Motto : Be Patient !
Surfing in San Francisco can be deceiving. I remember when I moved here from France about 5 years ago, I was pretty much expecting perfect A frame, Off Shore every day. When I moved here in January, it took me some time to settle in. I got all my shit together probably in late march, when I was finally ready to explore… One issue though, I took me about 6 months to see the coast of the bay area not fully blown out. If you want to surf in the northern part of the Bay Area, you have to be patient.
Surfing at Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is the main and largest beach of San Francisco that stretches for 3 miles on the western Edge of San Francisco. Ocean Beach is famous for fishing or picnicking (there are 16 fire pits distributed along on the Northern side of the beach (between the the bottom of the Cliffhouse and Lincoln Avenue).
OB is also famous for its waves. William Finnegan wrote a lot about it in Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Barbarian Day”. Ocean Beach is a super challenging waves for many reasons : the wind blows on shore pretty much 9 months a year, the rip and current can be really strong, and the paddle out, extremely difficult, especially during the bigger day.
Getting a really good day at Ocean Beach is relatively rare, but when the beach is firing, you can expect to find something between Puerto Escondido and Hossegor.
Here a selection of pictures I took over my last 5 years in San Francisco
Smaller day at Ocean Beach – November 2015
Clean and off shore day at Ocean beach, with Marin Headland on the background
Fort Point and the rest of the Bay Area
Surfing in the bay Area
Northern San Francisco
There are a couple of spots just North of San Francisco. On the Northern cost of SF, there is the famous Fort Point, right under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fort Point, with the right tide, swell and wind can be a really good waves. It’s not easy to catch it as good as that though.
Baker Beach is a Shore Break located right at the Fort Point. It’s a good spot for bodysurfing.