The Inertia for Good Editor

The Inertia

“I’m like the most positive human you’ve ever met…until you drag me out to one-foot Malibu with 300 guys out.”

Koa Rothman gets Malibu. He calls Pipe home, but even he gets it. That one statement sums up the good vibes energy vortex that is Surfrider Beach, specifically the world-famous First Point and its long, peeling, cruisey waves Miki Dora himself fell in love with. You’ll show up with the grandest of plans but you’ll likely never get a wave to yourself. Maybe you’ll have an open section to race through uninterrupted, or you can vibe out in the pocket and hang five for three seconds before having to cross-step back and dodge the 35 humans randomly sitting in one seven-foot radius on the inside. Maybe those few glorious seconds were all you needed, partaking in this “selfish” sport in a place where you literally can’t consider anything a burn because every single set wave is an actual four-human party (minimum). But that’s all you’ll get to yourself. Don’t ask for anything more. And honestly, if you expected some solitude here, you’re the problem.

The irony is we universally hate everything about that scenario yet even a guy like Koa Rothman — who sees and surfs the actual best waves on the planet regularly — can stand in front of that wall and all 72 upright browned and yellowed surfboards lined along it, look out at a single knee-high set and instantly be fully over it. Then decide to give it a go anyway.


When you get out, moving against your first instinct, you realize you’ve somehow put your life at risk. How can this be?

“These people make this wave scarier than Pipeline because they’re on such big surfboards that are just very, very dangerous, with sharp fins on them,” Rothman says of First Point being more dangerous than Pipe. Yes, Pipe. But you know his exact logic and if you’ve ever so much as heard of a thing called Saturday afternoon at Malibu, you know you can’t argue. “And there’s tons of people all going on the same wave. And I’m gonna be one of those people.”

Amen to that last statement. Somehow, we all get seduced by Malibu in the end. And somehow, as Rothman points out after escaping decapitation or bleeding out by fin cut at First Point, smiling ear to ear, “Actually, believe it or not, I had a lot of fun.”

Every. Freaking. Time.


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