Many surfers get excited about the bigger surf during the Winter time in Southern California, however for those looking to catch a frosty wave in Malibu, there is a catch. Most of Malibu has south facing beaches, making the perfect winter surf spot hard to find. So we made a list of Malibu’s best winter time surf breaks.
Located at the northernmost tip of Malibu, Zuma Beach is strongly affected by two submerged canyons that during the winter and spring, funnel huge sets to the sandy shore break. This allowes waves all across Zuma to maintain their power even when they’re not particularly large. However do be cautious when the sets are only chest high, their size is often deceptive on how much force is behind the wave. For surfers seeking a more difficult ride in the winter, this beach is a fun option due to it’s steep drops and speed. If you can catch an offshore wind here, these waves turn from great to truly radical.
An excellent option for winter surfing is County Line, which is the final Malibu surfing point prior to the Ventura County boundary. At high tide, this beach brings variable conditions, with powerful and frequently hollow sets by the peaky beach break south of the point. At a low tide, The location is comparable to Luanda Bay, drawing in a North West swell and creating a very soft pleasant wave face. Under ideal circumstances, the waves can drift left, providing rides of about 100 yards. Longboarders and shortboarders alike can enjoy breaks throughout the whole beach, as the conditions and types of drops vary all the way down the line up.
Because of its proximity to Zuma and its exposure to the northwest swells, Westward Beach catches many of the same Winter surf that Zuma does. However, do to it’s more rocky bottom, the waves here tend to generally have better shape than Zuma. Additionally, similar to Zuma, you can also take off from a more shallow sandbar. Due to the mixed breakshere, surfers can enjoy a mix of both lefts and rights. The swell may make these waves anything from playful and doable on calm days to steep and fast. If you aren’t looking for surf, dou to this beach being at a bend and slightly cut off from Zuma and the surrounding parking, Westward is often not as busy even at peak hours. As a final note, surfers should use caution during heavy swells due to the powerful currents, riptides and dangerous rocks that are often present here.
Nicholas Canyon (Zero’s):
Nicholas Canyon, sometimes called Zero’s, is one of Malibu's best-kept secrets when it comes to winter surfing. This beach is perfect for riding winter swells because of its unusual terrain, which features a point break that faces northwest. Whether you're a longboarder or a shortboarder, you'll find something to your liking on the waveshere. When other beaches could be blown out, this one is dependable because of the steady break and the waves' ability to hold their shape. While the picturesque backdrop and seldom-crowded queue are major draws for surfers, they should be ready for cooler water and the large patches of kelp that might snag their fins.
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