Surfing became especially popular in the 1960's with all the Beach Movies and the Beach Boys songs but this sport had been around much longer. The Polynesians from Tahiti and Hawaii are known to be the first surfers where it was the Royal sport. Missionaries to these areas tried to extinguish the sport, but luckily in the early part of the 1900's it was revived and began it's travels throughout the world, Austrailia, New South Wales and California among the places most amenable to the sport. The waves in Hawaii were still the epitome, but other beaches became the testing ground.
Ocean Beach is not a place to find the beginning surfer, but everyday you'll see the talented ones working the waves. It's fascinating to watch and thrilling to experience.
Equipment: There is no equipment needed to watch this sport, except maybe patience. Waiting for the surfer to catch the right wave may take some time, but it won't really take too long.
However, if you are going to partake in this sport you will need a board, usually a wetsuit and courage. There are several Surf Board Shops in OB to either rent or buy a board and wetsuit. The Courage, you must bring that with you.
It has been since the 1960's that skateboarding has grown into almost a national sport. I remember putting the wheels from old skates onto a board and riding down the block and learning to sucessfully turn the corner without falling off or running into the street. There was a trick to it. We had to take the little balls out of the wheels to make them more flexable. That worked very well and we were the best skateboarders in our small town.
Over the years, the popularity of Skateboarding grew. Of course, I gave it up by the time they began manufacturing complete skateboards. My sons "discovered" skateboarding and I was impressed how talented they could be with those newer type skateboards. In time the city laws had outlawed skateboards on city streets and kids would be ticketed if found on the sidewalk riding their boards. Some places, like the boardwalk in Pacific Beach allowed skaters and skateboarders, but the limitations put a damper on kids like my sons who could use the skateboard for transportation.
The sport of skateboarding continued and even competitions were held, but unless you were a professional skateboarder, there were few places to practice, except by building a half pipe in the back yard, which my youngest son actually did.
Now, even the city of San Diego has recognized the need for skateboarders to have a place to practice. It's in Ocean Beach at Robb Field. This park is geared to skateboarders of all abilities so even if you've never tried this sport before you can begin with in the 40,000 sq. feet of concrete, handrails, blocks, ledges and even a street course.
Equipment: A Skateboard is necessary and if you haven't one, you can buy them in OB. Protective gear is required, helmet, knee & elbow pads are available at the park but supplies are limited. A one day pass is $5.00 and the day runs from noon to five. Children under 18 years must have a form signed by their parents which releases the City from liability.
Near the Lifeguard Tower, there are poles to hook up a valleyball net. This is a popular sport on the beach and in some places they even hold competitions. If this is something that sounds fun to you, give it a try.
After playing a game or two you may be too hot to continue, then just go on the other side of that mound of sand and jump in the ocean to cool off.
Of couse, the call of the ocean may be too strong so, be careful about leaving all your stuff at the nets, someone might make-off (steal it) with it. However, as I noticed this day, no one bothered the stuff at the net while the players went into the ocean.
Equipment: Get the net and maybe even the ball from the Lifeguard Tower You only need two people to play but don't be surprised if someone comes up to you and asks to join you in the game.
The sport of fishing is one that requires patience, so if you are in a hurry this will not be for you. Except that you can enjoy, for a few minutes watching the fishermen fish.
However, if you come to OB for a vacation, to relax and breath the salty ocean air, this might be just the thing. In San Diego, a license is required for anyone who wants to fish, except from the pier. There are other regulations you must comply with such as no over head casting and can find out about those at the Bait & Tackle shop mid-way down the pier.
The best place for casting your line is at the end of the "T." There are facilities for cleaning the caught fish so you won't have a smelly mess in your hotel room and if you didn't bring your own equipment, you can buy or rent it at the B&T shop.
If you're new to this sport, you will find most of your fellow fishermen pretty friendly and helpful. So, feel free to ask questions.
Equipment: A fishing pole, and live bait plus all kinds of other things that a fisherman might want to have along. It's up to you.