A high surf warning is in effect until 3 a.m. Friday due to extremely dangerous waves between 28 to 40 feet in some locations.
PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- Despite warnings from the North County Fire Authority to stay out of the water, massive waves are attracting surfers to Bay Area beaches.
In Pacifica, locals always have a front row seat to the ocean, so when they get excited about waves, that usually means mother nature is putting on an extra special show.
"As intense as they've been in a long time!" Gary Hughes, a Pacifica resident, said. "The first thing when I woke up, I looked out of my gorgeous ocean view and I saw these huge waves breaking and I just had to get on my scooter and come down here and see what was going on."
The National Weather Service is warning folks that the ocean is not your friend on a day like this.
"I'm not bringing my board, this is insane!" Eli Rod, a San Francisco resident said.
The NWS is forecasting extremely dangerous waves between 28 to 40 feet high in some locations, keeping a high surf warning in effect until 3 a.m. on Friday.
"I can't believe this, it's astonishing to be honest, I love it!" Rod said. "I can't imagine surfing out in this, it's so powerful, these waves here, it's cold, it's powerful, you don't know how the power of this ocean until you're out in it."
But for Steve Ruskus, surfing at Pacifica's Linda Mar Beach is a mandatory stop on his road trip home to San Diego from spending the holidays in Oregon.
"We're kind of following the swell all the way down," Ruskus said. "It's still going to be super fun, the water's a little colder up here but I got this thing, this keeps me afloat and I feel safer on this."
He says after 13 years of surfing, and decades of skateboarding, he lives for waves like these.
"You look at it now, it looks pretty calm and it comes in sets so it's like one second it looks really big and the next second it looks like this, you've just gotta time it right," he said. "If you time it wrong, then you're kind of getting screwed."
And his advice for surfers that aren't as experienced?
"Don't go out, know your limits," he said.
A surfer who was reported to be in distress at Linda Mar Beach on Thursday morning made their way back to shore with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the North County Fire Authority.
The fire authority initially wrote on social media shortly before 8:40 a.m. about the emergency response, then put out an update about 40 minutes later saying the surfer was no longer in any danger.