The Cape Peninsula juts out south of Cape Town towards the Cape of Good Hope, the South-Western most point of Africa. The Peninsula creates a large bay to the Southeast of Cape Town, False Bay, home to some great, easily accesible, surf spots. There’s also an abundance of breaks along the Atlantic Seaboard, so depending on the day’s swell, wind direction and your ability, there’s almost always a wave to catch. We will highlight a few spots for the day surfer (renter) and in another post we will review a few others for those who bring their own board (and seal costume!) to Cape Town.

Muizenberg – South facing, ideal offshore wind is from the North-West:

This is by far the most popular and commercially saturated surf location in the Cape Town area. Known as Surfer’s Corner, Muizenberg’s long stretch of beach, with iconic multi-colored changing houses, offers a wave for everyone. While it’s guaranteed to be packed any day there is a sniff of swell, there’s always a gentle wave waiting for you. There are several surf schools that rent boards and suits and offer lessons if you’re looking to learn to surf during your time in Cape Town. We’ve rented from Gary’s Surf School and their wetsuits were in surprisingly good condition. They also have soft and hard top boards of all sizes for rent. We can’t speak about the other schools but renting from Gary’s was a seamless experience. Plus they share space with a beachy cafe in case you want an apres-surf beverage. At Muizenberg, the surf schools’ lessons stay close to shore, so once you venture out a bit, you can stand alone and wait on your own peak all day long. The waves are not powerful as their force is spread out along the entire beach strip, so Muizenberg is an ideal place for your first session to get you back on your feet. False Bay catches both Atlantic and Indian ocean current and swell, so while the water temperature is still wetsuit worthy, it is definitely warmer than the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the Western coast.

Big Bay – West-Southwest facing, Ideal offshore wind is from the east:

You can’t find a place to surf with a better view as you stare out towards Table Mountain while waiting for your next set. In this rock surrounded, small bay, you are privy to an entire view of Cape Town’s dramatic skyline. This spot is definitely worth the 35-minute drive from Cape Town to Blouberg. This is a beach break that offers both rights and lefts. When we surfed there, the right was most prominent. The swell is usually larger on the north side of the beach (right side as you look out at the water) as most of the wave power comes up from the southwest, protecting the south side more. Keep an eye on the wind as it can get strong and the area can get busy with kiteboarders. To get there, head to Eden on the Bay Mall and park right in the Pick N Pay parking lot. You can rent a board and suit from Big Bay Surf located right on the main promenade. There are several beachfront bars and restaurants that line the small promenade and are well worth a sundowner after your water session. This spot is great for an entire beach day as the beach, as well as shops, are more than accommodating to all beach goers, not just surfers.

Kommetjie – North-Northwest facing, Ideal offshore wind is from the south:

This quiet, sleepy town is our favorite place to surf in the Cape Town area. We had a week of southerly winds and 12-13 second period swells coming out of the southwest. This ruled out any spots exposed to the strong wind (Muizenbuerg and Big Bay). Kommetjie was perfect as the wind was offshore and the waves wrapped around creating clean lefts. This place is less of a scene than the other two spots as there is no commercial beachfront but the beach does have pretty nice public bathrooms. Rent a board and suit from Kommetjie Surf Shop and they will give you directions to the beach, through a grass field and to a small path that will lead you to the waves. You’ll pop out on some small rocks and you’ll see tons of kelp fields right in front of these rocks. There’s usually a left break to the right (as you look out) from the rocks and kelp that takes you further toward the center of the beach. You can also catch a right that takes you towards the rocks.

CLICK HERE for a map of these surf spots in Cape Town.

A word about the sharks:

Cape Town has some awesome surfing options but many visitors are wary about the sharks. Yes, it’s true that the entire South African coast is home to one of the largest great white shark populations in the world. Attacks are very uncommon, but as always, you should use your noggin and pay attention to reports and conditions. Cape Town has instituted a shark spotter program at several popular beaches. Spotters sit up on cliffs with binoculars and signal any shark sightings. There is a flag system that corresponds to shark sightings and the visibility conditions the spotters have for the day. While not foolproof, it certainly adds a layer of comfort at certain spots and has been quite successful so far. If you hear a shark alarm that means the spotter has seen a shark and you should exit the water immediately.

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