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Surfs Up In Cape Town

Surfing in Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the coolest cities on this small planet, to make it even better, it has great surfing. Expect cold water, especially in summer when the antarctic currents brush past. Swell has an uninterrupted line all the way from Cape Horn – big powerful waves on offer! Alternatively swing round to the False Bay side to enjoy the tropical  waters of the indian ocean – OK, not exactly tropical but several degrees warmer. South Africa is one of the worlds most surf spoiled countries, which means there is surf all year round, depending where you are. As a volunteer you will be lucky to experience a variety of coastal regions during your stay.

Muizenberg

The Surfer’s Corner at Muizenberg is a popular learning spot, and is only about a 30-minute drive from the Cape Town city centre, this is also where our volunteers teach surfing to the less privileged children.  The waves characteristic of this surf spot are gentle, and are ideal under a north-westerly wind direction. The beach front is a popular family spot, and the range of restaurants and coffee shops nearby offers the perfect respite after a chilly surf.

Level of experience: beginner

Long Beach

Long Beach at Kommetjie is just that, a long, sandy beach that’s very popular with surfers. The wave breaks both to the left and the right, which gives ample opportunities for both natural (right-leg dominated surfer) and goofy footers (left-leg dominated surfer) to conquer a killer wave. It’s about a 40-minute drive from the Cape Town city centre. The break is offshore on a south-west wind, and is suitable for more experienced surfers.

Level of experience: intermediate

Scarborough Beach

Scarborough is popular with surfers and body boarders because of its beautiful views and low levels of congestion. It’s about 48-km from Cape Town (45-minutes drive), and never gets crowded, except on beautiful summer days. When the wind blows, it’s an ideal spot for flying kites and kite surfing.

Level of experience: intermediate to advanced

Big Bay

This beach break spot between Melkbos and Bloubergstrand is popular with surfers of any level. It’s about a 30-minute drive from the city centre, and is best on a day when an east to south-east wind is blowing. The spot is known for its friendly locals, and has a cosy coffee shop across the park for an after-surf pick-me-up.

Level of experience: beginner on small days, intermediate and advanced on bigger wave days.

Glen Beach

If you’re not a seasoned surfer, you should rather avoid Glen Beach. Locals are very protective over this spot, and may be unwelcoming to newbies. Glen Beach can also get quite crowded when conditions are favourable; nonetheless, it is much loved among surfers for its powerful, hollow waves and beautiful surroundings – the Twelve Apostles loom majestically in the background. It is ideally located, a mere five minutes drive from the city centre, right between Clifton and Camps Bay beaches.

Level of experience: advanced

Llandudno

This beach break spot boasts, arguably, one of the most picturesque settings in the world: crystal-blue water, snow-white sand and majestic boulders all add to its visual charm. The spot is about a 15-minute drive from the city centre, and is well-liked among surfers and body boarders,   so expect to share the waves with many other eager souls. Also note, Llandudno is not for the faint-hearted: the wave gets really hollow, and big, nasty granite boulders loom near the right-hand wedge.

Level of experience: intermediate to advanced

Off The Wall

Off The Wall is the aptly named surf spot that breaks off the promenade wall of Mouille Point, next door to Sea Point. The spot is quit fickle, as surfers have to sit on top of each other, waiting for a short, sharp take-off. As a result, you have a limited time to paddle into the wave, and the drop can be quite steep, leaving little room for error with regards to board-positioning. The wave can be quite hollow at times, ensuring many barrelling opportunities. If struggling to find this spot, look out for the line of horizontal trees in the car park; the result of the unrelenting South Easterly wind.

Level of experience: advanced

Dunes

If you are keen for a bit of mission, head out to Dunes. It is about a 40-minute drive from the city in the direction of Noordhoek Beach. In order to get to the beach break, you will have to trek along a mega-stretch of beach, which will take you roughly 30 minutes. On a good surf day (which requires a south-easterly wind), you can expect solid six to eight foot waves that provides world-class tubes.

Level of experience: advanced

Crayfish Factory

The factory is home to some of Cape Town’s heaviest, but most exhilarating waves. About a 50- minute drive from Cape Town, the spot is ideal when there is a north or north-easterly wind, so make sure you check the surf forecast before taking on the long journey. The scary right-hand waves that make the Craysfish Factory home can reach 15 feet in height, and have been the subject of terror and anguish for many surfers.

Level of experience: advanced

Dungeons

Made famous by Red Bull Big Wave Africa, this big right-hander is a spot that is seldom ridden by paddle-surfers, but tow-surfers (when surfers are towed into large waves by a jet ski) abound. This is definitely not a wave for amateur surfers; it is only meant for well-honed surfers with courage to match their skill. One session on 30 July 2006 saw tow surfers tackle monstrous 60-foot waves – the biggest waves ridden in Africa at the time. Dungeons is just off the Sentinel off Hout Bay, you can expect a 25-minute drive from town.

Level of experience: advanced

The coast is vast and there’s a spot for everyone!

 

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