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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 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.
By Anonymous , 05-11-2009
6'1 or 6'3??? - Bwahahaha!!! The paddle is very manageable if you know what you're doing and if you are in shape. Yes it can get scary if you get caught inside by a 12 foot set that just swings in front of you, but again, if you are in shape and know what you're doing it's not that terrifying. Grew up surfing VFW's, Rivera and Sloat St. and have had countless dream sessions in big surf (12ft.+) with just a few really good surfers out. 6'1 or 6'3 boards, c'mon that's like shooting a bear with a bb gun. I usually take out a 7'6-8'0 out there. My .02.