Hang loose: Best surf spots around Marin

Culley Deisinger

Other than Mavericks, Northern California’s surf is not widely recognized. The cold temperatures and shark-filled waters do not appeal to everyone, making surfing a less practiced sport in comparison to Southern California. However, for those that do surf the breaks here, they are in for a treat. The cold temperature keeps the water less crowded and as the winter swells come in, the waves will be getting better. The Redwood Bark decided to go for a surf to tell you about the best breaks in the area for the winter.


Fort Cronkhite (4.5 stars)

SENIOR GEFFEN HOCHSCHILD catches a wave at Fort Cronkite.
SENIOR GEFFEN HOCHSCHILD catches a wave at Fort Cronkite.

“Cron” received four and a half stars for its accessibility and waves ranging from moderate to advanced. Without traffic, it takes less than 30 minutes to get there from Redwood. As the tide gets low, the waves can go from being knee high to overhead, giving surfers a wide range of wave size. Located in the beautiful Marin Headlands, it is common to be greeted by dolphins and seals, making the down time between sets enjoyable. The only downsides about surfing here is that when surfing at low tide, there is always a risk of damaging your board on the sand, and the waves are a challenge to surf on due to an initial drop that is made by the steep waves.


Ocean Beach (3.5 stars)

Located right off the Golden Gate Bridge, the potentially hazardous surf at “OB” earns the site a score of three and a half stars. Paddling out is exhausting, especially if you cannot duck dive, and although getting into the rip current helps get you past the breaking waves, if you are not careful, it will sweep you out to sea. Additional risks are presented with the coming of winter and its swells, as the waves can get to be more than double overhead. However, the sand bar that causes the break also creates waves that are both left and rights, making the waves good for any surfer, goofy or regular.


Bolinas (3 stars)

The long, small waves that are created at “Bo” make this spot unique. Located about an hour away from Redwood, Bo is one of the only breaks that is popular amongst longboarders and stand up paddlers in the area. This break is the best for beginners because of the beach’s proximity to the waves, allowing surfers to paddle out within seconds and catch them. It is also a short paddle away from Stinson Beach, giving surfers the opportunity to surf in two places. Although it is open to south swells and best on an incoming tide, this place only received three stars due to the far location and and beginner sized waves.