Fort Point is a left hand point break which breaks under the Golden Gate bridge. To me, this spot was more of a novelty to surf but as it turns out, this spot actually gets pretty good and I was lucky enough to get some good waves here.
The first two days I was there it was pretty much flat but they were predicting a big WNW swell which was what Fort Point needed to break. On the third day I was there the swell arrived but I missed the morning window due to the tide getting to high.
This wave is very tide dependent and breaks best on a medium to low tide. I waited it out through the top of the tide which was around 2:30 pm. Slowly but surely as the tide started running out waves began wrapping around the point from underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. I waited and waited and finally threw on a wetsuit at 5:00 pm. I ran out to the top of the point and jumped off the rocks beneath the bridge. With fading day light, I managed to catch a few fun waves before it was pitch black and I had to navigate my way in and up the extremely slippery rocks.
The next morning I was back in the car park at 7:00 am. The waves were looking really fun with a low tide at 10:00am so I knew it was only going to improve. The fog was so thick I couldn’t even see the Golden Gate Bridge let alone the swells wrapping around the point. I surfed with only two other guys out for the first half hour before other surfers slowly started appearing out of the fog into the line-up.
I had read a few things online about the so called ‘’heavy locals’’ at fort point but it seemed to be quite the opposite. Between the kook tourists and the guys rolling in with their boards strapped to the top of their BMW or Benz I felt little or no localism at all. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure there are some hardcore locals here but it’s hard to imagine these days.
This wave is so publicized and famous I find it hard to say it’s a ‘’locals only’’ spot with hundreds or probably thousands of tourists coming here daily and snapping a million photos of the bridge and the surfers' surfing the point. I had no issues surfing here.
I caught plenty of waves, probably more than my fair share and spoke to many friendly people in the line-up. The biggest thing you have to worry about here is getting sucked around the point and under the bridge into the shipping lane, and most of all the coming in on the slimy slippery rocks.
Fort Point is a hard wave to surf. I felt like I was constantly paddling in and away from the rocks. It’s hard to get in the right spot but when you do you can score a fun grinder and even a barrel off the take off if your confident you’re going make it and not get slammed on the rocks. It’s a fun wave but can be fickle but is worth a paddle when it’s on.
By: Jamie Nicholson Photos: Arial Evans