Cape Town has a lot to offer, but so does the rest of the huge coastline around South Africa.
Eland’s Bay, for example, or just plain E-Bay (surfar1), is a 3-hour drive from Cape Town up the West Coast (the Atlantic Ocean) and is a great surfing destination during the southern hemisphere summer – November onwards, when a south-easter holds up a westerly swell to produce a cranking left point break. The break is located about 500m from the campsite and is considered to be a regional classic. It is hollow, fast and powerful. It’s length can be anywhere between 50 to 150 metres. However it is also considered to be an experienced surfer’s wave and getting in and out can be difficult because of the tide and the rocks plus there is the additional adrenaline charge of coral and sharp rocks being beneath the wave. A wetsuit is necessary here as the Atlantic is frigid – an odd combination when the countryside around Elands Bay is semi-desert. Expect it to be empty during the week but crowded at the weekend.
Jay Bay is just around the corner from E-Bay. Another classic wave, this one starts on a rocky, kelp covered shelf, or small point, which turns a corner and becomes sand at a small river mouth. The swell refracts around the outer area of Elands Bay and peaks at the point, producing a hollow take-off and a cylindrical wall that runs for about 150 metres. Jay Bay needs a solid SW swell of 8′ before it wraps around the point. The waves can be epic…
Jay Bay is not to be confused with J-Bay or Jeffreys Bay on the East Coast of South Africa which is located in the Eastern Cape Province. This bay is one of the 5 most famous surfing destinations in the world and hosts the annual Billabong Pro ASP World Tour. In fact this year’s competition has just finished with local boy Jordy Smith the #1 hero with a massive lead of 7.93 points ahead of Adam Melling from Australia who came second (redbull)…
J-Bay is almost certainly Africa’s most famed surfing spot and because of this it does attract crowds. But don’t let that put you off. Surfing here is the real thing – plenty of surf and good swell. There are many different rides, on many different waves, but all are in close proximity of each other. The sections between the main wave at ‘Supertubes’ and ‘the Point’ further down work differently depending on tides and swells.
Albatross has a right break and is suitable for all standards of surfer. It is a J-Bay kind of wave but not as big. A great place to have fun without getting in the way of the kamikaze guys. Added to that is that it is on a sand bar so a nice soft landing at all times!
Boneyards is slightly south of Albatross and is at the top of the J-Bay point. It’s for experienced surfers only and has a point break wave right and left with coral, sharp rocks etc underneath. It is hollow, fast and powerful, generally heavier than Supers, and is about 150 to 300m long. A good day can see the wave being 500m long and sometimes you are able to join up with Supers. Super cool. The reliability of this wave brings crowds at the weekend but it’s pretty empty during the week.
Still south of J-Bay there is Ducks, another wave for experienced surfers. This is a very consistent regional classic. It breaks both right and left and has a mixture of coral, sharp rocks and sand underneath. Normal length is 50 – 150 m but a good day can be as long as 300m. It’s virtually empty during the week and you won’t even find many surfers there on a weekend. You will, however, need a car to get you there from Jeffreys Bay.
Killers, also south, is definitely only for pros and kamikaze surfers. Again you will need a car to get here and you will find the waters very empty of human population though it might well be inhabited by sharks so take care. It is a hollow, fast and powerful wave with a length of 300m on a good day. It is not a guaranteed wave though so you have to keep your eyes open. Again, the bottom is coral and sharp rocks.
Just south of Jeffreys Bay beach itself is another good, easily accessible wave which is suitable for all levels of surfers: Kitchen Windows. It’s a normal wave breaking right and left with reliable frequency, generally 50m long but can get up to 150m on a good day. There are few crowds here even at the weekend. There is a dangerous undertow here that you need to be aware of and, as is fairly common with this locality – coral and sharp rocks underneath.
Everyone dreams of tubes and Jeffreys Bay has its fair quota. Supertubes is just south of the town and is where the Billabong Pro is held every July (). It’s a totally epic wave for experienced surfers, a powerful wall, and very consistent to boot. It’s a point break right wave which is hollow, fast and fun. On a good day it can get up to 500m long. It is, unfortunately, always crowded and at weekends super-crowded, but then again – it’s crowded with experienced surfers, like-minded people, all out there to have fun.The hazards are rips, undertows, rocks and sharks! Enough of an adrenaline kick for anyone I’m sure!
Magna Tubes is just around the corner from Supers infront of the Beach Hotel. It is also considered to be a very consistent regional classic but again only for experienced surfers. It has a right break with a reef underneath. It is hollow, fast and powerful and can be crowded at weekends. Sharks are a problem in these waters…
I could go on for ever. There are so many good waves here for surfers of all levels. There’s the Impossibles, the Leftovers, The Point, Paradise, Oyster Bay, Phantoms, Seal Point, Salad Bowls – there are many more. But I think you will have got the picture. There is something for everyone and the waves are epic. It’s well worth a visit if you haven’t already been there. And if you have then I’m sure you will agree that it’s well worth going back!
And humans are not the only mammals that take advantage of the Jeffreys Bay waves (scubaduck):