Sizable, fun waves on the right swell and with offshore winds. Easy parking in the lots and along Great Highway. Duration: 1-2 hours.

Ocean Beach has long stints of good waves during the fall and winter months. During the fall, winds are favorably offshore creating warm and hollow conditions. Once winter hits, wave size can increase to the 12-15ft range on big swells and it gets pretty cold - that's when you'll see people breaking out their booties, hood, and for some, gloves. During the summer and spring months, the waves can get a little jumbled with onshore winds and mixed swells. However, if conditions are clean, the north end of the beach can be really fun on a south swell. Keep in mind that the paddle out can be pretty lengthy, since it's a beach break with no real channel except for rips. Also, because the tide swings can be pretty big with water moving in and out of the bay, causing large currents. Don't be surprised if you drift 3-4 streets from where you parked.

Pack List

  • Surfboard
  • Wetsuit
  • Booties
  • Wetsuit hood (optional)
  • Warm water for after (optional)
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Activities Bodysurfing, Surfing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

about 3 years ago

Ocean Beach is the closest break for those living in SF. Fall is typically the best season where the wind switches to off-shore and the swell is still pretty manageable in terms of size. For those who are just learning to surf, it may be best to check out Pacifica as the paddle out at OB can be pretty challenging especially when the surf is bigger. After your surf, head up to Devil's Teeth on Noriega for arguably one of the best breakfast sandwiches in the city.

Easily my favorite spot to surf in the Bay Area. Definitely not a spot for beginners when there's swell in the water. Even when it's small, there can be strong rips and currents moving in/out of the bay. Middle of the beach is typically going to be bigger than the south/north ends.

almost 5 years ago

Great waves. Lots of space to spread out and find your own peak. Good for SUP surfing too. That said, if you're inexperienced, best to start somewhere else. Very strong currents and rips here, and large, powerful waves on a good swell. Fun!!


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