The Search Preview

Our guide to the first ever San Francisco World Tour event

| posted on October 24, 2011

  • Mik

    The sandbars right now are really really good. It’s been glassy allot, or light offshores. All that’s needed are waves, and the WCT guys have been wave magnets all year, so I am anticipating some great conditions. I hope that there is an expression session with the best local surfers too, because Kelly’s is a difficult wave to anticipate, and those guy have it dialed, and they charge. They deserve a chance to surf it alone, amongst the contest excitement. Rock on SF… And by the way Surfer: It’s not cool to call it “San Fran”. It’s either SF, or San Francisco… The city of Saint Francis. The best city in the United States. And when the surf is on, it is world class. As good as Sunset Beach, North Shore… But with more power. You’ll see…..

  • Whamo

    The best city in the U.S.? My son goes to school there, and he says don’t wear sandals because people defecate in the street and used needles litter the boulevards.

  • Andrew

    Geeee…think you could make the lay-out of this article any more difficult to use???I could’nt even finish reading or really even get started for that matter…all this click and drag crap…Shape-up SURFER!

  • amosandy

    Can’t wait for this thing to get started. After watching New York unload like magic you just know this place is going to step up to the plate. Go Rangers!!!.

  • Peter Ortali

    I’ve been waiting years for the WCT to “discover” San Francisco. Ocean Beach when it’s on and big rivals any spot on the world. Unless you’ve paddled out when it’s pumping don’t put down this wave. If you’ve tried to paddle out and given up you know what I mean. Power. Cold. Deadly rips. Huge Tubes. Perfection.

  • jeff

    Let’s hope that it cooperates, I live on Taraval and surf OB whenever I can, but I can tell you right now that this has been one of the worst Octobers I can remember, there has been very few clean days with overhead surf, and when there has been swell it has been very disorganized, often difficult to see because of the fog, and I have not seen more than than 3 decent days in succession in months. I have to laugh when people compare this place to Sunset Beach…..LOL!

  • cheeehooo

    born and raised hawaii, moved to SF and lives on 41st and Balboa…9 blocks from OB…OB is definitely not like Oahu’s Sunset NS, i laugh too like jeff…at least there’s some sort of channel @ Sunset, OB can be a full on workout just paddling to the lineup! the waves can be sick at OB when its sandbar tho!

  • Mike

    As an SF native, I really hope they get some good waves for the contest. Like someone else said, it hasn’t really been a great fall so far. Last year was far better.

    Its going to be a difficult contest for the ASP guys. But I hope they get some fun waves. It will be great to see what the top pros can do to OB.

  • Hubey

    If the rule holds that there cannot be jet ski assist and the surf is pumping and they don’t move the event up to Kelly’s cove where it’s smaller, will the winner of each heat be whoever can paddle out the farthest?

  • Mik

    Whammo: So, NYC is clean? Not. Chicago is clean, but boring by comparison. LA? Not. The claim stands. SF is an amazing place, AND has a world class surf break, when it’s on. Your son should go somewhere else if he’s unhappy.

    Jeff & Chee Hoo: I’ve surfed Sunset, Pipleline, Cloudbreak, Hanalei Bay: Kelly’s peaks next to Seal Rock at 12 feet are def. as good as Sunset at the same size. Its a heavy drop with massive water moving up the face, and when the sand bars are right, the ensuing wall is full-on shred-able… BTW: since when do easy channels for getting out make a wave good? It only makes it more accessible. Big Ocean Beach is heavy. But the boys better be in paddling shape because the currents are relentless, so even staying in the same take-off spot is challenging, much less getting out when it full on.

  • Eric

    When Ob is on, its really good. Even glassy and small it can be super fun, if its not peak to patty, to close out. It is the anti-beach City…grey, gritty, cold. Its not worth living there year round if you can’t check it l0 x a day, hate onshore winds, and don’t like your summers colder than your winters, but make no mistake that it is a World Class wave when it comes together. This will either be a colossal joke, or at best a partial success. After Padang, Chile, and Barra, the chances of having OB live up to that list are the same as picking the 49rs to win the Super Bowl. Well, they ARE 5 and 1 this year….

  • JJN

    Im not from SF, but here in my country this place is not knowledged by the surf, but yes for the great gay community, the greatest in USA.


