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Surfing in South Africa

By Paul Stephen Gettings

Posted: 19th February 2013 15:10

By Paul Stephen Gettings

South Africa may be a nation better known for its fascinating culture, breathtaking landscapes and unique wildlife, but every year thousands of thrill-seeking surfers head out to the southern coast to take advantage of the untamed coastline and all-year-round waves.  Even though it’s slightly less well-known as a surfing destination, this doesn’t detract from the quality of its beaches; there are plenty of spots here to accommodate novices and delight boarding experts alike.

The West Cape area of South Africa is particularly famed as an excellent spot for surfing.  The points and bays that make up the coastline, especially the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town, are perfect for creating fantastic waves, especially when combined with the large amounts of swell and strong winds that occur due to the combination of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean at the Cape of Agulhas.  The waters can be a little cold; you may even be competing with African Penguins for the best waves!

For the more experienced boarder, Jeffrey’s Bay (pictured) is the premiere surf location in South Africa.  Home of the Billabong Pro Surf Event, this is one of the most consistently high quality surfing spots in the country.  This area is particularly famed for its breaks and tubes.  You’ll have to be confident of your abilities though; the locals here play for keeps, and any break in surfer etiquette will not be well received.

Another good spot for more seasoned surfers is Hout Bay, otherwise known as Dungeons.  The home of some truly monstrous waves, these swells really have to be seen to be believed.  They can take some time to build up, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had with the medium-sized waves that usually populate the bay until the massive ones come along.  Definitely not one for the faint hearted!

But it’s not just the West Cape that boasts a fantastic South African surf experience.  The KwaZulu-Natal province on the east coast is warmer than the Cape beaches due to its placement on the Indian Ocean; however, the waves can get pretty huge due to the cold wind that blows in from the Atlantic.  This is a perfect spot for surfers at any level and you have the entire coastline to choose from.

Due to a few unique weather features and its picturesque white-sand beaches, South Africa proves itself to be a fantastic location to surf at any time of the year.  Whether you want to make your first attempt to get upright on a board, or are an experienced boarder on the lookout for the next big challenge, pay a visit to the South African coast.  You will not be disappointed.

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