Southern California has its fair share of guaranteed-to-always-be-crowded lineups. Malibu’s Surfrider Beach may be top dog, with the crowd at First Point turning into a bonafide minefield during the slightest hint of south swell.
We know this. I know this. And yet I can’t avoid the place. In fact, even when I’d planned to surf a less crowded point miles up the road one late afternoon during the Code Red 2 madness, I couldn’t avoid First Point’s draw. It was the classic scam: driving north on Pacific Coast Highway 1, a judgmental smirk on my face as I passed Topanga and imagined all the angry bickering that must have been tossed around in that lineup. A few minutes later I came up to First Point, rubbernecking as I drove by. I had no designs on surfing here but still had to at least catch a glimpse of a wave rolling through because this is what surfers do while driving by the ocean with swell lines stacked on the horizon. It looked good. Just like I expected. Really good, actually. A few moments later traffic was slow enough that I could rubberneck one more time while passing the bridge over the lagoon. Maybe I’d see something rolling through Third and Second Points? Yes, yes I did.
“Suckers,” I thought to myself as I drove past the lack of parking on both sides of the road. “Good thing I’m not trying to navigate that mess.”