Away from the hustle and bustle of the Tokyo city life, tucked away on the eastern shores of the Chiba Peninsula, there lies a coastal paradise known as Malibu. Although this Malibu may be thousands of miles across the sea, its similarities with the one we all know and love would surprise you. They both share more than just a name, they represent the quintessential essence of surf culture, perfectly blending the thrilling surf and a laid back atmosphere that resonate deeply within both Malibu surf sanctuaries. 

Chiba Coast VS Malibu Coast

How did Chiba Malibu get it’s name?:

In the 1960’s Americans working from the Yokosuka military base would often take their boards to Katsuura, a local surf break at the time. While surfing the tranquil waters some of the soldiers there found something quite familiar.

Yokosuka military base

Some of them said that the local break reminded them exactly of Malibu Beach from back home and started calling the Katsuura surf point Malibu. This soon quickly spread throughout the surfing community hence becoming known as “Malibu”.

The quintessential “Malibu” Wave: 

While the Chiba’s Malibu and California’s Malibu may be thousands of miles apart, the connection between them extends far beyond just their name. Both spots hold a warm spot in the hearts of each of their respective surfing communities. Similar to the wave in Malibu, Chiba’s Malibu is also famous for its high quality and consistent surf allowing surfers of all ages and levels to enjoy the quintessential Malibu wave. Surfers who have experienced both spots often speak warmly of the kinship they felt with each location, showing that despite their geographical differences, the essence of what makes Malibu Iconic is present in Chiba’s waters.

Chiba Malibu 1

Point Dume Malibu

(Picture 1, Chiba Japan. Picture 2, Point Dume Malibu California)

Identical to the wave in Malibu, Chiba is also famous for its long peeling right hander, making it the perfect spot for slack style longboarding. The break in Chiba is best enjoyed in the summer months when swells roll in from the south, providing smooth and reliable rides rivaling its California counterpart. Beyond that the beach is surrounded with vibrant local surf culture, cafes, surf shops, and beautiful seaside hang out spots perfect for that Sunday summer afternoon.

Chiba Malibu Town

Fish Grill Malibu

(Picture 1 Chiba, Picture 2 Malibu)

The Malibu in California also serves as an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Even if you don’t know how to surf, many come to Malibu’s famous beaches to experience the tranquil beach town lifestyle, enjoy the local boutiques and restaurants, and catch the world class sunset that Malibu is famous for. Across the Pacific ocean, you will find that people flock to the shores of Chiba’s Malibu for the exact same reasons. Just an hour by car, Chiba serves as Tokyo’s seaside getaway. The town of Chiba is quaint and quiet, offering the same peaceful beach lifestyle found in California’s Malibu. The people are even more gentle than the views here making the warm atmosphere the perfect destination not just for experienced surfers but also for beginners looking to take their first steps into the world of surfing. 

Chiba Nobu

Malibu Nobu

(Picture 1 Chiba, Picture 2 Malibu)

As surfing continues to evolve and expand globally, the connection between California’s Malibu and Chiba’s Malibu stands as a symbol of surfing and surfing culture’s ability to transcend geographical and cultural boundaries. I think all who surf have that indescribable feeling of being out there, present with the ocean, feeling the thrill of catching a wave and having nothing going on in your head other than you and the surf. This indescribable feeling is something that regardless which culture you come from, is the foundation of every surf community across the world, and is a universal language where words are incapable of grasping the full depth of the experience. I think for this reason, the Malibu in Chiba represents the universal language of surfing, the respect and love for the ocean, and the sense of belonging that vibrates deep within the heart of every surfer.

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