5 of the best surfing spots in San Francisco, USA

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Yo dude, surf’s up bra! Where better to serve up ‘bras’ than inches away from one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful cities, San Francisco. With a summer cocktail of sandy beaches and big swells, here are a few handy tips on where to find the perfect waves to ride in our guide to the best surfing spots in San Francisco.

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Ocean Beach © Torbakhopper/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/gazeronly/8748584407
Ocean Beach © Torbakhopper/Flickr

Ocean Beach

Skirting the west side of San Francisco, Ocean Beach is a beautiful 3.5-mile stretch of lush sand and sea. On a perfect day the beach is littered with hundreds of surfers pouring straight out from the city.

Despite its popularity it’s not an easy ride for beginners, with only the experienced surfers beating the huge currents caused by the Golden Gate tide.

Fort Point © Matthew Roth/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewalmonroth/5481149376
Fort Point © Matthew Roth/Flickr

Fort Point

Just North of Ocean Beach and full of locals is Fort Point, one of the best places in the world to surf because of the epic views.

From water level your eyes can follow the city’s edge as it sprawls out along the coast, while directly overhead towers the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sheltered from the worst of the Pacific, Fort Point can still be challenging because of its rock rich waters and incredibly strong currents.

Deadman’s © arturapresyan/iStock/Thinkstock http://www.thinkstockphotos.co.uk/image/stock-photo-surfers/475115241
Deadman’s © arturapresyan/iStock/Thinkstock


Slightly to the west of Fort Point is a small cove nicknamed Deadman’s by locals, because of its close proximity to a notorious Golden Gate jumpers spot.

On most days this bay is unsurfable, but with the good conditions the breaks are perfect. The rocks and current make this strictly a location for the pros, with the additional risk of the very protective locals!

Mavericks © Robert Scoble/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/scobleizer/5140588266
Mavericks © Robert Scoble/Flickr


To the south of San Francisco is a world-renowned spot called Mavericks, where a wave can turn a surfer into a wild man hero.

After a Jet Ski tow or a 45-minute battle with the currents, you are faced with colossal waves hurtling along at jaw dropping speeds.

Pedro Point © IRCrockett/iStock/Thinkstock http://www.thinkstockphotos.co.uk/image/stock-photo-never-too-cold-to-surf/176872061
Pedro Point © IRCrockett/iStock/Thinkstock

Pedro Point

Just a step North of Maverick’s is Pedro Point, one of the local’s closely kept secrets.

Another big wave spot, Pedro Point is relatively uncrowded due to the fierce protection of the local surfing community.

Definitely one to check out for experienced surfers, just ensure you don’t tread on any local toes.

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Words by Lance van Dijk

Header image © EpicStockMedia/iStock/Thinkstock

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas.

5 of the best surfing spots in San Francisco, USA was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Chantelle Symester