There are so many incredible South Africa surf stops across this countries beautiful coastline.
From surfer meccas like J’Bay to more off the beaten, empty locations surfing South Africa should be something every wave rider should tick off the bucket list!
So if you’re thinking of heading their on a surf trip soon here are 6 of my favourite South Africa surf destinations to add to your itinerary…
6 South Africa Surf Destinations You HAVE To Paddle Out At!
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of surfing and non surfing activities you can’t go wrong with Cape Town – one of the most famous cities in South Africa.
When it comes to waves it’s location on the southerly tip of South Africa means it picks up heaps of swell and it’s always offshore somewhere!
For those looking for something more mellow to surf Muizenberg is easily the best beginner surf beach I’ve ever come across – with long, reeling, soft walls. For loggers and intermediates it’s ideal too, but it can get a bit crowded with lessons.
More experienced surfers are best off hiring a car or surf guide to explore the more punchy surf breaks around the city – including the likes of Kalk Bay and Long Beach – where you can find everything from barreling beachies to super fun reefs.
And of course big wave surfers can always tackle the famous Dungeons when the swell really picks up and the conditions are right.
For non surf days Cape Town is filled with things to see and do – including hiking Table Mountain, chilling with the penguins on Boulders Beach, paragliding and wine tasting, click here for some of the top things to do in Cape Town.
Heading along the East Coast of South Africa lays the town of Plettenberg Bay, which is a world away from the surf crowds of Cape Town!
A sleepy retirement town you can expect empty peaks here, unless you time it with the school holidays when the place does get rather busy in and out of the water!
Beach breaks are the name of the game here with lots of fun peaks to choose from all over the town which can be suitable for all levels of surfer.
Jeffreys Bay (aka J’Bay)
No guide to South Africa surf spots would be complete without the world famous J’Bay – which every surfer worth their salt should already know about!
As well as SuperTubes (home of the WSL tour stop in South Africa) there are heaps of other surf breaks around the town which are HEAPS less localised.
If you do decide to paddle out at Supers (and manage to negotiate the keyhole!) be aware that the locals here are certainly not the most friendly you’ll encounter, so play it safe, be courteous and drop in at your own peril!
My personal favourite though has to be Phantoms, which sits right in front of Island Vibes Hostel. It takes the right combo of conditions to get working but when it does this point absolutely reels and is a great spot to perfect your rail to rail – suitable for all levels of surfer.
Just next door is Kitchen Windows – a fun little A frame reef which is suitable for high end beginners and up depending on the swell size. Main Beach sits next to it and is perfect for those looking for a mellow beach break.
And if you’ve got your own transport make the drive to the iconic Bruces Beauties at Cape St Francis, made famous by the cult surf classic The Endless Summer. It’s quite fickle and not as perfect as it once was (due to development in the area) but worth the pilgrimage!
This is the part of the coastline when you really start to experience the real South Africa – where the coastline becomes wild, rugged, empty and beautiful!
Cintsa offer up a really fun, but sometime challenging right hander off the point, situated a short walk from Bucaneers Backpackers.
Dont expect many other people in the water with you – if you do end up sharing the line-up just be friendly and respectful.
Another of my favourites in the area is Yellow Sands, a punchy sand bottom beach break which offer up some super fun lefts.
If you really want to get off the main tourist track and experience some empty peaks, stunning coastline and truly laid back vibes then Coffee Bay is where you should be heading – in fact it was my favourite stop during my time surfing in South Africa!
The beach break can handle a huge range of conditions and although there are some fun rights to be had the lefts here are a goofy footers dream! When it cleans up expect some cartable faces, puntable section and even a few cover ups.
The left hand of the point (in front of Coffee Shack Backpackers) is the main area for waves, but the whole coastline is littered with empty waves if you want to go on a surf mission through the Transkei – and there are several surf guides in the area specialising in tours around there.
And the best thing about it – hardly any other people in the water with you…and even if they are it’s a super chilled and friendly lineup!
Often referred to as South Africas “Surf City” the surf spots around here were the training ground for WSL tour veteran Jordy Smith, who perfected his skills and style on the many breaks that surround the city.
New Pier is probably the most famous spot amongst them, but attracts the crowds that go with it’s reputation as a premier spot in the area.
For beginners and learners North Beach’s Golden Mile offer up some mellow beach breaks – but the coastline as a whole around the city offer up all manner of waves for all levels – so go have a scout around.
If you want something a bit heavier head across to “The Bluff” or neighbouring Ballito (home of the WQS 10,000 event) for some solid lips and wilder waves.
South Africa Surf Tours
Want to experience surfing South Africa but not sure how to get around, where to stay or simply want to meet some more surf buddies along the way?
Well for my South Africa surf trip I joined the crew of Ticket To Ride Surf Adventures who offer a truly epic 10 week South Africa surf trip covering all the above spots from Cape Town to Durban which I highly recommend.
It includes accommodation, transport and surf coaching throughout (for all levels of surfers – including complete beginners through to those trying to go airborne!) as well as heaps of awesome activities along the way and community projects too.
…and if you want to go a step further and extend your trip you can also tag on their 3 week Mozambique surf trip to really get off the beaten track and experience some empty perfection!
Which South Africa surf spots are you stoked to paddle out at?