San Francisco Surfing: Experience Riding the Waves of San Francisco
When surfing as a surfer, you know that you need to travel in order to search for that perfect surfing experience. Because home is never perfect unless you live in one of those surf destinations everybody dreams about. This is why you want to know about surfing in California. Here, you will find that there are numerous surf spots that you will find to provide a satisfying surfing experience. Like really good surf experience! Only thing is that you will wear a wetsuit year- round. So it’s not one of those destinations where you enjoy the sun, warm water, and coconuts.
Basically, there are three popular surf spots in Northern California, particularly within 20 minutes of Pacifica, California. You will be able to find surf spots from north to south of it, which are The Patch, Linda Mar, Half Moon Bay Jetty, and Ocean Beach.
The Patch surf spot is THE place to learn how to surf in San Francisco. This place is like surfing Waikiki, Hawaii except that the water temperature is 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The large reef temper swells before they get to the shore, making a nice gentle roller. You can either take a good long ride and enjoy. Or you can catch it when it is an actual wave with a whitewater edge almost at the shore.
This surf spot gives you plenty of time to stand up and learn how to surf without rushing things and steps. The nice part about this beach is it’s only a few minutes’ walk to the right end of the Brighton Avenue boat jetty. In high tide, you will have to walk along a wall, so be careful not dinging your surfboard.
If you haven’t surfed Ocean Beach before, then you are missing out a lot of things when it comes to surfing. Here, you will be able to have a chance to surf an unbelievably perfect surfing experience. But at the same time, it can be unbelievably bad. This particular spot has miles of beach breaks where swells can be perfect, or it can also be brutal. If you plan on surfing this area, then you should expect that there will be days where you will not be able to paddle out even if the swells look perfect from the beach. The rips and currents just don’t allow you to do that.
Also, there are times where you will be able to score good to perfect waves at the time where you think that nothing will happen. You have to consider the fact that Ocean Beach is very exposed, which means that it will pick up the entire swell as well as the winds. This makes it an unpredictable place to surf in. Although this surf spot doesn’t really handle a lot of onshore flow, you will see that the sandbars are great.
Getting Fit for Ocean Beach
Before you consider surfing Ocean Beach, you may want to remember that cardio training is important as you be paddling against the current for a length of time. That is why we always talk about surf training for surfing! It is so important to do strength and cardio specific surf training for places and days like these. And, the parking area is quite far so you will have to walk a bit to even see the waves and surf. If you aren’t really very surf fit, then you may want to surf the area on days when the current are not that strong. However, if you can handle the strong current, and you think you can make the paddle out against it, you will be able to maximize your experience when you surf Ocean Beach. And you will only get stronger and build more stamina as your paddle against a current like that.
You also need to remember that seasons have a big impact on surfing in Ocean Beach. During the winter months, the waves will really pick up and is perfect for people who love a challenge. The winter months will be able to provide bigger, faster, and stronger waves. However, if you are just a beginner, the fall season is the best season that you can surf in Ocean Beach. The waves will be a lot smaller and the weather will be sunny and nice. Also, there are few barrel specialists in this surf spot which is perfect for people who consider themselves as technical surfers.
Linda Mar is also a very popular spot for surfing on the south side of San Francisco. In fact, this place is known as the McDonalds of surfing. Expect a lot of crowd in this area especially surfers from all levels. The best time to surf here is on the high tide. Here, you will be able to get plenty of swells that can be a lot of fun to ride in. And, you will also find quite a lot of amenities, such as restaurants, showers, and bathrooms around the beach.
This surf spot is protected from the wind and south swells, which makes it great when its blown out everywhere else. It is usually clear as it is foggy at other places too. On the south end of Linda Mar, most beginners learn to surf at. In the middle comes the intermediate surfers, which have to use the bathroom/ shower area as the landmark. There is usually a channel t paddle out and both left and right rides are available to you. On the north end, most advanced surfers are there.
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay Jetty also offers a great surfing experience. This is super close to the famous big wave surf spot Mavericks. About 45 minutes south of San Francisco. However, it is not really as good as Ocean Beach but you can be sure that you will be able to still have a lot of fun surfing the area. This place is great when it works for beginners to intermediate surfers. It faces southwest, and is protected on the north end by Mavericks Beach Point. The best times to surf this spot is on south swells and north swells big enough to wrap into the bay. Both longboards and shortboards will be fun to ride there.
Now you get go to San Francisco and know where to surf!
These are the four most popular surf spots that you should surf when you are in San Francisco. Just remember, if you are not used to the freezing cold-water temperatures, it might not be a place to learn how to surf or even surf at all. We won’t! It’s too cold and need too many wetsuits and hoodies, and gloves, and booties. Although it will not really provide you with the same surfing experience as what Hawaii can offer with warm water and a great tan, it will be able to provide you with a satisfying surfing experience as well as a cheaper one at that.
So, if you are up and challenge yourself to surf near San Francisco, let us know and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @surftrainingfactory. We would love to see where you guys are surfing. Maybe we will come visit too!