Despite San Francisco’s coastal location, most of you have successfully ignored surfing ever since you moved here. This week, that ends. The Association of Surfing Professionals is in town right now, encamped on the beach under the banner of the Rip Curl Pro Search, and it will provide all the knowledge of surfing here you didn’t know you were supposed to have. Namely, that Ocean Beach can be a world-class beach break, even if on an average day the surfers seem so small, so helpless, so in need of rescue in that raw, churning, wicked ocean. If conditions are good, the 36 top surfers in the world should destroy the place in ways that are rarely done on that lonely shore. If you need a competitive narrative to go with high-level surfing, the Search has one for the record books: If he gets ninth place or better, last year’s ASP champ Kelly Slater will clinch this year’s race (it’s a points thing), which will be his 11th. Take a moment with that statistic — 11 world titles — and throw it against any other competitor in any other sport. (Lance Armstrong? No. Tiger Woods? Please. Michael Jordan? Oh, who cares.) The contest could also offer a glimpse of Dane Reynolds, currently considered the most exciting surfer in the world. He’s famously anti-competitive, but he’s really into art, so if he wants to pay more attention to art than surfing, our city is the place to do it. (We suggest hitting White Walls and the Shooting Gallery.) As the contest includes lay days for bad surf, check the website each morning.
Nov. 5-12, 2011