Big South Swell Transforms Malibu into Surfer's Heaven
• Colony Stairways Float Out to Sea as South Facing Homes on the Sand Experience Nature's Power
BY ANNE SOBLE
Powerful surf pounded Malibu beaches from Thursday through the three-day Labor Day holiday, generating monster waves to test the skills of accomplished and not-so-accomplished surfers, as well as creating dangerous swimming conditions for the unwary.
High surf advisories for the four-day period were often lower than what actually materialized, with occasional sets coming close to double the size of forecasts.
The tremendous surf was the result of a swell from a powerful storm in New Zealand, where it is now winter.
The 50-foot waves being experienced by the Kiwis were down to 20 percent or less by the time they reached Malibu.
On Thursday, the powerful surf may have caused a panga, a Mexican smuggling boat, to crash near Deer Creek Road, where several hundred pounds of marijuana and other supplies washed ashore, according to authorities.
Waves were in the six-foot-plus range on Friday, and the surf was creating deep underwater depressions in the sand that exacerbated the already dangerous rip currents.
Local lifeguards kept swimmers out of the water during high surf, but as temperatures began to climb on Sunday and Monday, beachgoers arrived in droves, determined to enjoy that last beach trip of summer.