Posts Tagged 'ocean beach'

Just Left Warm Water And Big Waves In New York For Colder Water And Smaller Waves In California

All the surf mag Instagrams are posting about the waves in New York last week. I was lucky and happened to be on Long Island when all the action was happening. Today I was back in San Francisco. The weather was great. Hot day at Ocean Beach kinda great, but the waves were tiny little suckers. Fine by me, but funny how the Atlantic had all the energy and warmth while the Pacific was doing just enough to let you surf.

Here are a few shots from today. I got out smack in the middle of the workday on account of me being in between jobs at the moment, so while it wasn’t all too awesome it was nice surfing OB somewhat to myself.


doug bottom turn ob 10.6


Watch Out for Spearfishermen in the Lineup

ocean beach spear fisherman

This seems crazy. I know almost nothing about spearfishing, but would assume that good visibility in the water is a necessity for identifying a fish and being able to propel a spear directly towards it. I’ve opened my eyes during plenty of duck dives at Ocean Beach and didn’t see much more than the nose of my board. There wasn’t anyone surfing when this guy slowly made his way into the ocean, although three people did paddle out once the spearfisherman made it past the break. I felt I should have told the surfers about the guy snorkeling around them with a really sharp projectile object, but I guess that’s just part of the fun of surfing Ocean Beach.

Jaws Themed Surf Van

jaws vw surf van

Ocean Beach, SF, CA, is a fun, let’s say, place to surf. It’s also a great place to see all sorts of weird things. After a pretty lackluster but expected start to summer surf conditions here in northern California I scored some fun waves on a Sunday before the 4th of July weekend. While I was driving home I passed this Volks surf van as the owner was getting out to pick up a coffee across the street. Doubt I’m the first person to photograph this guy’s Jaws inspired artwork of a vehicle, but if you look closely I capture the owner’s dog in the back left window and it looks like the little guy is about to become shark food!

Ocean Beach Local

pelican at ocean beach

I’ve been taking our camera to more places with me recently. For every 50 shots there are five that turn out Ok. This was a good one. I know so because I posted it on the Gram and an honest to god photographer told me it was a “great photo!” So there’s that. The waves at OB were horrible, as they have been since its spring. The beach is still a fun place to pass time with a Tecate, camera, wife and dog.

A Swell View Of A Swell

Temps are high, surf is high, and I’m high (up that is). 15ft+ swells hit the Northern Californian coastline this weekend, and you get a good sense of the size of the waves if you see them from the top of the Marin Headlands. That horseshoe of swell in the center of the photo is about one mile away from colliding with Ocean Beach (upper left).

Java Beach Has Perfect Sized Coffee Cups

coffee cup at ocean beach san francisco

The waves at Ocean Beach today were a little too big for my tastes and abilities, but the coffee at Java Beach was perfect. The small sized coffee served at the beachfront cafe is an ideal 10 ounces. Just perfect. I prefer a medium sized wave and a 10 oz coffee.

This Is Why You Should Never Check The Surf Cam at Work

ocean beach san francisco surf cameravia ob-kc just before 10:00 on 1/13/14.

Just as you start settling into the five-day work week, it’s only a matter of time before you instinctively check the local surf cam. Today, I lasted a whole hour before visiting ob-kc for my fix, hoping it might be a sloppy mess not worth waking up for, but instead I saw an empty right hander peeling without a soul in the water. It apparently wasn’t as good as this still shot made it look, but all it takes is one good wave to make a session and this would’ve done it.

Frederick Knob To The Pacific Ocean

frederick knob ocean beach

The elevations in this town are crazy. Walk 20 seconds and you’re 50 ft higher from where you just were. On a clear day – a really clear day – you can see the Pacific Ocean from the top of Frederick Knob where it meets Buena Vista Park.

Posing For Tourists At Ocean Beach

I was surfing at Ocean Beach today, and it was good. I surfed for just over an hour and came in when I figured the drift pulled me up the beach enough. Ciji drove down with me and was enjoying the sunny day on a blanket down the beach where I first paddled out, so I had a little walk ahead of me to make it back to her.

