The golden age of surfing in Malibu winds down and enters an era of decadence. As shortboards become more popular, the surf scene becomes aggressive as surfers compete for space on the water.
A giant southern hemisphere swell mixed with a hurricane creates the biggest waves in Malibu since 1938. The colossal swell called the “Monster from New Zealand” creates 12-ft waves and in some places reach 18 ft. “It is still considered the standard of the greatest surfing at Malibu,” Sam George says. Surfers jammed the beaches with almost 300 people going through a lineup at once.
Hang Ten Women’s Championships are held in Malibu, which is the “first women’s pro surfing event” organized in the contiguous United States, according the Encyclopedia of Surfing. The host of the event could not clear the water of people, and crowds were merciless to the female surfers as they competed for waves.
May 26, 1978
The film Big Wednesday is released and later becomes a cult classic. The film depicts three friends in Malibu growing from young, partying surfers to family men who reunite to surf a big swell. The film reflects the real-life nostalgia of the surfing community.