He’s going to Malibu, and he’s going to get such good waves on his fabulous turquoise midlength with no leash. No one will even know that he has ever surfed it with a leash at all. It’ll totally be a secret.
Surfline Man needs a roadtrip.
It’s not like Cardiff is bad or anything. In fact, he’s pretty stoked he moved here, on the whole. There’s such good waves all the time. He can’t believe how much he’s surfing now, and he’s like, totally a regular at the Pannikin.
It’s all working out so perfect.
But he needs to change it up. It’s not good for his surfing to always hit the same waves. He should try different spots. It’s the only way he’ll get better. And he is so determined to get better at surfing.
Why even do it if he’s not going to be good at it. That perfect cutback, it’s totally coming to him, he can feel it.
Reclining on the couch, Surfline Man scrolls through Surfline looking at forecasts. So many beautiful charts and graphs, it’s so much fun to look at them all. Where to go, that’s the question. Trestles is definitely out, due to the whole ex-girlfriend thing.
Surfline Man scrolls some more.
There’s a nice pulse of south on the forecast. Surfline Man thinks hard. He hasn’t been to Malibu lately. In fact, he has never surfed his beautiful turquoise midlength at Malibu.
Yes, that’s exactly it. He simply has to go to Malibu with his midlength. Where better place to learn the perfect cutback than Malibu. It was meant to be.
Joel Tudor says that Malibu is the best summer surf spot in the world, and Surfline Man knows better to argue. He might get punched in the face. If he’s honest, Surfline Man is pretty sure he’ll get punched in the face eventually anyway, but he’s not about to speed up the process.
Heading to the garage, Surfline Man pulls his midlength out of the rack and gazes at it lovingly. You can’t even tell he dropped it on the tail, at least that’s what he tells himself. He carefully removes the leash and unties the string. He heard that only losers surf with leashes now, and he’s not about to show up to Malibu with a leash dragging behind him. Everyone would immediately brand him kook, for sure.
Daydreaming of Malibu’s perfect rights, Surfline Man slides his now-leashless mid into his Sprinter. Fresh avocados for a mid-day snack. Bottled water. Rinse kit. Fresh HydroFlask in the latest colorway for summer. Surfline Man recently bought a new changing poncho, and he is super excited to use it for the first time. It would be so embarrassing to have his bare ass just like hanging out there on the PCH.
Get in the van, we’re going to Malibu.
Surfline Man wakes up before dawn, pours freshly made coffee into his fave Yeti mug, and hits the road. Surfline Man is so excited. He’s going to Malibu, and he’s going to get such good waves on his fabulous turquoise midlength with no leash. No one will even know that he has ever surfed it with a leash at all. It’ll totally be a secret.
Surfline Man cruises through the long swooping interchange over the 405 and merges on to the 10, that weird narrow old freeway that cuts through Santa Monica. Hurtling west, he reaches the tunnel that magically transports him to the coast. It’s always a surprise that tunnel, the way the shimmering ocean and wide sand beach so suddenly appear.
In these pre-dawn hours, there’s not much traffic, and Surfline Man sails up the coast. A line of campervans sits parked along the shoulder, and a cyclist headbanging along the highway swings out into the lane to avoid them. Surfline Man slows to make space.
He’s going to Malibu, and he’s in such a good mood right now.
Rolling past Topanga, Surfline Man sees the Boardriders shop. With its giant wave mural on the wall and the succulents growing out front, it sends out an almost irresistible siren call to Surfline Man. He resists, barely. Malibu. He has to get to Malibu. But gazing upon the deep blues of the Boardriders mural, he can’t help but think about just how fucking cool surfing is.
Yah. Surfing is so cool, man.
Now he’s in Malibu.
A pair of girls in cute as fuck spring suits dart across the highway, longboards tucked under their arms. Surfline Man slows to avoid them and to enjoy the view. Parking is competitive and the tiny lot at First Point filled long before dawn. Surfline Man really wants a spot up front, but he is resigned to the likelihood of a long walk.
Then he sees it. A parking spot! It’s on the other side of the highway, but a small detail like is not going to stop him. Surfline Man pilots his Sprinter into position and after a quick look-see, swings a tight u-turn, or at least, the tightest u-turn he can manage in the van, which is about as tight as his cutback.
At least he’s not terrible at parallel parking, and Surfline Man soon has his Sprinter wedged into a space, right there at First Point Malibu.
He made it! Surfline Man can’t even believe it, he’s going to surf Malibu right now.
