Video: "Summer Lullaby" at Malibu

Video: "Summer Lullaby" at Malibu

Aquatic Eden or madness? Taylor Nelson and Makala Smith talk about their love/hate relationship with Malibu's famous First Point. One wave is all it takes.

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Mediterranean Summer Reading Video: "Summer Lullaby" at Malibu 5 minutes Next United by the Sea: Handsome Citizens

There’s a magical Malibu that we see in photographs. It's a place where wave after wave unwinds in a flawless crescendo like rows of chorus line dancers. It’s a place where time feels like slow motion as your fin locks into the crest and you’re cruising on the tip of the nose for eternity. 

This is the home of “Gidget.” Mecca of 1960s California surf culture. To Aussies and Brits, Malibu literally equals longboard, which are called "Mals" for short. Thousands of surfers flock to Malibu’s iconic pier in the summer hoping to catch a perfect ride. 

And then there is a parallel universe of Malibu. A place where conflict is coming at all your senses. Paddling into a wave is a staredown looking over your left and right shoulders. Agro yelling and whistling escalates into people actually getting pushed off waves. You’re dodging leashless longboards and stray foamies. 

Which Malibu have you been to? At the end of the summer and south swell season, we reminisced about our love/hate relationship with this famous wave. Turns out, which Malibu you end up at is in your head. 

Photo of Taylor Nelson at Malibu by Colin Nearman.

SUMMER LULLABY from Aaron Kim on Vimeo.

Taylor Nelson (Seeababe, goofy foot Malibu local)

"'Summer Lullaby' is a short piece that my good friend Aaron Kim came up with. We work really well together so when he asked to meet up for a dawn patrol at the BU I was stoked and even more stoked when it was the best day of summer and nobody was out!

So many people including myself have a love/hate relationship with the BU and I think the best way to navigate it on a crowded day is to fully embrace the madness and pick your waves carefully. I think so many people get upset when they paddle out because of the crowd because they don't know how to navigate around it and also they don't know the locals that they can't drop in on.

I always hear people say "It's Malibu" referring to the crowds and then they think that its ok for them to drop in on anyone and back paddle whoever just because it is so crowded. When you grow up in the chaos you know who has put their time in the water just as you have. So when people make those comments I find it pretty disrespectful and just ignore it because I know they are only coming up to surf with "swells".

My dad has always told me 'If you can't have fun out here, you can't have fun anywhere.' That little saying of his has totally changed the way I look at surfing and has always brought me back to how blessed we are to even have the ocean to jump into. I have gotten to a point that when people forget that surfing is supposed to be fun I feel really bad for them. If they can't find joy in the water it scares me to think what they are like on land.

Malibu feels like home because of the community of friends and family I have there. I love that no matter how long I am away from that place I am always welcomed back with warm smiles and open arms." 

 Kathy Kohner, the original Gidget at Malibu circa 1950s.


Makala Smith wears the Lido One-Piece. Photo by @hashtagsharkbait. 


Makala Smith (Seeababe, SanO shredder and winner of the Women's 2016 Call to the Wall) 

“Quality over quantity. When you get a good wave at Malibu it's one of the best waves of your life.

But you hate the attitude. The vibe isn't how it’s supposed to be with surfing. Surfing is supposed to be alive sharing the stoke together. Sometimes when you’re there it's too much to handle. It's not what you want in the water.

Amongst the crowds and the kooks, there are a bunch of legends in the water that understand and share the stoke.

Even though you don't get the waves you want, the ones you get are perfection. Not only is it worth the wait, time and presence are nonexistent. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, a good wave in Malibu is like a good wave anywhere in the world. 

The feeling of coming off a perfect wave at Malibu is like no other. You just got the perfect right of your life and the crowd is not a factor. Even though you’re in a crowd, you’re on the wave alone and that all worth it.

One wave is all it takes.

You can wait 30 minutes for a wave and deal with people back paddling you and cutting you off, but that moment when you get one… It's worth it all.

One wave, you can get out and leave satisfied. Or not, then you want more and you don't get it! Hahahaha.” 

 Makala Smith wears the Lido One-Piece. Photo by @hashtagsharkbait. 

Makala Smith from Bird Man Media on Vimeo.


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