Ocean Beach is a beach that runs along the west coast of San Francisco, California, United States, at the Pacific Ocean. It is adjacent to Golden Gate Park, the Richmond District, and the Sunset District. The Great Highway runs alongside the beach, and the Cliff House and the site of the former Sutro Baths sit at the northern end. The beach is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is administered by the National Park Service.
During the late spring and summer, San Francisco's characteristic foggy weather frequently envelops the beach. The average temperature for last 5 years has been 55.8 °F . However, the beach is popular with surfers and participants in bonfire parties. More beach-friendly weather occurs in late fall and early spring, when fog is less prevalent.
The water at Ocean Beach is noteworthy for its strong currents and waves, which makes it popular among serious surfers. The water is cold, due in part to a process known as upwelling, in which frigid water from below the ocean surface rises to replace the surface water that moves away from the beach as a result of the Coriolis effect. The rapid rip currents and cold water make the ocean dangerous for casual swimmers and even those who simply want to set foot in it, and swimmers have been swept away and drowned. Nevertheless, the beach is one of the Bay Area's top surfing spots. The southern portion of the beach by Sloat Boulevard is one of the cleanest in the state.
Surfers and other swimmers have died at Ocean Beach; one example occurred in May 2006, with the next-previous death taking place in January 2006. Prior to that, it had been about five years since a death at Ocean Beach. In 1998, a record seven people lost their lives there.
The Ocean Beach surfing community is served by four surf shops and several popular beach-themed cafes. Seal Rock is a prominent local feature of the area. Third Eye Blind's Motorcycle Drive By was written about this beach.
On November 6, 2011, Ocean Beach played site to a monumental achievement in the sport of surfing. In the Rip Curl Pro surfing contest, Kelly Slater won his unprecedented 11th ASP World championship at the age of 39. This was the only one of his championships won in the continental United States.