipeline, but like a lot of pro surfers, he makes California his home in the summer to be closer to sponsors, easy travel out of LAX, and of course, when Malibu turned on he was within striking distance.
Closed Until Further Notice
The Malibu pier was closed on Tuesday as the swell rapidly rose, and wasn't reopened until late Thursday when the swell subsided.
A big, frothy wall awaits JP Peret as he finds his way to the inside section of the wave.
Somehow Hamilton always seems to be in the right place at the right time. While prepping for his surf session he noticed a surfer in distress. Always a man of action, he grabbed a pair of fins and went out after him.
With the help of another surfer, Hamilton was able to get the victim in through the shorebreak and safely onto the beach.
After the rescue Hamilton went right back to waxing his board and prepping for his session. Meanwhile, the surfer he rescued stands in the background recovering.
Dillon Perillo is a pro surfer who spends months at a time on boats searching the world for surf. Ironically, the Malibu native didn't have to leave the confines of the city limits to score some of the best waves of his year.
Jay Adams' Wall Ride
Over the years the late great Jay Adams logged a lot of water time at Malibu, and his recent passing has stunned the L.A. surf and skate community. Memorialized on the infamous Malibu wall, Adams seemed present as surfers entered and exited the water here.
Jen Smith, Donny Wilson
Former women's longboard world champ Jen Smith and local fixture Donny Wilson were all smiles after scoring some of the biggest waves in Malibu in over a decade.
Hamilton weaves through L.A. traffic in hopes of locking into the express lane. His performance at Malibu was one of the most talked about to come out of the Hurricane Marie chaos.
With waves connecting the entire length of the point, Malibu's Surfrider Beach was the place to be when the Hurricane Marie swell unloaded.
Jack Johnson, Branden Aroyan
Organic songster Jack Johnson got his bubbly toes wet at Malibu while his longtime friend and photographer Branden Aroyan documented the activity. The two have been fast friends since the time Johnson attended UC Santa Barbara and Aroyan went to the Brooks Institute of Photography. Needless to say, they had a lot to smile about on Wednesday
Stacked and Shwacked
Waves don't go through the Malibu lineup unridden very often, but the steeply-angled south swell was pulsing so strong on Wednesday, that just catching one was an accomplishment ... and burying a little rail, well that was just an added bonus.
Siestas y Olas
After an extended morning session, this tuckered out surfer grabbed a quick siesta before heading out again later in the day.
How does a skate rat kid like Curren Caples grow up to have so much surf style? Well, it all starts with good parenting. Curren's dad, Evan, threads between two surfers for a well-places smash in the pocket. Apparently good style breeds good style.
Always a constant at Malibu, Chad Marshall's renowned for his fancy footwork on a longboard, and while he still opted to ride a log out there on the big day, he definitely took a more point-and-shoot approach.
Peret rolled his camper van down to Malibu and it became the hangout spot for the cast of characters as they found their way in and out of the lineup.
For a sense of scale, Malibu usually hovers around the knee to waist-high range, stand-up tubes simply don't happen out there except on the rarest of occasions.
No Free Parking
Finding parking on P.C.H. was harder than finding a wave on "Big Wednesday." Folks from all over were showing up with a wide array of boards, from conventional thrusters to classic single-fins.
Allen Sarlo, Laird Hamilton
Sharing is caring. Sarlo and Hamilton make the most of this wide open Malibu wall.
Third generation Malibu surfer Andy Lyons breaking all the rules.
There's really only one acceptable way to beat traffic on P.C.H.