Surf's Up

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Surf's Up
Episode # 115
Air Date Jan 19, 1978
Briefing None

Brief Plot

Destination: Malibu. Jon and Ponch have a temporary beach assignment. Cowabunga, dudes!


The traffic is backed up westbound on the San Bernardino Freeway and Ponch and Jon are stuck in traffic when a three-wheeled motorcycle speeds by between the lanes. The cycle swerves and bumps into the side of a car, so the driver takes off on foot and Jon chases after him while Ponch calls it in. When Jon arrests the man on the hood of a car, the car's driver freaks out. Hunter shows up to take the guy away.

At Central, Jon and Ponch have requested to have Getraer temporarily transfer them to someplace away from the traffic for a change of scenery. Getraer offers to transfer them to Malibu since two of their guys have the flu. He says it will be like a vacation for him too since they won't be around.

Meanwhile, some guys are stealing the contents of a yellow van and loading up their own.

As Ponch and Jon ride through Malibu, they encounter a kid carrying flowers and a tape deck. He says the tape desk is busted and the flowers are for his mother and he got them at the greenhouse. Ponch brings the kid to the greenhouse and the guy there confirms the kid's story. Ponch identifies with the kid, but the kid just thinks he's being hassled and tells Ponch to "kiss off".

As they arrive at the Malibu station, a kid named Doug reports that people broke into his van and stole his stuff.

Back out on the streets, they encounter an accident and hear shots being fired. After a man runs over and tells them he needs help, they realize the "shots" are actually champagne corks popping. The champagne costs $15.80 per bottle and keeps going off. Ponch talks to a couple girls who witnessed the accident while Jon starts cleaning up the mess. As the man tries to explain how the accident happened, he's distracted by girls in bikinis. It's pretty obvious how the accident happened. When Ponch comes back, he tells Jon that they're set up on a date with the girls.

Meanwhile, at the Malibu Country Mart, a woman puts her daughter into the back seat of a car. As she moves a shopping cart out of the way, a man hops in and steals the car. Luckily, Jon and Ponch are there having lunch and form a plan to catch the car without chasing it and putting the baby in danger. Jon follows the car while telling Ponch where he can cut it off. Ponch goes ahead and gets a couple cars to form an emergency roadblock. He sets them up as if they've had an accident in the middle of the road. Jon sneaks up behind the stolen car as the thief notices the baby in the back seat. When he spots Jon, he rams the car behind him and takes off on foot. Ponch catches the thief while Jon stops the out of control car and saves the baby. The Sheriff's office arrives with the mother and she is reunited with her baby.

Meanwhile, the crew of thieves has stripped another van.

At the beach, Jon and Ponch enjoy their dates with the flight attendants. A van pulls up and Doug greets his friend Terry. Doug warns Terry about the thieves and tells him to come around more. Doug's girlfriend observes, "Terry's changed. He used to be a lot of fun." Heading down to the water, Ponch spots Doug and says hello. After seeing some guys on Jet Skis, Ponch says he'd love to take a shot at that. Since they're friends of Doug, he offers to set it up. All suited up they take a spin. After some fun on the water, the flight attendants have to head out, but they give their film to Ponch and Jon to have it developed so they can all watch it when they return.

That night, Ponch visits the kid who had the flowers at his home. The kid gives Ponch a hard time, but Ponch tries to make it up to the kid by offering to take him to Disneyland. The kid convinces Ponch to take his younger brothers too.

After a helicopter report comes in about suspicious people at a parked van, Jon and Ponch respond. The thieves hear the call over their police scanner, drop everything, and take off. The sheriff calls in and joins the chase too. As they pass by the beach, Doug and his girlfriend see everyone chasing Terry and follow along. The thieves end up driving onto the beach and get stuck. Jon and Ponch make the arrest.

Back at Central, Grossie and Ponch talk about his experience at Disneyland. When they get to the briefing room, they find Jon, Fritz, and their fellow officers watching and laughing at the film of Ponch on the Jet Skis. Ponch threatens to get Jon back someday.

Great Quote

"You won't know where or when, but I'll get you. Maybe I'll wait until you make lieutenant, eh? Or when you're just ready to retire."
-Ponch (threatening revenge on Jon for showing the Jet Ski film)

Also starring

Guest Stars


Fun Facts

  • The Jet Ski riding in this episode is considered the first "sport of the week" (of many) seen in "CHiPs". Done to attract viewers with exotic sports, the "sport of the week" is much more common in later episodes.
  • Ponch and Jon spot the young boy walking with the flowers while stopped at the intersection of Webb Way and Civic Center Way. The boy is walking toward them on Stuart Ranch Rd. View in Google Maps
  • The Malibu Country Mart, where the woman's car and baby are taken, still exists at 3835 Cross Creek Road in Malibu. View in Google Maps
  • Sondra Theodore, who played Ponch's beach date, was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in July 1977.
  • Lynn Theel, who played Jon's beach date, was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in July 1975 as Lynn Schiller.
  • The Pier located on the beach that you see is Malibu Pier. View in Google Maps
  • In this episode we see the return of the revolving license plate. Jon's license plate reads "JAB 5" this episode.
  • The thieves' van is chased onto the beach at the junction of Westward Beach Road and Birdview Avenue. The buildings you can see on the beach during the chase have all been demolished now. View in Google Maps


  • In the opening scene before the theme, some of the shots were done at night and the lighting is very different. This is most obvious in the close-ups right before the theme starts.
  • The baby's car seat is never secured in the back seat of the stolen car. When Jon takes the baby out of the car, there's not even a car seat there anymore.
  • When Ponch visits the home of the boy with the flowers, the boy's mother lets Ponch in the house just because he asked. She doesn't know who Ponch is and he's not in uniform. This seems like it could be dangerous if she's letting in every stranger who comes along.
  • The Sheriff calls in that Terry is captured on the beach located near "West Road and Bird Avenue". The streets do not exist anywhere in Malibu. The actual intersection is Westward Beach Road and Birdview Avenue.

Buy this episode

Preceded by:
Surf's Up
Followed by:
"Vintage '54"