Three miles of some of the best and heaviest beachbreak on the planet, similar to Mexico’s Puerto Escondido. Simply called “The Beach” by locals, it picks up all swells and can hold virtually any size — as it gets bigger, it just breaks further out and becomes nearly impossible to paddle through. A dropping tide increases the hollowness, but the random, shifting peaks remain makeable.
Parking can be found at the ends of streets like Sloat, Taraval, and Lincoln. At head-high, you might find some 300 guys spread along the entire beach; head further south out of town to find more secluded peaks. At quadruple-overhead, take your pick if you can make it out. In 2000, an estimated 15,000 cubic yards of sand and boulders was dumped along Ocean Beach as erosion protection. The city fathers want to armor the place with seawalls and quarry-rock revetments to save the Great Highway, but local residents and surfers have kinder, gentler ideas. In 2001, the mayor created a task force to look at issues affecting Ocean Beach, and two Surfrider chapter members were included.