Ocean Beach, OB, The Beach

OB or The Beach, as locals call Ocean Beach is one of the most dangerous surf breaks in San Francisco Bay Area. This weekend offered some pretty amazing weather since we’ve been having record levels of rainfall. I finally get a chance to blog about surfing OB.

I’ve surfed OB in the past and had a few good sessions and other times, I just got my ass kicked. It definitely made me realize of how human I really am. But for some reason, I keep coming back for more.



OB is for advanced surfers brave enough to undertake a strong undertow, powerful rip currents and big waves. OB is a difficult beach break and not to be underestimated. Be careful. Watch and observe other surfers and definitely keep your eye on the incoming swell.

Here’s why.

  1. Very strong current that can pull you out to sea. OB is a non-swimming beach. (There have been 4 reported deaths in 2016).
  2. Constant paddling which means you’re going to be exhausted. The vastness of the beach and strong currents move you when you’re in the line up.
  3. The undertow is stronger than most beach breaks and will pull you down for an extra 2-5 seconds. Do not panic and make sure you remain calm while tumbling in the water.
  4. 3.5 mile long beach – when you’re in the water its hard to locate yourself and there won’t be many people around. Remember your land markers to identify where the current pulled you. Hopefully, not out to sea.img_4340-1
  5. Paddling out is difficult and sometimes impossible.
  6. Waves are big, the biggest in Northern California with average waves heights of 10-15′.
  7. Hard to discern where the wave breaks since there’s a long stretch of beach and different sets of swell coming in at different times. Be aware and always pay attention. img_4337
  8. Sneaker waves will appear before you. If you’re not observant, you will get drilled.
  9. No one is out there and NO lifeguards. You’re on your own.
  10. Great Whites live here and have been spotted hunting close to the lineup (see video below).

If you can muster the courage and the strength to surf OB, it’s quite the experience. OB reminds you of how human you really are.


For more information on Ocean Beach, check out Magic Seaweed’s forecast here.

If you’re interested in surfing OB, make sure you’re ready to put in work. If it’s your first time and you don’t know the conditions, visit the surf shops and ask. Also, watch from the beach and observe conditions. Safety first.



If you’re ready, then go with someone that’s brave enough to surf with you.

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