Break Check: Ocean Beach, San Diego CA

bodysurfing ocean beach san diego 

Solerider Corbin Brown


bodysurfing image ocean beach

Ocean Beach, at the end of Interstate 8 draws in more than tourists from Arizona. It’s also a magnet for swell and breaks year round. It’s exposed to wind -both on shore and off shore. An early morning off shore groomed swell can turn into mid morning slop. It works best on a medium tide, though high tide with a big swell can still get hollow. Low tides are prone to sand dredging close outs at size.



Ocean Beach, San Diego CA 

Despite not being known as a go-to bodysurfing spot, OB has a large local and non-local crew of bodysurfers and body boarders. This is due in part to the 24hr designated swim zone just north of the pier, and that it often enough gets fun if not downright good.


tube riding ocean beach san diego


Combo swells with substantial West direction can offer up plenty of in and out barrels with some punch. The San Diego River not only supplies the beach with less-than-clean water, it also provides a fair bit of sand to keep things interesting. The main focal point for bodysurfing is between the jetty at Avalanche and the pier. The sand builds up here and when the tide is just right it lives up to its name. The right breaks into the swim zone and the left into a very frothing pack of board surfers. Use the left with caution.

Fun at the beach 

Fun at the beach


bodysurfing ocean beach pier


TIDE: Medium

WIND: East

SWELL: Something with West in it. 3’ to 8’. Bigger swells tend to produce super strong currents and only the hardiest swimmers venture out.

NOTES: Board surfers ignoring the swim zone designation. Low tide can be dangerous. So can going left at Avalanche.

Todd Partridge
Todd Partridge


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