South Africa is a country rich in diversity. Coastal landscapes, unique wildlife, and friendly locals have drawn visitors to the country over the years. Another huge magnet for tourism are the world class South Africa Surf Camps. In this Surf Camp Guide we explore some of the country’s incredible camps and spots for surfing.
There is always a coast in South Africa being battered with surf all-year-round! The country has 3 huge coasts, meaning empty waves can always be found. Keep reading to find out the South Africa Surf Camps that best suit each season, and your travel dates accordingly.
South Africa boasts 3000 km of coastline, with a 270 degree exposure. This is swept by 2 major ocean currents providing unbelievable swells! This Surf Camp Guide will focus on the country’s 3 major areas for surfing: Durban, Jeffreys Bay and Cape Town.
The Best Places To Surf
South Africa’s surfing scene became known worldwide when it was featured in the 1966 surf movie, The Endless Summer. Now global surfers are drawn to Surf Camps in South Africa and their nearby spots. Whether you plan to surf the buzzing beaches of Durban or the world class waves in Jeffreys Bay, there’s going to be a wave for everyone.
In this South Africa Surf Camp Guide we will focus on the country’s three main areas for surfing. One for each stretch of coastline! Each of these has spots to suit any surfing level.
Supertubes in Jeffrey’s Bay is globally recognised as one of the best waves in the world! Beginners can only aspire to surf this wave before the end of their trip, but rest assured their are many other spots in the town that are ideal for beginners.
Antarctic swells and two major ocean currents, the warm south-flowing Mozambique-Agulhas current and the cold Benguela current, bombard the country with world class waves. Some of these are suited to all surfers, whilst others are best stuck to by the professionals!
In this section we explore a handful of South Africa’s breaktaking surf spots, which vary in difficulty. Some waves can be caught straight from the coastline, while others require a return boat trip (or a VERY long paddle!).
Supertubes (Jeffreys Bay)
This wave is truly epic, and considered to be one of the best waves in the world! It is a right-handed point break over a surface of sand and rocks. The beauty of J Bay is that there is a wave for every level of surfer! Supertubes is suited to advanced surfers, but beginners can find some really fun and smaller further down the point.
Some call this the Jeffreys Bay of the west coast. Being a left-hand point break, a goofy footers paradise. The ride is not as long as J Bay but the shape and power of the wave similar. Be sure to have 4:3 wetsuit with you as water temperatures on South Africa’s atlantic side can be much colder than the east coast.
Cape Town’s most famous surfing area is Muizenberg Beach, a right and left hand beach break suitable for beginners upwards. It’s fame can mean the waves get crowded, but this is not without reason! Waves usually reach up to 3m daily, but can be pretty choppy.
Llandudno is an exposed beach break infamous for it’s inconsistency. It works only when offshore winds come from the East, and swells from the South West. When working, there is no where better! The beach is often busy, but it has both left and right hand breaks.
Located between the bustling waterfront and sunkissed residential area of Seapoint is a small surf spot, Mouille Point. It is a reef break, and not for the faint hearted! Surfers can (literally) surf ‘off the wall’ between the beach and wall of the promenade.
Long Beach is one of those rare gems that provides year round waves. The town is suitable for all abilities since it houses both beach, reef and point breaks. However, Long Beach itself is recommended for intermediate to advanced surfers only. Scenic backdrops face North West, where the waves are caught offshore.
Although this beach is very popular with tourists and locals alike, there is a smaller population of surfers that come here. It is well sheltered and reliable. Beginners will fare well to take lessons here, especially when offshore winds are from the South West. This wave breaks over a beach to both the left and right.
In contrast to it’s Southern brother, North Beach is an exposed beach break with pretty consistent waves. Ground swells produce the best waves from the South East, and wind from the West. This wave is right handed, but gets pretty busy when the surf is good!
Best conditions at Battery Beach are in Winter, with South-Eastern groundswells and North-Western winds. Although it still sees consistent waves for most of the year. It is an exposed left and right beach break, and rarely gets crowded. Beware of potentially dangerous riptides!
This quaint and quiet beach is suited best to experienced surfers. It is a very consistent, sand bar wave that break hollow, fast and powerful in both directions. It ranges from 50 to 150m, and is best surfed between mid and low tide.
South Africa lies in the Southern Hemisphere’s subtropical zone, and is embraced by two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian. The whole country receives a huge amount of sun, and rainfall is less than half the global average. It has four distinct seasons of summer, winter, spring and autumn.
Summer stretches from December to February, Autumn from March to May, Winter from June to August and Spring from September to November! Although this has little effect upon swells, which hit at least one of the country’s coasts throughout the year.
Areas of the country can go months with minimal rainfall, causing droughts and other climatic issues. Althought this rarely affects the surf, it can affect trips to the coast.
Cape Town, and much of the country, is roughly 3800km from the equator. The significant distance means that sun rise and sun set differ greatly throughout the year.
Summer day temperatures typically range from 21°C to 32°C. At night temperatures on the coast significantly decrease but have a much smaller range than inland areas. In Winter temperatures are often lower than freezing point at night, but range from 10°C to 21°C in the day.
In Cape Town temperatures peak at 20°C in February, and are at their lowest in August (15°C). Temperatures are slightly higher in Jeffreys Bay, peaking at 23°C in February, and being lowest in August (19°C). In Durban temperatures are yet again higher. They peak at 27°C in February, and are at their lowest in August (22°C). Although wetsuits are perhaps recommended in Cape Town, the further East you travel/the Indian Ocean offers surfers blissfully warm waters.