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Monday, September 8, 2014

Thanks to Hurricane Marie | Waves from the Wedge, Malibu and More

By Rick Bickerstaff

Hurricane Marie swept Southern California last week, pumping in the biggest swells it's received in twenty years. And fortunately for me and my friends, it hit Los Angeles and Ventura counties the hardest. You might have seen pictures or videos at the Wedge in Newport Beach, just an hour or so south of Los Angeles. Massive 20-30 foot waves abounded here at the ultra-dangerous beach break. Mostly body-boarders populated this spot, as the break is so shallow it's practically suicide for surfers. Still, many made it out, and more watched.

The Wedge, photo by ©John Lucarelli, courtesy of

As for me and my friends, we chose to head north to Malibu, along with about 80% of SoCal surfers, including legendary Laird Hamilton, who shot the pier (detailed here). I also found this video that shows some of the epic waves Malibu had to offer, as well as the crowds:


A friend and I took off Thursday to catch the still epic swell. We passed by Malibu and kept heading north in search of a little seclusion. We hit Point Dume, which had some of the biggest and most beautiful rolling waves I've ever seen. Still crowded, we headed further north and landed at Leo Carillo, which is usually far too overpopulated for the way it breaks. Thursday was our day though, as we parked and paddled into a rare lineup of about 8 people in consistent head-high-plus sets.

Point Dume
It was an unexpected surge in what has been a fairly flat summer. As fall approaches, this was a welcome warm up as we head into winter, which is traditionally the big season. I think I speak for all of Southern California when I say, "Thanks Marie!"