Local LA Dive Sites

Malibu Pier/Surfrider Beach

Malibu Pier/Surfrider Beach

Los Angeles County Beach - Good Beginner Dive Area


Considered a Los Angeles County public beach, it is situated between two areas that we call Old Malibu Road beaches to the west and Carbon Beach to the east. This Malibu beach area is 167 acres in size, and is the most popular and world renown of Malibu beaches. What is commonly known as “Malibu Beach” is comprised of the Malibu Lagoon, the Malibu Pier, and the area that is referred to by locals as “Surfrider” Beach. Although all of these areas are adjacent to each other, each element of Malibu Beach offers visitors a totally unique beach experience. Malibu Lagoon is comprised of 22 acres of wetlands, gardens, and sandy beach, while Malibu “Surfrider” Beach has almost a mile of ocean frontage with 0.7 acres of property, and famous Malibu Pier is a great place for saltwater fishing.


Dive Site 1: west of the Malibu Pier

Divers (SCUBA or freedivers) come here to cruise the sandy flats to get wet, finish open water training dives or participate in the annual Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) on the 3rd Saturday of September each year. During the CCD, many divers are successful in finding large quantities of lost items and refuse which serves to bring our community together and helps our local ocean and beach environment. The Malibu Pier is open year round, so divers need to avoid getting hooked by local fisherman and on large swell and surge days getting tossed or bumped into the pilings. When other south facing beaches are getting medium to big surf, the west side of Malibu Pier area is well protected and provides an opportunity to dive when one might not otherwise be able to.  Underwater marine life includes kelp bass, halibut, rockfish, sheep crabs, nuidbranchs, lobsters, turbots, etc.  As with all beach diving, check-in with the lifeguards on duty, check the dive forecast, wait for a break in the waves and time your entries/exits and pace yourself on the surface swims.


Parking: There are several places to park. However, this is a very popular spot for surfers. If you arrive early the best place to park is the west side of the Pier where there are over 90 spots in the paid lot with the entrance across from Serra Road. This lot will give you the best access to the closest diving area and facilities for showers and restrooms. There is another parking lot on the east side of the Pier but it is more expensive and tends to fill early as well. If you're lucky you may also get free curb side parking on PCH.  Both the east side and the curb side parking areas, you will have stairs to contend with and longer distance to the facilities.

East side of Pier to parking lot

West side of Pier from paid parking lot.
Note: stairs to curb-side parking on left.

Enter dive site from this parking lot.

Operating Hours:
For Beach Emergencies Dial 911

Open 365 days a year. Hours of operation for all beaches: sunrise to sunset 

Visitors Center: 310-305-9545 

 Beaches and Harbors: 310-305-9503 

 Northern Surf Report Information Only: 310-457-9701


Location - Directions:

23104-23294 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu CA 90265


From Los Angeles: Highway 1 (PCH) west  12.3 miles from Santa Monica. Just 2.3 miles from Malibu Divers

From Ventura: 101 Freeway to Highway 1 (Exit 62B for CA-1/Oxnard Blvd/Pacific Coast Highway), continue to follow CA-1 S/Pacific Coast Highway  for 42.8 miles

Points of Interest:

  • History Malibu Surfrider BeachSurfers from around the world come to Surfrider Beach adjacent to Malibu Pier, known for its three-point break that offers rides of 300 yards or more. In 1957 a fictionalized version of the beach life of Kathy Kohner was published. The novel, written by her father, Frederick Kohner was given the title Gidget. One of the surfers named her Gidget due to her diminutive size and because she was a girl thought, “Girl plus Midget = Gidget.” In 1959 the movie version of Gidget opened and created the Surf Craze and Malibu became “Surf City USA.” By the summer of 1961 up to 150 surfers could be seen colliding with one another in the Malibu surf. Malibu Point was no longer an unspoiled paradise and became known as Surfrider Beach. 
  • Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Museum & Adamson House: 23050 & 23200 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265 For an educational experience, Malibu Lagoon State Beach is the place to go. The State operated Malibu Lagoon is a resting and feeding estuary for more than 200 species of migrating and native birds, making this an ideal location for bird watching enthusiasts. There is also the saltwater marsh for those that want to study an ecosystem that is greatly diminished in Southern California. The Adamson House, a National Historic Site, houses many Malibu historical artifacts. The Malibu Lagoon Museum which adjoins the Adamson House, allows visitors to walk through the history of the area from the days of the Chumash tribe, to the gentlemen ranchers, and finally to the birth of the surfing era.
  • Local restaurants & cafes on nearby PCH: Casa Escobar, Nobu, Malibu Beach Inn, Malibu Farm Pier Cafe, Jack in the Box, McDonalds, Fish Grill, and more!