Today was one of those days at Ocean Beach where you didn’t feel like you were at Ocean Beach. The sun was out. There wasn’t any wind, and the waves were cracking.

Sun is a huge variable when surfing Ocean Beach. Paddle outs seem less of a challenge when the sky’s blue. Bigger waves seem more makable. It was one of those days.

After a fun surf I had a big smile on my face as I made my way down the beach towards Ciji. I walked passed a group of ten or so middle-aged Asian women who were taking photos of the ocean like they’ve never seen it before. They all seemed just about as happy as I was.

As I got closer to the group of women, they turned their cameras on me. Dripping wet and holding a surfboard I probably looked pretty “California” to them.

One of the ladies ran directly in front of me and snapped a photo. She was maybe two feet away from me. I stopped. The smile on my face never went away, and I decided to acknowledge the impromptu but welcomed photo shoot by throwing up a peace sign with my hand.


It was as if the peace sign was an invitation for a full fledged photo shoot. Everyone of the women shrieked with joy when I stopped and made the peace sign.

Immediately I was surrounded by the entire group as one person took turns playing photographer while the other women gathered behind me. I stood with my surfboard holding a peace sign in the air for several clicks of the camera.

I asked the women where they were visiting from and was told China as they looked down at the screen of their cameras, reviewing the photos they just took with me.

I thanked them for bringing the nice weather to San Francisco during their trip, waved goodbye and made my way on down the beach.

Not a bad way to cap off a nice day in the ocean. I only wish I had one of the photos.

PVC Surfboard Rack For A Bicycle

Surfing in San Francisco is tough. The water is cold, the currents are strong, and I’ve been told there are sharks. If you don’t own a car, or have a buddy who owns one, the actual act of surfing in San Francisco is tough. It’s more than three miles from my apartment to Ocean Beach. I don’t own a car. I own a bike.

Since I moved to San Francisco I’ve had a love hate relationship with surfboard racks for bicycles. On the one hand they got me to the beach for a surf, but on the other hand they all had design flaws. If one rack didn’t require you to bolt it on your bicycle forever, the other would force you to turn you bicycle into a horse trailer. My favorite of them all is the rack that turns your bicycle into an SUV!

If your only mode of transportation is a bicycle, and you want to surf, it turns out your best option is to build a rack out of PVC pipe, glue, hose clamps, and pipe insulation. This entire surfboard rack can be built for under $20 (considering you already own a hacksaw and screwdriver) and with a slight design change you won’t have to permanently fix the rack to your bicycle. Here’s how I did it:

Slice up some 1″ tee sections of PVC (larger if your frame size calls for it) with a hacksaw and affix them to your bicycle frame with hose clamps. For extra grip between the tee sections and my bicycle frame I lined the inside of the tee sections with strips of old tire tubes.

Here’s what your bicycle is going to look like on a daily basis with this type of surfboard rack. The PVC tee sections are the only visible part on the bicycle at all times, and they’re super lightweight so you’ll barely notice they’re attached.

With about nine feet of PVC pipe, six elbow sections, and some PVC cement, you’ll be able to construct the arms of the rack that actually hold the surfboard.

Each bicycle frame and rider is different, so the sizes for these sections of the rack will vary. For instance, the rear arm of my rack is longer due to the back tee section being slightly higher on the frame than the front tee section. It’s not an exact science, but you’ll want the bottoms of each arm to be fairly even.

To prevent the arms from disconnecting with the tee sections, holes were drilled through the top part of each arm and threaded with rope so they could be tied to the frame. Tying the arms to the tee section – opposed to cementing them together – allows me the option to easily remove and fasten the rack onto my frame without having to permanently attach it to my bicycle. As you can see, I’ve also added pipe insulation around the arm sections to protect my surfboard.

Due to the 45 degree angle of the front tee section attached to my bicycle frame, I drilled a hole towards the top of the front arm of the rack, which allows me to hook a bungie cord.

The bungie cord counter balances the weight of the surfboard pulling down on the arm, preventing the front tee section from rotating. With the bungie cord secured around my top tube the front arm of the rack remains level and the tee section doesn’t move.

That’s it! Now you just throw your wetsuit in a bag and pedal to some waves.

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