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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaya surfboard in Macaroni, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.
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Bsurfing OB - What makes OB is the ability to find your own peak and that wouldn't change w/ 3x the # of people in the water. Especially valuable for us bodysurfers who most places sit for an hour and finally catch a cleanup set while the boarders are ducking. Never made the swim out on a huge day but up to 1x+ was no different from Blacks or even Scripps -- hype about currents and paddle just doesn't apply when you're crawling on the bottom . . . although I'm sure that hugely increases rate of being lunch!
50 degrees 50-50 chance of surviving w/o a wetsuit - One of the weird things about OB is walking out, you can be in below your knees water, and take one more step, and your in a trench, over your head. All that water pouring acrossthe sandbars, coming in, cuts huge rip holes going out. This is how we loose tourists. You can also end up, in a trench, being ripped out to sea, but, in front of you is another sandbar, where 6 foot waves are breaking on your head. I guess with fins, it might not be a bad place to body surf...but... I like this place, but you have to be intraining, surfing nearly everyday, to get out. Even on small days, a little LA potato chip board is going to make for a very long day, watching a lot of waves go off, without you on them.
By SoCal Transplants Dominate OB
OB is kinda weak... - I'm a native Los Angeleno who moved up to SF a few years ago after my consulting firm opened an office here. Having grown up charging Zuma, I was prepared for the so called "paddle of death" at OB and even ordered up a nice, beefy 8"0 for some winter juice. But when winter rolled around all I got were long, messy lines of crumbling junk. Sure, paddling out is toughas any of the beefneck kooks at Taraval will have you know, but the waves themselves? WEAK. I had the place wired in a month and was ripping so hard that that one (cryin') Ryan guy bought be a burrito at Chino's, "for that bomb at VFs" (and Jesse paid for the Pepsi!). Fort Point and Deadman's get fun and there are some good waves nearby (Point Arena on the weekends is the call for big NWs), but for the most part, this place is kind of more mystique than substance. I mean, I didn't start surfing to paddle anymore than I started fishing to cast.
The Beach - As stated on Surfline.....OB has many moods. I'm three years deep in the place surfing it several times a week when it's working and the paddle can be as exciting as the break. The 4.5 knot currents that throat in and out of the SF Bay underneath the Golden Gate are partially responsible for the insane rips and perpetually moving water. Some inside bars will sweep you off of your feet. Add a 5/3 mm wetsuit, whitewater that hits you like liquid concrete and a half mile paddle out on bigger days and you have an exiting morning on your hands. I think you have to surf it a lot to see all of it's sides, the light and the heavy. When it's mean it's mean, but when it's on it's on.
Ocean Beach better than Santa Cruz - After surfing for several years Northern California, I can say than Ocean Beach in San Francisco is a better training place for big waves than Steamers Lane, Santa Cruz. No offense intended.I don't think it's much worth it to take shit from the local Stemears crew for 5' waves. Steamers Lane is not that tough, just negative vibe from aspiring pro surfers.On the other hand, Ocean Beach is tough on the winter. Lots of currents, cold and windy, nightmarish paddles, but powerful waves. Not a place for posers. Even when it's crowded you feel that there is lots of space. The crowd is spread and there is no competition for takeoff points. The extreme weather conditions take care of the posers and localism. Thank you.
hay - so wot have us been up 2
By Just askin
BF? - You mean Big Flat?The one at Shelter Cove or the one just north of Mavericks?
By NorCal local
OB - it explodes, pounds, chews, and eats people alive
By BS rideable? BS!!!
To 'Longtime Local' - Well, you know what I think - I think your full of sh*t. The only place Widow's Peak breaks is in Bank Wright's book on Surfing California, the rest of the time that peak and the undertow at Black Sand's make for unrideable death surf. I'm not seeing an exodus of wannsurfers invading Black Sand Beach even if you said it was world class all the time, because first of all no-one would believe you and second of all no-one really cares. OB is way better.
By Longtime local
Black Sands - sorry I ever mentioned that one, actually. You'll have to figure out when it works someplace other than wannasurf...
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