San Francisco County Surfing

About San Francisco County

Despite being one of the world's best-loved tourist destinations, San Francisco is often overlooked by traveling surfers, who focus on the warmer water of Southern California or the numerous pointbreaks of 'Surf City USA', namely Santa Cruz. The city breaks are regularly ignored by the surfing media, although this is definitely not the case with Mavericks, North America's prime big wave arena. Every winter, paddle-in or tow-in acts of bravado remind us that one of the heaviest breaks on the planet lies less than 48km (30mi) away from San Francisco's rolling hills, cable cars and famous bridge. Many surfers looking to escape city crowds will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and scout the Marin County coast, but for such a large metropolis, there is still room to move in the wide open spaces of Ocean Beach. Environmental problems centre on access and pollution at a handful of populated hot spots, plus there are always the white sharks to think about even though fatalities have been few in the last 75 years.


  • High swell consistency

  • Big wave spots

  • Great city attractions

  • Entertainment and nightlife


  • Cold water

  • Urban crowds

  • Shark factor

  • Lack of sunshine

Surf Spots