GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Friday spot check: Ocean Beach north jetty

Posted by George J Janczyn on March 19, 2010

The Ocean Beach north jetty is, in my opinion, one of the more interesting breaks in the San Diego area. It definitely has its own peculiar character, although being at the mouth of the San Diego River, the shifting sandbar will cause the break to vary.

My other choice for most interesting would be Big Rock in La Jolla, with its reef creating a crazy, sucking takeoff and drop, then race to make the very hollow tube section, followed by a sweeping cutback to stay with the shoulder.

But at the OB jetty, when it’s breaking, you often get a long, hollow, fast-peeling tube that is a challenge to make (if only you could go 60 MPH) where even a smaller wave can throw a solid punch–if it hits you the right way it’ll knock you right off your board.

At the jetty often you’ll get just part of a long wave that breaks up into sections…which helps moderate the sometimes crowded situation because it allows 3 or 4 surfers to get a piece of the wave without infringing on the others’ space. Sometimes there are some jetty-specific peaks if you hang out right next to the rocks.

The downside of shooting video at the jetty is that it breaks so far out, especially at lower tides. My video camera has 20x optical zoom, but at maximum zoom it barely gets acceptable shots (I’m still looking for a relatively inexpensive HD camcorder with over 30x optical zoom AND a viewfinder, but so far there is no such thing, short of a $3,000+ professional camera).

Here’s what it looked like Wednesday morning:

 

Or click here to see a larger screen version.

Click here to see the entire Friday Spot Check series.

 

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