The “mother city” of Cape Town is located right at the tip of Africa — hugged by the majestic Table Mountain and surrounded by beautiful scenery. The city has many charms, with its history, dining, the V&A Waterfront and the nearby Cape Winelands, but for surfers the best side of Cape Town is its many beaches, stretching along the Cape West Coast and the Atlantic seaboard.
With a mixture of the cold Atlantic Sea and the neighbouring and warmer Indian Ocean just around the bend, the beaches tend to vary in their uses and popularity. However, all are beautiful, some are Blue Flag and several are excellent for getting out on those waves. Below are the eight of the top surf spots in Cape Town.
Muizenberg has a gorgeous, white sand Blue Flag quality beach, well known for the iconic and colourful Victorian bathing huts which line the sand. Situated as it is on the warm Indian Ocean side of the peninsula, Muizenberg is popular as a swimming beach, but it also has what is considered by the experts to be the perfect wave to start surfing on. Learning to surf here is a breeze and the beach is free of rocks for those first time tumbles.
According to a surf school on site, the wave is a smooth ride which works well for longboarders, but also suits shortboarders when it is bigger. There’s even a dedicated “Surfer’s Corner” at Muizenberg and this beach is also great for sandboarding.
2. Long Beach, Kommetjie
Kommetjie’s reason for being is the sea and the many water sports practiced there. Surfers have several choices here and a year-around supply of good waves. The town is the main location for high-performance surfing on the peninsula with ideal conditions for surfers of all abilities with its many beach-breaks, reefs and points. Kommetjie is popular with South African surfers of all ages, but also draws many international surfers, using longboards, kneeboards, bodyboards and stand up paddleboards.
Among the many ideal spots for surfing here, Long Beach is the hub. The beach faces northwest with beautiful scenic backdrops, with the waves offshore and perfect in any of the prevailing southerly winds. Sand-bottomed peaks are rideable here at heights from 0.5 to 2 metres (1.64 to 6.56 ft). Long Beach is not for beginners and tends to be very popular in the summer months.
More Information: Long Beach
3. Big Bay, Bloubergstrand
With its iconic picture postcard view of Table Mountain, Bloubergstrand is one of the most beautiful spots in Cape Town. Big Bay in Blouberg, as it is affectionately known, is the ideal spot for surfers. The water is cold, so a suit is definitely needed here, but Big Bay does have surfable waves for most of the year. However, the wave breaks tend to be close to shore and more powerful than they first look.
Big Bay is fun to surf, although the waves do have a tendency to drop and it is a good idea to find out what the wind is doing before heading there. Talking of wind, Bloubergstrand generally is great for kite surfing.
Located on the Atlantic Seaboard side of Cape Town, Llandudno is a small and pretty town with a gorgeous beach and turquoise water. This is a great surf spot most of the year and is especially good for short board or body board action. Temperatures are cold, so a suit is needed, but there is a great wedge-action sand bottom. Surfing is awesome when the swell is big, but is also good as an offshore option with the smaller summer waves. There are showers on the beach to freshen up after a day out on the waves and plenty to eat and do in the town during the evenings.
5. Off the Wall, Mouille Point
Mouille Point is a stretch of seafront, running between Sea Point and the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Here daring surfers can surf “Off the Wall,” quite literally by climbing over the rock pools to get to the reef break, located where the promenade wall meets the Mouille Point beach. The fact that this small spot is quite literally “Off the Wall” has made it popular. Bear in mind that this is the Atlantic Sea, so the water is cold — wetsuits required!
Off the Wall, Mouille Point
More Information: SA-Venues: Mouille Point
6. Dungeons, Hout Bay
This extreme surf spot is located off the quaint seaside town of Hout Bay and is only accessible via a 15-minute boat ride from Hout Bay Harbour. However, for experienced surfers, the delay is totally worth it. Dungeons is known as the most extreme surf beach in the country. The beach is a mixture of high impact zones and shallow open reefs and experiences sheer wave faces of anything from 4.5 m to 7.6 m (15 to 25 feet). The water is cold, so wear a wetsuit and don’t do this alone. Hazardous conditions, along with unpredictable waters, means you need to surf in a group.
Dungeons, Hout Bay
More Information: Sa-venues: Dungeons Beach
Scarborough, is a beautiful town on the Cape Peninsula and it is situated 48 kms (29.76 miles) away from Cape Town. The small village of Scarborough lies on the western side of Cape Point Nature Reserve with its long sandy beach. Though there are minimal facilities, this beach is famous for surfers and body boarders. This is the perfect place for flying kites and kitesurfing on windy days and low level of congestion will add a feather to it. Visitors can laze off on the beach while admiring the mesmerizing landscape on beautiful summer days. Scarborough beach often faces rip current just off the beach, so swimmers are suggested to take proper precaution before they take a dip in the water. There is a restaurant close by in the village, where travelers can go to calm their taste buds.
Glen Beach is located right between Camps Bay Beach and Clifton. It is popularly known for beach-break surfing. This white sandy beach is surrounded by huge boulders on the Atlantic Seaboard, which acts as a wind-barrier from the South Easter. The picturesque landscape of the sea along with the Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles on the backdrop adds to its beauty. Surfers love the powerful hollow waves of this beach and it remains crowded during favorable weather conditions. Glen Beach is an ideal place to chill out among local surfers. It is just a 5-minute drive from the city center, where tourists can easily pay a visit to local shops, restaurants, cocktail bars and the Theatre on the Bay. Glen Beach is not ideal for beginners as the locals only allow seasoned surfers.
The South African coast offers some of the best surfing in the world. Enjoy your visit to Cape Town and make plans to visit other exciting coastal cities in the future.
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