Hollywood surfing spots
It’s said California has so many attractive people because wannabe stars from all over the world made their way to Hollywood in search of fame. A few made it to stardom, but most ended up living by the beach and taking up surfing.
From central Hollywood a drive west along Sunset Blvd will take you to surf spots like Chart House Rights, Topanga Beach and the famed point at Malibu. Mostly righthanders, the area is a mix of both winter and summer spots, often right next to eachother. Summer ocean temps allow for board shorts and bikinis (mid-70s) while winter requires a 3/2 fullsuit with water temps dipping into the low 60s.
Chart House Rights
Chart House Rights is a ledgy right over a reef that works best on a small south swell at low tide. The reef is a bit sketchy, so be careful. The parking lot is only for Chart Housecustomers so you’ll have to park alongside the road.
Topanga State Beach
Topanga State Beach works in wintertime with the outer point best when the forecast calls for a west swell. The break is a short, condensed outer peak and a burger wall through the inside.
Malibu is ground zero for California surf culture. This is where Gidget surfed and characters like Miki Dora honed their craft. The wave is an amazing rightander that gets insanely crowded. Best surf conditions require a south swell. Surf can get up to double overhead in size and rarely closes out.
Hollywood surfing lessons
While in Hollywood you can learn to surf at Malibu through one of many surf schools. Malibu Surf Coach offers standard learn-to-surf packages but also specialises in individual performance coaching. Chris “Stingray” Stiegle offers sessions at most LA beaches, but also has access to a private location. Video analysis is included with coaching. Contact for pricing.
Aqua Surf School has individual two-hour lessons available for $159US or 1.5hour lessons for $135. They also offer group rate packages and multi-lesson discounts.
Malibu Makos offers private hour and 1.5-hour surf lessons year round starting at $100. The group prides itself on safety and also offers private beach parties, lifeguard services and special group events.
Hotels for surfers in Hollywood
Hollywood used to be seedy back in the day. The only inexpensive hotels often charged by the hour. However now, with the PodShare boom, an affordable stay doesn’t mean compromising your safety. PodShare Hollywood has rooms starting at $80. Stylish and smart, this no-nonsense facility is close to Sunset Blvd and a short drive to the rights of Topanga.
The Banana Bungalow Hollywood is a bright building sporting serious TV sitcom vibes. Rooms start at $114 for a private and go down if you share a dorm space. There’s a Gilligan’s Island feel with palm fronds everywhere and colourful floodlights to light your way back to the room after a night at the bar.
Of course Hollywood is synonymous with Malibu, so a stay at the world famous Malibu Inn an option If you have the means. What’s not to love? You can enjoy the private beach and have umbrella drinks or micro brews brought straight to you. And the famous rights of Malibu’s First Point are just a short walk up the beach. Rooms start at $1,120 per night. Oh, and say hello to Brad Pitt for us.
Hollywood is a great vacation place for water sports activities.
Hollywood surfing guide and tips prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s surf guides.
Photo by Ammie Ngo