|Find the best surf spots||
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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Latitude: 37° 45.213' N
User rating (131)
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Along Great Highway between CLiff House and San Francisco Zoo.
DistanceIn the city
WalkInstant access (< 5min)
Easy to find?Easy to find
Special accessDon't know
Wave qualityRegional Classic
FrequencyVery consistent (150 day/year)
DirectionRight and left
PowerHollow, Powerful, Fun
Normal lengthShort (< 50m)
Good day lengthNormal (50 to 150m)
Good swell direction
Good wind direction
Swell sizeStarts working at Less than 1m / 3ft and holds up to 4m+ / 12ft
Best tide positionAll tides
Best tide movement
Week crowdFew surfers
- Rips / undertow
Parking free. No facilities.
Power level? Higher than average.. tore a leash halfway thru one of my boards in 3-4' beachbreak.. wasn't even out in the channels.
Rips are a local legend, very strong. Rangers will give you info paper when you go to get in the water.
You didn't know? The early Mavericks crew worked their big-wave chops up here. The place holds 15'+ and I recommend that you be in exceptional shape to surf it anywhere above 8-10'. It ain't your average beachbreak, Puerto Norte, perhaps?
By Jake11 , 1 Jan
Hard wave, great exercise - I recently moved further north in the Bay Area from San Jose to near SF. Consequently, Ive been surfing OB instead of Santa Cruz.
Its a very intense paddle out which if done on a regular basis will get you in great shape. The waves here are larger than the rest of the area.
This isnt nearly as hairy as Rockaway as there are no rocks.
The problem with OB is while its a photogenic wave with offshores its often unmakeable. Even experts will air drop down the face only to be smashed on the bottom turn or pull into barrels and never make it out. Riding this place successfully involves finding corners with often short rides. Occasionally on mid-size days you can ride in the wave and have it reform closer to shore.
To me this is a decent punchy beach break. Its okay and it can hold size but its not nearly as good as santa cruz reefs or points. Onshore NW winds will destroy the place too, and that happens more often than not.
By Anonymous , 31-03-2010
OB is a super fun spot - I think OB is one of the best surf spots I've experienced in my life. I love it, usually powerful and barelling even if it's 2 or 3 feet. Sure it had adverse conditions more than half the time, that's when you surf the high number of other spots that cen/norcal has to offer. This area is a surfing paradise, albeit a cold one and only for the adventurous and core surfer.
OB surfers often have a "sheep" mentality and tend to congregate at one peak. Which is great for the few of us "lone rams" who are smart enough to paddle to their own peak. I've had many of the best barrels of my life back to back to back in one session. Peace.
By Mike , 06-02-2010
Mike - I am bodyboarder and I have been doing for 25 years. I was born in Oahu South Shore and my home break is Sandy’s. I lived in San Francisco for two years and this is my intake on Ocean Beach. By far, the most challenging, difficult, and scary place to surf. Why? I couldn’t stay in for over an hour, even though, I had my 4/3, globes, and boots. Secondly, there are days that you can get very good barrels, but when things turn ugly, be ready. Currents are as bad as Sunset Beach, HI. Sometimes, they are so bad that you will be looking down for sharks. For real!, the water is so strong that at times, you feel like below you is the landlord. Third, if you do not make the drop on a 12 foot wave, you are fucked! Because you will be held down for a while, come back up, take another wave, and get stuck in the current zone. Therefore, to me, two thumps up for the people who dedicate their life to it. I had enough of it. For a good time, I used to go around the corner to the hidden, but good left. Good bodyboarding wave, and good barrel, but again, in S.F water is too cold for me. After a good session my joints hurt and muscles were too rigid. And I still cannot believe the fact that nobody has been eating by a great white. One day, I was chatting with a longboarder and a great white passed 2 feet below us. That was my last session at OB. I came back home few months after that incident. That day remains with me and will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can NOT find the words to describe the terrifying experience.
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