August 27, 2014 will always be remembered in Southern California as “Big Wednesday”, or as the Malibu Under Dogs put it, “the hundred year storm that Jay Adams sent down.” Malibu’s Surfrider Beach produced large 10-12ft waves, with even larger sets at times. Inspired by the historic conditions, local filmmaker Timothy Hazelip created a short film titled, “Big Wednesday, Malibu” documenting the day at Surfrider Beach, and providing rich history of the Southern California sweet spot.
The 23-minute film weaves between footage of surfing legends like Laird Hamilton and Allen Sarlo shooting the Malibu pier, to old footage of the first lifeguard at Surfrider Beach, Cal Porter. Hazelip makes a point to emphasize how early surfers like Nicolas Gabaldon paddled 12 miles from Santa Monica to Malibu, or those like Tom Blake and Sam Reid, who were the first to ever surf Malibu in 1926, have influenced the modern day Malibu scene.
Music By: LIKEHELL, Manda Mosher, my boy “ROOTHUB”and BANNED FROM THE BEACH.
The film connects past and present, showcasing why Surfrider Beach has become one of the most popular surf spots in California. Here’s a bit of Hazelips’s recollection of Big Wednesday:
“It was the most energy I’ve ever felt. No concert or sporting event could compare. When a rogue set was seen, Laird would “hoot” out a warning for everyone and start paddling for a good position to take it. His wave knowledge, coupled with his elevated view from his stand-up paddle board, gave the line up just a few seconds more warning of the huge set waves coming out the back. If he started paddling out, we did too.”
“It was the most intensely serious line up and take off I’ve ever been in. All smiles turned to consternation in the blink of an eye, once the call was made from the beach… “…OUTSIDE!” To many surfers, that may sound cliché, but to hear it on a day like that was thrilling and made the heartbeat of the lineup raise as suddenly as the swells. The whistles and cries were a welcome warning to those who may have lost focus momentarily.”
“Pride filled the sea air but egos were silent. False egos may have come to the beach that day but they were all left behind, neatly folded on the seat, in our cars, lying motionless next to the leftover sunblock and wax.”
“When I paddled my way to the top of the line-up for the last time that day, I found Allen Sarlo was in full effect, calling out a warning to those who may dare take off in front of him. The line up was a who’s who of local talent and everyone was on their game. The “Hundred Year Storm” that Jay Adams sent down to the boys, made it a big WednesJay we could never forget.”
You can find more from the Malibu Under Dogs here.