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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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To Odysseus and the Longtime Local... - I have a question for both of you. First, to the 'long time local' - I'm curiosu as to where you surfed at Black Sands Beach (please do not mention BF here). But are you talkign abotu Widow's Peak, or further up, past the rock to where the beach bends? I'm just curiosu because, every time I've seen Black Sands, it isn't even breaking unless the swell is about 15 feet, and the shorepound looks like sure death. I think the Wedge on a big south swell deserves some credit - but that is more of a freak wave. And to you, Odysseus, now that you will be returning home to OB after so many years, I think you will find her open to your return, but Aoelis is liable to blow against you, and come winter, Poisedon will try to work you pretty bad. But for now, enjoy. The FEAR season just ended. Also, even more so than in SC, show respect, don't drop in on people or be a kook. There's nothing worse than a kook paddling in your way instead of taking the pit hit.
Surfed OB today - Clean head high ground swell today. Easy paddle out if you know the deep water re-builds. Strong leash a must! OB is really a teddy bear up to five feet so, don't beleive all the hype. Eight feet and above the ante goes up considerably because you have a thick wave traveling at high speeds that bends and wraps around semi defined sandbars. There is definitely a "freight train" aspect that takes some getting use to. You need to know when to hold them and when to fold them when it gets LARGE in the winter. Take you rightful place in the parking lot and watch the big boys play.....there's no shame.
Heavy Surf - I'm originally from SF, but have lived and surfed the last 9 years in Santa Cruz. Now I am moving back to SF/OB for the first time since childhood and really want to start consistently surfing OB...but all the comments on this site[and my basic knowledge of the waves there] have left me a little reluctant. I NEED to surf, but I enjoy fun waves and some challenges, but by no means a ripper. Do I have a chance in hell at surfing OB? I have no desire to surf on big days; but will most days snap my leash and suck me out to Hawaii regardless? I have not consistently surfed in about three years-have been working abroad, but if I don't get back into the water I might lose my mind. Is there such thing as a more mellow section of the beach to surf? I won't have a car, so I can't go to Pacifica[too crowded, anyway]. Any advice is welcome....
By Long time local
heavy factor - I have surfed Sharps Park, North Beach at Pt Reyes, and Black Sands....big Ocean Beach is not the hollowest big wave around, it usually isn't breaking in shallow water, and for its size it lacks punch compared to other spots...however, I've never surfed anyplace, including big Mavericks, that requires more energy from a surfer. Paddle beatings galore. Hard for anyone to get waves on a big day. A good big day can be 2 waves an hour, AFTER you make it out, IF you make it out. There's no other beach break comparable on that level - sheer energy required from a surfer.
By HeAvY DuTy!!!
OB = HEAVY - Heavy as in 1-foot days that take 20 minutes to make it out because it is so consistent and dumping. Heavy as in 20-30 foot rideable faces in winter, and waves that register on earthquake seismometers at UCSF 3 miles inland. Heavy as in snap your new $500 stick in half just for getting caught inside once on a 6 foot day. Heavy as in make it out only wishing you hadn't, cuz its too big and steep to get one in. Heavy as in holes that will trap you over a bar and not let you paddle even a foot forward because the water is sucking into them like a river rapid. Heavy as in if you lose your board out there on a big day with heavy currents, you can easily die. Now, that being said, OB is usually pretty fun and rippable, always has waves, and with plenty of room. OB is all about action. You don't sit around out there long, not unless it is big and you are being very selective. For the heaviest beach breaks in California, Point Reyes Beach, Black Sands Beach at Shelter Cove, and even Sharps Park are heavier. Don't believe me? Paddle out at OB on any winter's morning, then surf the other places that afternoon, and you will see, lest you die comparing.
long paddle - I lived off Fulton st. for ten years. Moved up from So. Cal and thought I was hot shit. Tried to paddle out first time on a 6'2" and got my ass handed to me on the inside bar and barely made back accross the trench to the beach. It was scary as hell but it amazed me. The next day I put a 7'6" on the credit card and surfed there for the next eight or nine years... Can't wait to get back this year and give it a go again. Very humbling spot but magic at the same time... Use the buddy system if you can. NOT FOR BEGINNERS. You must be in very good shape and have excellent wave and rip knowledge. I have had four to five foot days there that I have gotten schooled, and freakishly I have had a double over head day that I made it out with my hair dry. Pray that your leash holds... ,long ass swim and impossible if you don't know the basics. We had one or two drownings there every year, surfers, capsized boats, tourists going for a dip...
ITS TRUE! - OB is one best beach breaks in thw world but itsd also heavyest and right behiund that is Moss LAnding down south of monteray.....But yes OB is HEavy and BIG wave spot I much rather be standing on the beach wall watcchign everone rip it up and watch the out of town fools get worked trying to paddle out!
Is there a heavier spot in Cali? - Mavs is bigger, of course, but it's a boutique break, a specialty thing. I mean, is there a heavier regular wave in California? On certain days OB is virtually a big-wave break. Huge triple to 4x overhead peaks when people don't rip but just drop hard and fast and get the hell out. A genuinely scary place, and that's not even talking about the hellish paddle-outs and the epic rips. People don't realize the froo-froo San Francisco is home to one of the heaviest beach breaks in the world.
hey this spot for experienced people - hey man thats cool your new around here but this spot is a big hard-core spot...... it is a heavy wave may not look like much but once you try getting out there damn you will end up looking liek a foool if you dont know what your doing... try pacifica about 10 miles down south thats a cool spot
By New to SF
Body Surfing? - Hey, I am new to the area and I was down at the OB the other day and I saw someone out there body surfing. I body surf a bit too and I was curious to know if there is a drop off and if its extra tough to be out there without a board, any info would be great.
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