    These kids sold out what is not theirs to sell. The natives let the fox into the henhouse – they have trampled upon 40 years of sanctity. BVB

  • rob

    spent a day surfing down at sloat this summer while interning out there. session went something like this: 20 mins of duck diving, paddle for a wave, followed by duck diving for another 20 mins. repeat. it was only about 4 ft. that day as well. lots of respect for this place as it is HEAVY. hope it fires for the contest

  • Wilko

    i will win san fran

  • S4P

    Careful what you wish for… Used to be able to “get lost” and surf solo frequently back in the 80s…. the Bud Tour changed all that…

  • stingraysteve

    A couple years ago in November I sat on the sand in front of the Windmill in my tshirt (it was a heat wave) and watched a guy paddle for 8 min. non stop only to be greeted at the head of the pass by a 15ft bomb that broke his board. It’s a great wave sometimes but can it hold for heat after heat. Someone is going to get lucky and somebody is not!

  • Jam

    I grew up surfing Ocean Beach and the waves were fast and really thick. It was easy to get pounded out there. I took beatings that would make most people hang their board up, but always returned the next day. I hope the contest brings in one of those “monster swells” for the world to see. In the Bay area, we take our sport very serious. No pretty girls and pretty beach shots for the magazines, just cold and bold conditions! Let the world see what we deal with!!!

  • GuruKey

    Purchased one of my first thrusters from WISE Surfboards
    which is close to Ocean Beach. That is a great, core shop, good people.
    It can be very tough to get out there, (when big) you can take a beating.
    But, I am used to it …. its like some of the heavy beach break we surf
    here on Vancouver Island. Take off can shift a lot ….
    you always have to be moving. Strong rips …. can you say paddle fest !

  • Mic Check

    Hope the waves cooperate and show how good and heavy OB can be. Definitely a world class wave when it wants to be. Humbling power, not for the faint of heart or weak of arm. But WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THIS ARTICLE?!?! Browser window is cut off at the bottom, can’t enter the wetsuit giveaway, fingers cramping from drag n drop Bullsh*t….hell with this I’m goin surfing

  • Marino

    I live in SF and this is the best city in the world, this place is so diverse and different than any big city, as for the waves it’s hard to get it good unless you ive here but then again fall and winter are the best times of the year so maybe they’ll get lucky.

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  • shark

    This place is nuts. I went there this past summer not really to surf but happened to get a “small” windswell, everywhere else like the lane was pretty flat but not OB. OB was well overhead and wild. I found this sandbar out in front of the place i was staying at and it looked good, there were some really hollow ones mixed in with mostly crap, but i gave it a go. I surfed the same peak for three days, and it was always about the same: I would think it looked good from the beach so I would suit up and paddle out. It would take me about 5-10 minutes to get far enough out to even surf it and the peak i had chosen was no more than 80 feet off of dry sand. I would then get my ass kicked for the next two hours while i attempted to chase down shift warbly bowls and felt sort of like a bottle floating through open ocean. In the three days that i was there, i got probably ten waves that were half decent and two or three that were good. How do they expect to run a contest in that? haha no one will catch any waves!

  • Hater

    Oh sh*t. Did you see the amount of revenue we could generate with all the inner city kooks that have never put on a wettie let alone duckdive a wave come to shores of New York for that piece of dogsh*t contest that could have been held at any beachie in the world. Oh Watch out. Verizon is now a sponsor. If you call yourself a surfer, be sad, and very afraid. Nike, Target, and now Verizon has their greedy claws set on the destruction of the soul and essence of surfing and is now exploiting everything that is beautiful into some corporate scheme. Surfing has come a long way, but as a surfer, I want to see progress in the water, not out. I was glad when “The Search” first came out and with that discovery in Mexico, I was excited in the direction the sport was heading. But the decision on the last stop shocked me and Bobby Martinez has pointed something out. Take a look at what is happening. When you think of “The Search” for Epic waves, the journey it takes to get there, and the passion and dedication you need to fulfill your dreams, what comes to mind? Traveling to some desolate Island Chain and treking for hours to find that perfect wave. Or pulling into a packed parking lot, feeding the meter, and paddling out for a quick sesh before you go to your cubicle. Samoa, Fiji, or any Pacific or Indonesian island chain, or even somewhere in South America. Or is it Boston, or Seattle…

  • Bobby M

    When you think of “The Search” for Epic waves, what comes to mind. Going to some Pacific or Indonesian Island chain, and treking the desolate coastline for your vision of the perfect wave. Or pulling off pch into some packed parking lot, feeding the meter, and paddling out for a quick sesh. Is your mind taken to another place dreaming of some exotic paradise. Or are you thinking Boston or Seattle. Watch out, Target and Verizon wants your soul. I want progress in the water not out. With your millions go Search for the next Teahupoo or Mundaka, not setting up scaffolding in Texas because of the revenue…

  • OffshoreKid

    competitive surfing sucks.