Surfing fanatics are genuinely spoiled with where to surf in South Africa. With its stunning coastline, warm waters, and spectacular weather – this country is a surf mecca with plenty of excellent spots to catch some waves. There is a vast selection of waves in South Africa, stretching over an impressive 1,600 miles along both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts.
South Africa has everything from punishingly powerful surf to long mellow waves. Whether you’re a beginner or an old hand on the board, there is something for everyone.
What is Known as the Surfing Capital of South Africa?
Admired as the Bay of Plenty, Durban is a beloved destination for South African surfers. With its spectacular coastline, warm waters and consistent waves – it’s no wonder it’s such an appealing destination for surfers. On any given day, people can ride waves that vary in size and strength depending on where they choose to go.
For example, novice riders can practice their skills near uShaka Marine World, while experienced wave-riders may prefer the left or right-hand breaks at New Pier. Nevertheless, be mindful of territorial locals frequenting Dairy Beach and North Beach, as many are likely to stand their ground.
Where is the Best Place in South Africa to Surf?
One of the top spots to surf in South Africa is Jeffrey’s Bay, located in the Eastern Cape. Known as the Surf Capital of South Africa, this town boasts some of the best waves and attracts many professional surfers worldwide. The perfect reef break here churns out consistent, high-quality surf, with right and left-handers reaching up to 10 feet in height.
Muizenberg is where to surf in South Africa if you’re a beginner. This beach offers gentle waves that are suitable for beginners and longboarders. Located close to Cape Town, it also has plenty of surf shops where you can rent equipment and take lessons.
If you’re looking for other top surf spots where to surf in South Africa, remember to check out Durban, Port Elizabeth and Coffee Bay. These beach towns offer excellent waves and a great atmosphere where you can relax while riding the waves.
Where Do You Surf in South Africa?
No matter where you decide to surf in South Africa, you will have an unforgettable experience. With its stunning coastlines and perfect waves, South Africa is a surf paradise where you can feel the adrenaline while riding some of the best waves. So don’t delay – get out there and start surfing.
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1. Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape
Known as one of the best surfing locations in the world, this legendary spot offers everything from perfect A-frame peaks to long and fast walls.
Unleash your adventurous side at Supertubes, South Africa’s most renowned and reliable surf spot. Home to the World Surf League’s yearly J-Bay Open, this beach is cherished by hometown legends like Jordy Smith and a variety of top international surfers. But be warned – Jeffreys Bay may also be one of the few destinations in Cape Town where you could face local animosity while surfing, as this place is where locals make their living.
2. Elands Bay, Western Cape
If you are a surfer searching for seclusion, Elands, situated 135 miles/220 kilometres up the West Coast from Cape Town is your ideal destination. There are few accommodations – mostly guesthouses and self-catering rentals – so it’s an area that still feels relatively untouched. The most fabulous wave conditions surface during summer when blowing winds form a decisive left point break. But be sure to pack your wetsuit and hoodie, as the waters here remain ice cold.
3. Long Beach, Western Cape
An hour’s drive south of Cape Town will land you at Long Beach in the small village of Kommetjie. Located on the Atlantic side of the southernmost tip of South Africa, this beach provides some of the finest waves for surfers across Cape Town and possibly even Durban. It is ideal for riding a southeaster with modestly-sized swells; however, if more significant breaks call your name, Outer Kom invites a bigger westerly swell. It could be intimidating, but worth the challenge.
4. Muizenberg, Western Cape
A much more casual affair is Muizenberg, known for being the birthplace of surfing in South Africa. This spot was made famous by the legendary Bill Barnfield, who taught the sport to anyone willing to learn in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It’s still an excellent place for beginners and intermediates today, with gentle-to-moderate swells on offer most days. For an experience of South Africa’s long-standing surf culture, there is no better spot than Muizenberg.
Get there before the southeaster ruins your day. Muizenberg, nestled on False Bay’s edge, is a paradise for longboarders and boasts Surfer’s Corner – a top-rated swimming beach. Surf schools rent out boards and wetsuits so you can head into the ocean year-round. However, it’s best to arrive early in summer to avoid the overwhelming crowd, while winter brings ideal conditions with its north-westerly winds.
5. Victoria Bay, Western Cape
Victoria Bay, is one of the places where to surf in South Africa that attracts new and veteran surfers due to its all-year-round waves ranging from gentle swells to larger, more challenging breaks. This spot is known for its ‘right-handers’, where a long ride is possible with the right conditions. As locals of all ages enjoy this spot, it is guarded, so be sure to check it out when conditions are ideal.
6. Cape St. Francis, Eastern Cape
Take advantage of this beautiful spot with St. Francis Bay, renowned due to the ’60s surf classic Endless Summer. When Bruce’s Beauties starts to break, advanced surfers can be seen shredding these challenging swells while beginners prepare themselves for a more accessible wave. Cape St. Francis is an ideal spot to enjoy riding its long left-point break and moderate right-handers. Cape Town offers more versatile surfing experiences at various points, and shore breaks when conditions are milder.
7. Dungeons, Western Cape
As an ultimate test of bravery and skill, the 15- to 30-foot swell at Dungeons should be saved for last. This surf spot is one of the world’s most incredible “big wave” spots and requires access by watercraft. Amongst South Africa’s sharkiest waters, a successful session here will offer an incomparable adrenaline rush. Professional big waves riders like Chris Bertish and Bruce Jackson have been seen here. It stands as a pinnacle of South African surfing achievement.
South Africa is an incredibly diverse surf destination. From the world-famous Jeffreys Bay to the hidden gems along the KwaZulu-Natal Coast and the big-wave challenges of Dungeons, it’s easy to find something that suits your ability and desire. With so much on offer, it’s no wonder South Africa is one of the top surfing destinations in the world. So what are you waiting for? Grab your board and explore some of the best waves on offer.