by Sam Mitchell | photos by Billy Ackerman
Are you a keen surfer? Do you love the thrill of riding waves? If you find yourself in South Africa, you need to go and check out these surf spots in Cape Town. They offer challenging, fun and exciting waves set in sheer beauty.
In the direction of Noordhoek Beach is the beach break, Dunes, which is for more advanced surfers. In order to get here though, you will need to do a fair bit of travelling, as it is 40 minutes from the city and another 30-minute beach walk before you arrive. Once you arrive you can expect 6 to 8 foot waves, providing there is a good southeasterly wind. It’s a classic wave that gets super hollow. The banks favour rights and it’s a powerful and heavy wave.
Crans Beach Break (Pronounced Crons)
In the Cape Peninsula is the exposed beach break, Crans. This spot is on the Atlantic side and at Long Beach, Kommetjie. This break isn’t the most reliable when it comes to surf, with summer being mostly flat. Here you will find more groundswells than wind swells. However, when the surf is up you can expect left and right-handers, but watch out for dangerous rips.
The Hoek is towards Chapmans Peak Mountain, about a 300m walk from Noordhoek car park. It is definitely a wave for the more advanced surfers and it only breaks for 3 months of the year, in the summer months. In that time though you will have some amazing surf with clear barrels, especially when there is a good southeasterly wind.
Pebbles is certainly an adequate name for this surf spot as it breaks over pebbles and granite. It’s a beach break in between Llandudno and Camps Bay. This wave is best for bodyboarders. It needs big swell to work, with heavy waves and you will find some of the best barrels. Pebbles often closes out, but the rights are favoured.
Llandudno is a beach break and suited for intermediate and advanced surfers. This is definitely a beautiful surf spot, with white sands and clear blue water. When the southeasterly wind isn’t blowing and the banks are in place, there are some fairly decent peaks. There are three main peaks here but it can’t handle big swell. When the surf is bigger there is a wedge type wave so be careful of the large granite boulders.
Off the Wall
Off the Wall is for advanced surfers, where the wave breaks off Mouille Point and it can be an inconsistent spot. Surfers wait for short, sharp take off, which can cause surfers to sit on one another. This wave can be hollow and provides great barreling opportunities.
Long Beach is for all surfers. It’s a popular spot with a long sandy beach. It gets crowded during the week and even more crowded on the weekend. But, there are plenty of opportunities to nail a killer wave with breaks to the left and to the right. It’s one of the few Cape Town breaks that will hold up well with a strong South West wind. The left breaks into a channel and it’s very consistent, while the right sometimes fades and closes out. But it will still give a long ride on the right day.
Big Bay is on the other side of Cape Town, between Blouberg and Melkbos. It is for all surfers, offering both a right and a left beach break. This spot is best when there is an east to southeast wind.
Scarborough Beach is a quiet surf spot that is 48km from Cape Town, but still along the Cape Peninsula. You will not have to fight with crowds to enjoy good surf, where the waves are perfect for intermediate and advanced surfers. This is not a technical wave that is very friendly and uncrowded.
Glen Beach is in Camps Bay. This wave is definitely for the more advanced surfer, as it’s powerful and hollow. If you are a keen surfer, this is the spot for you, as it also boasts beautiful views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain. Best to surf it early morning, before the wind hits it.
The factory is known for some of the most exhilarating surf and is reserved for advanced surfers only. The spot is 50 minutes from Cape Town. When a north or northeasterly wind blows you will get the best rides. Crayfish Factory is famous for right hand waves that can get up to 15 feet. You’ll need good paddling strength here, as it’s one of the classic bigger wave spots and can be quite dangerous.
To get to Dungeons, you need to get a charter boat out to from Hout Bay harbour. It is one for the advanced surfer and is exclusively for tow surfers with big right-hander waves. The waves here are in the same league as Waimea and Mavericks, and have been known to reach 60 feet, so make sure that you have skills before you take on this mammoth surf spot.
by Sam Mitchell | photos by Billy Ackerman