However, the big waves were breaking at Ocean Beach Sunday attracted crowds of onlookers.
Conan McKay and daughter Ani checked it out at a safe distance.
"We know waves are going to be big and we need to be safe, we're choosing to stay away from Breakwaters," said McKay.
The National Weather Service predicted waves could reach 20 to 40 feet.
The High Surf Warning is no joke - An electronic sign at Ocean Beach told people to stay out of the water and off the beach entirely.
There was also a warning from safety officials on Friday.
"At this point we're being told the waves will be big enough to reach our seawalls at Ocean Beach," said SFFD Lt. Jonathan Baxter.
Some people took their chances anyway.
"I think it makes us want to go to the beach, when they say don't go to the beach. I think my friends will be going to the beach," said Amal Bisharat from San Francisco.
The surf warning didn't stop a soccer game from being played on the sand.
In Pacifica, the waves were even bigger at Rockaway Beach.
"It's pretty impressive. I'd love to get out there, but they're too big for me," said Jeff Lewis from Richmond.
Lots of surfers flocked here, braving the water and trying to catch big waves.
"It was big and cold, not too bad, they're going to get even bigger tomorrow," said surfer Matt Montoya.