San Francisco is a charming city filled with iconic landmarks, independently-owned businesses, and trendsetting residents. It is considered a complete universe in itself where each neighborhood radiates its own personality and each resident has a strong sense of pride. Despite being one of the world’s most loved tourist destinations, The Golden City is often overlooked by traveling surfers. Instead, they turn to warmer and sunnier regions such as L.A.
The incredible city breaks are regularly ignored by the surfing media since the region is notorious for freezing, shark-filled water. Even though it seems daunting, there are great spots for surfers of all levels.
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
This crescent-shaped cove is popular amongst both sunbathers and surfers, meaning that it can get a little crowded. The area is fairly exposed, allowing for a fairly consistent surf. This is especially the case during the summer season, which typically offers the best conditions. Offshore winds come in from the northeast and the beach break offers both left- and right-hand waves. Surfing here is at its peak around high tide. However, wave chasers must also beware of white sharks, rips, and rocks.For those first-timers, the beach offers both wetsuit rentals as well as surfboards, and for those who shy away from this solitary affair, there are other activities including kayaks, bicycles, paddleboards, and boogie boards. The beach is also surrounded by organic farms and ranches that bring the area some of the freshest food.
Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Bolinas town was populated by hippies back in the late 60s and early 70s, giving the area a bohemian glow. Today, it is considered the Hipster Haven of Bohemians. Although only 2.5 miles away from Stinson Beach, Bolinas owns better waves due to its even more sheltered position and is home to two primary breaks:
The Patch, known as “longboarders paradise” is the most popular break and is known for its cold waters. The leisurely breakers and mellow rolls allow beginners more time to actually stand up and ride the wave, especially during the summer and spring when waves are smaller. Although it’s great for beginners, it does have a few large rocks by the shore.
The Channel lies at the mouth of the inlet and is a break where the Bolinas lagoon empties into the ocean. Although it isn’t far from The Patch, it produces a different style and size of waves where they break in a more crumbling way, making it ideal for beginners as well. The relatively calm ocean in both breaks makes the surfing conditions here more suitable for longboarders rather than short boarders.
Locals sometimes call it the “mini Mavericks” as it’s a beach break that is most appropriate for advanced surfers. Montara is a beautiful beach and a photogenic spot with coarse sand, surrounded by sculpted sandstone cliffs. The paddle out is relatively easy with no layers of whitewater to get through, however, when the ocean mellows a bit, Montara ranges from deadly to excellent, depending on the bottom contour and swell direction. Luckily it’s never crowded and can be a really fun surf spot.
Only the hardiest surfers dare go into Ocean Beach’s cold, turbulent water, where the big waves are often dangerous. The air temperature hovers around 50 degrees, and the fog makes it challenging to see other surfers. This deems Ocean beach suitable for truly committed long and short boarders. The five-mile-long stretch of sandy beach faces the open Pacific Ocean and has four individual breaks: Kellys, VFW, The Dunes, and Sloat. The paddle-out is very difficult and there is almost always a strong rip current.
Level: Beginning, Intermediate
If Ocean Beach is too much to handle, Linda Mar is only a 15-minute drive down the coast
This beach offers opportunities for surfers of all levels, who appreciate the location’s protection from strong winds. Beginners learn to surf on the south end and experienced shortboarders rip it up on the north end, leaving the middle end for the intermediate surfers. The beach itself can get quite crowded, particularly during the summer weekends when tourists travel to visit the world’s best located Taco Bell, the only standing building on the beach!
With SF being one of the leading surf cities in the world, it naturally is home to some of the best surf shops. The ‘Aqua Surf Shop’ is one of the top-rated stores. It is located on the corner of the Outer Sunset, just down the street from Outerlands and Trouble Coffee. The laid-back store carries some of the most trusted brands in the business. It also sells anything and everything related to surfing. Their employees are all avid surfers who are happy to help you choose from a wide selection of new and used boards. If you’re not quite ready to buy, Aqua also offers 24-hour rentals for wetsuits and boards.
Many surfers get out on the water as an opportunity to escape the city crowds and enjoy a hassle-free day by the sea. It can be a struggle to look for a new home when moving to or staying for an extended period in a new city. With so many errands to consider and so much to buy, it may be worth avoiding this stress and looking into furnished apartment options, such as those offered by Blueground. People choose to live in one of their serviced apartments because of the convenience, luxury, and comfort.
Although every apartment is fully furnished and decorated, the biggest advantage is its central location. People choose these apartments for their proximity to major employers, universities, and hospitals. For those who value SF’s outdoor possibilities, the apartments are a short drive to the best beaches and hiking trails.
Surf aficionados looking for their ideal accommodation in SF will appreciate fully-equipped bathrooms (with tubs for soaking those wetsuits), on-site laundry facilities, and all kitchen appliances and kitchenware (for early morning smoothies and post-ride salad prep).