Beautiful weather and favorable conditions out at Ocean Beach allowed the Rip Curl Pro Search competition to kick off on schedule, with the first heat of pro surfers paddling out at 8 a.m. this morning.

During a quick first round, crowd favorite Kelly Slater took his first heat. Hawaiian Dusty Payne, meanwhile, bailed on his set after spotting a shark near the lineup. As Payne told camera crews on the beach, "It was the biggest fin I've ever seen in my life coming straight at me." The shark sighting might not come as a surprise to Ocean Beach regulars, however. It's currently the tail-end of Sharktober in local waters.

Round two (of five) also kicked off this afternoon to take advantage of the current conditions. is calling for favorable, although not ideal, surf through the end of the week. Meaning the competition, which is expected to taken roughly 27.5 hours over four days, could be over before the weekend spectators get a chance to come out. Still, cubicle-bound surf junkies can continue to watch the action over on Rip Curl's site.