High tides combined with elevated surf were expected to create strong rip currents Monday along parts of San Diego's coastline.
Up to 6-foot to 7-foot waves were rolling in along Ocean Beach exciting the surfers.
"We have jobs, families and everything else but all that comes to a stop," said surfer Jim Gaston. "We just hang up the phone, leave everything off the hook and just paddle out and enjoy these waves."
Gaston said each wave was larger than the previous one this morning.
Lifeguards were advising beachgoers to obey posted warning signs and flags, and to consult a lifeguard before swimming.
Officials say if you don't know what you're doing, stay out of the water.
"If you're a novice or you don't make a habit out of these conditions, then I'd give it a rest and watch," said San Diego Lifeguards Sgt. David Rains.
The tides are expected to lower by late Tuesday morning.
If you find yourself unable to swim to shore, lifeguards say it's important you relax and stay calm while swimming parallel to the shore. Do not attempt to swim against the current. If necessary, float on your back and wave to a lifeguard for help.