These Are Some of Hollywood’s Favorite Surf Breaks

by Owen James Burke


(Illustration: Antoine Corbineau/Hollywood Reporter)

Magazines like Esquire and People love painting portraits of celebrities as surfers, but they tend to miss the point; they snap shots of Reese Witherspoon standing on a foam top in ankle-high Waikiki, purporting that she’s a surfer when she herself wouldn’t even dare identify as such. Likewise, all of the hollywood tabloids go crazy when Bill Murray paddles out, but he’d probably be the first to admit he can hardly tell the nose from the tail. (We still love you, Bill!)

Here are a few Hollywood notables who do catch a few waves, off the set.


(Photo: People Magazine)

It’s widely known that Sean Penn and Matthew McConaughey are spotted surfing in L.A. from time to time, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, have been hucking fins since they were kids (McConaughey lives in a double-wide in Malibu, and Sean Penn, story has it, has been viciously protective of his home break, Little Dume, in Malibu since he was a kid. It’s no wonder the heartfelt political activist so effortlessly filled the role of Spicoli’s hard-boiled ambivalence in Fast Times at Ridgemont High).

Scott Caan (son of James Caan), who grew up surfing “Locals Only” Bay Street in Venice Beach, yearns for the days of yore, when rules in the lineup were enforced with more distinction. “You can’t punch people anymore,” he gripes. “As nice as that is, it is also a shame. It taught you that respect.”

Cameron Diaz and Entourage actress Perrey Reeves are all seen surfing around Los Angeles County. Reeves even created a yoga and surf retreat in Costa Rica (Sanctuary at Two Rivers).

X-Files creator Chris Carter surfs and travels in search of the perfect wave whenever he can. Regarding his favorite surf spot, “All I’ll say,” he told Hollywood Reporter, “is that I live a minute away from the place I surf.” We can certainly respect that.

180° South: Conquerors of the Useless cinematographer Daniel Moder heads to Big Dume and Zuma, mostly because it’s cleaner and he doesn’t have to deal with the crowds, lest he should cut Sean Penn off on the wrong day, that is.

The most intrepid of them all is not an actor, but we’ll hand it to him anyhow, because for all the crap he must take at work, he doesn’t hear peep in the water. Talent manager Peter Adam Golden not only surfs, he surfs waves most of us wouldn’t go near. He frequently heads up to Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, and when it’s not pumping enough at home in California, he’s trying to find ways to get to wherever the big swells are — Tahiti, Hawaii, Australia, etc. — without disrupting his business, that is.

Regardless of level, preference, or footing, we’ve got to give it to them. Hollywood’s busy life, and anyone dedicated enough to drive across town through ludicrous traffic for the sake of surfing at home when they could just as soon fly halfway around the world deserves credit in my book. As Chris Carter says, “being a committed surfer and a professional person is a difficult dance.” Indeed it is.

Read more at Hollywood Reporter — OB

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