From his prime parking spot, he can see waves sashaying down the point. A slight south wind folds wrinkles into their faces. Black dots march through the lineup, and cluster around the peak. It’s crowded, of course. When has Malibu ever not been crowded? Not lately, that’s for sure.
Stoke undiminished, Surfline Man slides into his Long John. Thanks to all the surf he’s scored, his arms are looking so toned. He looks like a guy who surfs, Surfline Man thinks, as he checks his tousled, sun-kissed hair in the Sprinter’s side mirror.
Surfline Man saunters down the splintering wood steps to the parking lot. Someone is banging a drum, and the scent of sativa wafts lightly in the breeze.
Through the gap in the wall, Surfline Man pauses to take it all in. The beach is packed with people even this early in the morning, and brightly colored umbrellas pop. Longboards lounge against the wall, same as it ever was.
History man, there’s so much of it. Standing there on the beach, Surfline Man can totally feel it.
Now to get a wave. Up close, the crowd does not look smaller. Undaunted, Surfline Man paddles his turquoise midlength into the lineup. An uncontrolled chaos reigns. Surfline Man sits on his board and watches for a few minutes to get the vibe.
A wave comes. Five guys paddle and three guys make it. Four guys and a girl drop in from the shoulder. One kicks out. One falls. The surfer in front slides through a stylish turn, arms up, hips swiveling. He walks the nose, as behind him, three others grapple for space. Two loose boards float unclaimed on the inside. Another wave comes, and the whole thing starts all over again.
Up close, it’s much more intimidating than Surfline Man expected. But he came all this way, so he’d better at least try to get a wave. Trying seems better than nothing, anyway. He positions as best he can near the peak, which isn’t very near at all. He hates to be that guy, you know the one, the guy who always drops in from the shoulder. Necessity is making him rethink his principles.
Moving down the point a bit, Surfline Man looks for a likely spot. Not too close to anyone else, not too close to the peak. Surfline Man tries to channel his warrior side, which he’s not sure he actually has, but it sounds good.
He can get a wave at Swamis, so why not here?
Sure, brah, you are totally getting a wave here, says his inner voice. Shut up, inner voice. This is totally not the time for inner voices.
Maybe this one? Nah. Or this one. Surfline Man watches as the lead surfer falls just after he passes by. Damn, so the worst timing. Surfline Man looks at the next one, already six guys on it. Shit. Next one, bro’s nose-riding, can’t drop in on that.
Okay, a lull. Surfline Man is feeling tired, but he’s not about to give up.
Then, it comes. It’s not a set wave, but Surfline Man is past the point of being super choosey. He’ll take anything now.
This time, there’s two guys and a girl up and riding. Suddenly, the guys collide. Surfline Man can’t believe his eyes. They fell! Surfline Man notices that the girl is cute, but there’s no time think about that right now. He must catch this wave!
Surfline Man scraps in from the shoulder, not quite in position, but fortunately, his beautiful turquoise midlength looks after him, and corrects for his mistakes. He glides into the wave, and looks down the line as though in a fever dream. He can’t believe he is actually standing on a wave at Malibu! For a moment, he forgets to surf.
A few tentative pumps and suddenly, Surfline Man is speeding down the line. Surfline Man doesn’t know what flying feels like, but maybe it’s something like this. He tries really hard not to flap his arms too much or do anything else super kooky and awkward. It’s so hard.
Surfline Man forgets all about his quest for the perfect cutback and the cute girl he met at the Seaside Market and the ding in the tail of his beautiful turquoise midlength and the leash he left in his garage to ensure he looks cool.
He forgets about everything except this moment right now, sliding down the line at Malibu, the pier straight in front of him, Cher watching from her house up on the hill. Malibu, fuck it’s cool.
The wave dwindles to nothing, and Surfline Man kicks out. He’s at the bottom of the point, and he still can’t quite believe it. He got a wave at fucking Malibu! Surfline Man resists the urge to fist pump. It’s a struggle, but he’s determined to play it cool. Surfline Man’s pretty sure there’s a dumb shit-eating grin on his face, and he decides that he doesn’t even care.
Surfline Man walks up the beach. He stops to look behind him, taking in the perfect waves, and the crowd of black dots, the blue sky overhead.
Yeah, man, this is living, he thinks, as he walks past the wall, midlength tucked under his perfectly toned arm.
Surfing is so cool, and Surfline Man can’t wait to do it again.