Crews responded to reports of a stranded male surfer at Ocean Beach near China Beach at about 10:15 a.m. The surfer's friend who initially made the call was concerned when the two didn't meet at a stairwell at Ocean Beach as planned, Petty Officer Laura Alcon said.
See video of the Fire Department search at Ocean Beach Bulletin.
The Coast Guard sent a rescue boat of four officers to the area while fire officials sent their own boat, she said.
The surfer was found unharmed at about 10:45 a.m. He was caught in the riptide near China Beach.
A San Francisco Fire Department engine and San Francisco Recreation and Park crews also responded to the call, Alcon said.
No injuries were reported.