Whether you surf for fun or fitness, competitively or for adventure, it’s all about what you personally want to get out of the experience. So, once you’ve made sure you have the best wetsuit for your body type, and access to a board, the rest is about choosing a location that matches your own tastes and ability level. Choosing a surfing destination can take more time than you think, with all the beautiful and enticing options that we can browse through nowadays, it’s by no means an easy task. Being able to find the best surf destinations depends on researching the right places, writing down what interests you most in the options that you see and choose the most fitting result from the list. It’s normal that at the beginning you will be lost for words by seeing all the stunning views and opportunities that each location can provide you with, but in the end, you will find something that just feels and look right for your perfect vacation.
If you are off to South Africa on holiday or for business, you will have your pick of great beaches that offer perfect conditions, as well as year-round sunshine! Take a look at our list of the five best surfing locations in South Africa below.
1. Jeffrey’s Bay
This is also affectionately known as “J Bay” and is probably the best known and most popular surfing beach in South Africa.
Jeffrey’s Bay is in the rugged Eastern Cape Province and a 60-minute drive from Port Elizabeth. It boasts a lovely artisan craft town too, and its facilities and environment have earned it second place in the league table of the ‘Best Surfing Destinations in the World.’
J Bay’s reliable surf and some awesome swells – including rides of 800 metres – attract both leisure surfers and event competitors, including some of the biggest names in the sport who battle in the world famous Billabong Pro competition.
Jeffrey’s Bay offers a variety of safe beaches that are great for beginners or less confident surfers. You might want to check out Kitchen Window, Boneyards, Supertubes, Magnatubes, Salad Bowls, The Point, and Albatross.
This location is another one that offers consistent surf in the warm Indian Ocean, with ideal wind conditions and a good choice of different surf zones (including beach, reef and point breaks).
The most popular surfing spot in this part of South Africa is Dairy Beach. It’s a great destination for leisure surfers, as it’s also a beach that supports swimming. Board hire and lessons are available, but having your own wetsuit means you get a perfect fit.
For anyone hunting for bigger swells to test themselves, the stretch from uShaka Beach to the Blue Lagoon can bring suitable challenges.
3. Eland’s Bay
This surf location is around a three-hour drive from Cape Town and it’s a must for advanced surfers. Mother Nature has carved out a perfect formation to encourage large swells, including spots where a hollow take-off and cylindrical wall can keep on going for up to 150 metres.
Eland’s Bay is not a tourist spot but does offer a lively and welcoming community for surfers to visit.
4. Wild Coast
If adventure surfing “floats your boat” then the Wild Coast of Port Edward provides great beaches and some incredibly beautiful scenery. The word unspoilt applies in abundance, so you can surf in peace and privacy.
The location covers Cintsa in the south and the Mtamvuna River in the north. One of the most exhilarating surfing locations on the Wild Coast is Ntlonyane (Breezy Point). Interestingly, the best surfing conditions along this coastline are in winter.
Llandudno appears on the list of the top surfing locations in South Africa for its incredible beauty, its perfect blue waters and reliable surf.
It is only a 15-minute drive from Cape Town. You may recognise its huge rock boulders and white sand, as these breath-taking features are why this distinctive location features heavily in South Africa’s tourism marketing.
Llandudno offers great facilities and beach sports as well as secluded spots for surfing. However, it is more challenging than other locations and best left to competent surfers.
These are what we consider to be the top five surfing locations in South Africa, but remember it’s all about what you want out of the experience. So, chat online to other surfers and do your homework to find your ideal surfing beach near your destination.