Kelly Slater, the world’s top surfer and former Baywatch cast member, is bracing for the cold water of Ocean Beach. Slater, along with 33 other professional surfers, will be in San Francisco for the Rip Curl Pro Search, taking place “somewhere” in San Francisco November 1-12.
The Rip Curl Pro Search will be Slater’s first time surfing San Francisco. While recently speaking to ASP International about his expectations for the notorious Ocean Beach venue, Slater nailed it saying,”I expect cold and paddling.”
Never a city to disappoint, San Francisco will certainly meet Slater’s expectations. The average air temperature down by Ocean Beach is 50 – 55 °F, and the water temps rarely break 60 °F (it should be around 58 °F for the event).
Slater and the rest of the pros won’t have the assistance of jet skis for the contest either, making his second point about paddling a most certain reality. As noted by Ocean Beach Bulletin, “the National Park Service has decided to prohibit all personal watercraft except for those used by lifeguards at the event.”
This means that after a surfer rides a wave far inside, taking them close to the shore, they won’t have the option of getting a quick lift back to the break on a jet ski. For people watching the event this is somewhat of a downside, as there will undoubtedly be more paddling than surfing. And that means less chance of seeing Slater pull off something nasty, like this monster 360 air that garnered him a perfect 10 at the Quiksilver Pro New York:
However, the unusual conditions are what makes this such a special event. The people and surf community in San Francisco won’t disappoint either, as we can expect large turnouts for the event. With Ocean Beach providing an almost endless stretch of beach to watch from, and the nearby Safeway offering immediate access to beer, I for one can’t wait for the Rip Curl Pro Search to kick off.
If you can’t make it down to Ocean Beach to watch the event in person, it will be broadcast live on live.ripcurl.com.