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Lunada Bay…Locals Only?

Lunada Bay…Locals Only?

December 7, 2010.   Here is a picture of the infamous Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes on a small day.  The wave was only about waist high but it still lasted about 50 to 100 yards.  It looked fun and there very few people out surfing. But even the on lookers / locals where not friendly and “vibed” you out for just watching.

Nothing about this place is for your casual surfer or visitor.  First to get to the wave you have to scale down about a 2 ft path down a cliff that is vertical and one slip could literally mean your life, at least broken bones.  So if there is a hint of wind good look carrying a bigger board.  Which is what you will need when the swells come in as in a gun.  Anyway, once you negotiate the cliff decent you have about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile walk along the rocky beach.  And this is definitely the  easiest part of your surf.

Next or first which ever way you look at it is the local factor.  I have not surfed there but there are plenty of scowls from guys standing around.  So you could encounter guys before you reach the trail.  Once your down on the beach those guys up top could through rocks at you for some fun.  Then you could encounter guys walking or before entering the water.  Then of course there is paddling out and catching waves on a point break where everyone is on the spot.  Good luck there as well because if you got this far the locals are probably pissed your trying to take their waves.

Even without the local factor the paddle out is an arm burner.  You have to paddle out away from the point because right at the point are plenty of boiler rocks that could pound you way worse then the surly surfers.  And to add to the fun the drift will pull you right into the rocks as well.

So now if you braved all of this and you caught your waves for the day you get to climb up the cliff back to your car which hopefully is still in good shape.

Is this an exaggeration?  Well yes and no.  Everything explained is true about the surfing.  The localism may vary depending on you but you will get “vibed” hard and probably approached or yelled at.

So, is all this worth it?  That is up to you.  If you  have the local approval the spot is for an advanced surfer who has the skill, guts and strength to handle a big wave.  Its not hard to find and parking is pretty easy but this is a “Black Diamond” of a place on all levels and should be approached that way.

Check out the surfer on walking down the cliff on the right of the photo.

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4 Responses to “Lunada Bay…Locals Only?”

  1. leo vincent says:

    In my 50 years of surfing I’ve encountered thousands of idiots who thought they owned a place. I’m guilty (to a much lesser degree) than the Lunada idiots, myself. I lived in Hawaii and was accepted in some heavy local spots, surfed Northern Cal with few incidents, Mexico too. It helped that I was not a rich blondie with an aggro sense of entitlement. I behaved with respect and held my ground when necessary. Against much tougher people than the idiots who throw rocks and key cars in the South Bay. Which has some of the worst surf on Earth, by the way. Those cats are jackasses. Flat out. And, face up they would never (back when we still were tigers) have confronted myself or my friends. Yes, they could scowl and throw rocks. But we busted up punks who challenged us. If they just surfed all was well. We surfed wherever we wanted. Same shit up at Cayucos. Had less of a problem on the West Side, a place where aloha and common sense were more the rule. Screw those clowns.

  2. Kristie says:

    I grew up in Lunada Bay and yes the guys there were “local” assholes to outsiders and lived up to all the stories BUT, as you pointed out, there aren’t that many great surf spots in the South Bay so this being a great one, every dude that ever touched a board wanted to surf there. There were enough surfers born and raised there to keep the spot crowded, if they let outsiders surf they’d never get enough waves! Plus it was and could be a dangerous place and they even regulated themselves, I remember

  3. Kristie says:

    I got cut off …I remember a local going out alone when the waves were 20 plus & the guys gave him hell as that was dangerous. They didn’t need to worry about outsiders who weren’t that good or used to the area etc. getting hurt/killed out there. It seems f-ed up but it was the only way to keep the spot open to them and safe.

  4. Holy Handgrenade says:

    I lived nearby here. Went from elementary through PVHS. It’s an awful truth that most of these people live at home or have inherited their parent’s home. This is all they’ve got and all they will ever have if they don’t give this up.

    This is public property, maintained by taxpayers. Being local doesn’t deserve “respect” or “ownership” of a public spot. If anything, being local means more frequent access to earlier and cleaner sessions than the “outsiders.” Putting time into a place means nothing more than stagnating.

    WHEN an accident happens and someone gets hurt things will change. Until then, things will continue to simmer. Whites Point in the 90s was semi-localized until somebody got stabbed in the back there. The police cracked down and broke that scene quickly. It’s only a matter of time.

    And yes, I surfed there on a small day. Got hassled and even recognized some faces as classmates a year or 2 off. They couldn’t find my clothes in the rocks… ha ha, but they did spit on the drivers side window of my car.


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