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8 Places To Surf In And Around San Francisco

If you are travelling to San Francisco, there is a good chance that you will want to go to the beach. This may be the time in your life that you finally learn to surf, or you may be a surfer already and are looking for another memorable wave. Either way, there are a number of great spots to visit.

Fort Point

Fort Point is a great spot but should only be surfed by advanced surfers. Situated under the Golden Gate Bridge, you get stunning views. You will need to climb over slippery rocks to get there and you will have to time it right, as a strong current can pull out to sea when the tide drops. The locals have been known to be quite aggressive towards new-comers so try to be aware of that when surfing here.


Ocean Beach

This is also an advanced surfer spot. The long beach has four main breaks called Kelly’s Cove, The Dunes, VFW and Sloat. Waves roll in from the open ocean, meaning they are strong and unforgiving. When the surf is bigger, it can be difficult to paddle out as there are no channels to assist with the paddle. There can be quite a lot of localism so try to avoid doing anything that may offend the locals.

Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach is a great place for surfers of any level. The long beach has multiple breaks with waves that vary in size. Whether you are a pro or a beginner, there is something here for everyone. During low tide and when the surf is big, the waves tend to close out, so it’s best to surf at high tide or find a good sandbar to get a wave that runs nicely.


If you are reading this, you probably aren’t someone fit to surf Mavericks, as you would probably be travelling specifically for the purpose of surfing here. This is one of the world’s most famous big wave surfing spots. It’s a great experience just watching the few surfers who actually tackle these massive waves take the drop. If you manage to get a pair of binoculars, you could try to watch from the beach, otherwise you may be able to convince one of the boats’ captains to take you out with them.


Half Moon Bay

Although right by Mavericks, the wave here is easy to ride and can be surfed by beginner and intermediate surfers. There is a surf school close by, so you can have some lessons here too. Whether you ride a shortboard or longboard, you will be able to find some fun waves here.


Dead Man’s Point

Similar to Fort Point, the localism here is a bit over the top. The wave also requires an advanced surfer as there is a rock which needs to be avoided when surfing the wave. Due to the small take-off zone, it can get quite competitive, meaning you will need to know what you are doing in terms of surfer-etiquette.

Pleasure Point

Pleasure Point is a great spot for surfers of any level. The long, consistent waves mean there are plenty of opportunities for everyone but also cause it to get quite crowded. There is often a wave here when nearby beaches don’t have any.


Steamer Lane

Steamer lane, much like Pleasure Point is a point break and can get quite crowded. In order to get to the wave, you need to jump off the edge of a cliff and into the water, adding something fun to getting to backline. This wave is best surfed by intermediate to advanced surfers, as it runs quickly, and you will need to be able to read the waves well.


If you are travelling to San Francisco, take a trip to one of the many beaches for a surf. No matter what level you are, you will be able to find something that suits you and waves that you can have fun on.  It’s a beautiful place with so much opportunity for you to improve, so don’t miss out on any chance you get to experience it. 

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162 thoughts on “8 Places To Surf In And Around San Francisco

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