The Key

21 10 2012

One day, early in the summer of 1983, when I was in High School, my buddy Russell and I were surfing at Zuma. It’s in Malibu, though it’s about 15 minutes north of what everyone knows as Malibu Point.

Russ was somewhat of a lady’s man. He could literally walk up to any girl and charm them into giving their phone number in the first five minutes. What’s even more impressive is the phone numbers were always correct. Not one of them gave him a wrong number to throw him off the trail.

So this day we surfed at Zuma Beach and when we were done, just hanging out, Russ spotted a couple of girls he wanted to talk to. Two of them, two of us; Russ was always like that. I was always the shy quiet one so I can’t remember how much I actually said, but I’m sure it wasn’t much.

It turns out the one Russ was talking to lived in the Pt. Dume community of Malibu. The actual point sticks out south of Zuma, at the end of Westward Beach (you’ve seen it if you watch T.V. It’s always in commercials at the beach). The beach itself is very private, though in California no one can actually own the beach. They’ve just made it near impossible to park anywhere close to the only legit “no hassle” (from locals) beach access. You have to park a mile or more away. No parking signs, and 20 minute only signs are all over the place. I guess I can understand, I wouldn’t want the Shoobie’s parking in front of my house if I lived there. 😉

So the next thing I know we’re driving my little 1974 Datsun in the gate of this palatial mansion overlooking one of the premium surf spots in Southern California. Perched right there on the cliff. That place had to be close to 8000 square feet or bigger. Worth well in the millions of dollars back then! Overlooking a great surf spot that you can only access if you live there; or know someone.

Russ had no idea the gem we were walking into, but when we got to her house he turned up the charm even more.

We may had been there an hour and a half or two, talking about life, drinking sodas, and having a nice time. Then it was time to leave. I probably had to work, or something like that.

As we’re driving away Russ pulls out this key and says, “Dude! She gave me a key to one of the gates!”

At this time there were two keyed gates that residents of Pt. Dume (especially without beach access or views) could access the beach. There was parking there, but if you didn’t live there it wouldn’t make sense to park that close because you couldn’t get in.

Wow! Now we could park and wouldn’t get hassled because Russ had the key! And that was how you stopped the questions: “Who are you?” “Why are you here?” “I have a key, bro!” It was awesome. There wasn’t much they could say.

Pt. Dume is typical of a point break: on the right swell direction you could ride a wave at any one of the little coves up to 150+ yards. And the point is so long there must be 5 or 6 spots along it just like that all the way to Paradise Cove.

Our first time surfing it I rode a 5’8″ twin fin and wore trunks. We surfed later in the morning so it just felt warmer. It wasn’t crowded and I caught every wave I tried to get. It was about chest high a absolutely perfect.

What a great wave! Russ and I caught so many long waves that my legs were burning. I’m sure Russ’ were, too.

We ended up surfing there more often than not and it was good every time, even when it was waist high. Sean and Mark even came along a few times. We had the key!

Then one day it happened. Russ couldn’t find the key, or the phone number of the girl who gave it to him. Our easy access to an awesome surf spot was gone. Occasionally we trekked the mile or so to surf it when we thought it was good, but it wasn’t the same as having the key.

Today I know someone who lives in Paradise Cove, but we can’t bring the whole crew to surf it. He only allows one or two of us at a time to surf it because he gets hassled from the residents who live there 24/7 just for that. I understand. He has to live with those people. Those who live in that area, Pt. Dume or Paradise Cove, have one great summer surf spot, protected and uncrowded.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have one of those memories. I love to hear about them.

Thank you and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

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4 responses

21 10 2012
Kozo

Surfer Yoda, Great story. I used to be a caretaker at the Hollister Ranch. This had to be two of the best years of my life. After years of boating in, I could drive my 4×4 truck right up to Rights and Lefts and jump in. Thanks for the memories.

28 10 2012
surferyoda

You’re welcome. Thank you for reading. The same buddy and I hiked into the Ranch from Gaviota. I wrote in an earlier post called “The Ranch”. Sounds like you had it good, though.

22 10 2012
Baby Gorilla

That magical key should have been put in safe! What a bummer to lose access to the beautiful waves! Those things happen when we’re kids!

28 10 2012
surferyoda

That they do, BG, that they do.

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