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Best Surfing Beaches in Cape Town

 In Cape Town, surfing, Travel

By Bianca Bunge.

There is no time quite like SURF TIME, especially in Cape Town! Whether you’re a born and bred Cape Town local, a Capetonian newbie or an avid traveller just passing through, when you find yourself in the one and only Mother City you definitely have to learn to walk the Cape Town walk, but in Cape Town we don’t necessarily like to walk, we SURF! Much like coffee, wine and artisan baked goods, surfing is somewhat of a culture in the Mother City. But with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, coolest waves and an epic year-round Mediterranean climate, how can it not be? Cape Town really is the ultimate mecca for water sports and epic ocean adventures, with surfing being at the top of the leader board and showing no sign of backing down anytime soon. Known as the adventure capital of Africa, the Western Cape invites you to discover, explore and experience everything the exciting Mother City has to offer, starting off with surfing all the cool Cape Town waves you can handle! But before you put on your wetsuit, wax up and venture into the deep blue, first things first, you must pick your surfing spot! And just to make sure you’re on the right track, we’ve lined up our top Cape Town surfing spots just for you, let the countdown begin!

8. Dungeons: Experience level – Advanced

 

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If the name doesn’t say it all, the monstrous waves sure will! Known to be one of the most extreme surfing beaches in the country, featuring waves in the same league as Waimea and Mavericks, Dungeons is often spoken about in hush tones among local and globe-trotting surfers alike. Boasting waves that have been known to reach 60 feet, this iconic Cape Town surfing spot is one heavy-hitter that’s only to be attempted be the surfers that have the mad skills to conquer it. And don’t you dare underestimate this surfing beast gone wild, even if you consider yourself to be the surfing king or queen of the crop, Dungeons will have you working for it every single second you’re out there. This renowned Cape Town surfing hotspot is only accessible via a 15-minute boat ride from Hout Bay Harbour, but for experienced surfers looking for their next big wave, the delay is ALL worth it! Once known as a regular feature on the Big Wave World Tour, Dungeons includes a mixture of high impact zones and shallow open reefs with the big right-hander welcoming no paddle-surfers and is therefore exclusively for tow-surfers only who are brave enough to attempt the drop. Do you dare to take on the dauting Dungeons waves?

7. Kalk Bay: Experience level – Intermediate

 

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The trendy seaside neighbourhood of Kalk Bay was recently named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Forbes, but not only is it proudly boasting super cool Cape Town status, it’s also home to an epic surfing beach! The awesome Kalk Bay reef located along the vibrant False Bay coastline is in an exposed reef break and is known to not only be one of Cape Town’s coolest Summer time surfing gems, but the best Winter surfing hotspots too! Lovingly referred to among locals as the one surf spot to have a real Mother City attitude, Kalk Bay’s consistent, left-breaking waves, and the occasional savage barrel is everything we love and celebrate! Featuring left and right breaking reefs, epic groundswells, and an ideal south east swell angle, this Cape Town surfing gem is a true fan-favourite among locals. This cool Cape Town surfing beach is certainly known as a world class reef break in the right conditions, but surfers are advised to be careful of the reefs and often unpredictable conditions. The Kalk Bay reef is also somewhat of a hidden surfing gem, and it’s therefore no surprise that most people don’t even know it exists. Getting there requires you to cross the railway line, often requiring a bit of a hole in the fence manoeuvre, hopping onto a small sandy beach, making your way to the infamous Brass Bell restaurant, and then entering the water directly from the peak, thereby making it quite the journey. But it certainly promises to be a surfing adventure you won’t soon forget! Plus, just like Muizenberg, the warmer Indian Ocean waters means you can spend a bit more time out there enjoying the waves, which is always a massive bonus!

6. Bloubergstrand: Experience level – Intermediate

 

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Boasting one of the best views of the iconic Table Mountain in the whole Mother City, a lekker laid-back beach vibe, a vibrant beach-front promenade and a spectacular beach that stretches for miles on end, Bloubergstrand really is worth all the hype! Being the renowned windy wavemaker king means that Bloubergstrand is not only one of the most popular Cape Town surfing spots, but one of the most iconic Kitesurfing destinations in the world too! Kite surfers travel from all corners of the globe to capture the energy of the Cape’s southerly winds, and Blouberg beach is one of the best, and by far the most exciting kiting hotspots in the whole world to do it. The wind pumps almost parallel to the shore, which means you are riding your board directly into the waves which definitely makes for one epic and exhilarating ride! Besides being the all-time reigning kitesurfing global hotspot, Bloubergstrand is also an exposed beach break that allows for a reasonably consistent surf that can work at any time of the year. Offshore winds are from the northeast and being known as the wide-open windy wonder of the Western Cape means that there is no shelter here from cross shore breezes, so all that’s left to do is surrender to the surf and make the very best of it! The beach breaks also offer both right and left breaks, thereby proving all surfers with the very best of both, making it an incredibly popular surfing pick among surfers from all walk of life. The waves are however known to break quite close to the share and are definitely more powerful than they look, so some surfing experience is definitely required. This renowned Cape Town surfing hotspot is also known as one of the colder areas, so be sure to come prepared! But it promises to be worth ALL the extra shivers!

5. Crayfish Factory: Experience level – Advanced

 

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If you’re a global wave-chasing surfer in search of the next wave of your dreams, ‘The Factory’ is DEFINITELY it! Some of the heaviest and most exhilarating surfs are said to belong to this iconic Cape Town surfing hotspot, and it is also known as one of the most challenging and incredible surfing spots in the Mother City. So, you just know it’s going to be a goodie! Boasting thrill-seeking, adrenalin-inducing and heart-pounding waves, particularly when the north-easterly winds blow, this infamous Mother City surf spot is famous for its right-hand waves and features swells that can reach up to several metres. The Crayfish Factory is also known to be pretty unpredictable at times and is therefore best left to the more advanced surfers. Having a Cape Town surfing local by your side will also make it all the better, as no one knowns the Mother City deep blue and ever-changing weather patterns quite like the Cape Town surfing home crowd. Located about 50 minutes from the city of Cape Town on the spectacular Cape Peninsula, between Kommetjie and Scarborough, this epic Cape Town surfing heavy hitter is certainly worth the travel time, plus, it’s all about the adventure right! What are you waiting for, the Crayfish Factory waves await!

4. Muizenberg: Experience level – Beginner

 

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Muizenberg is easily one of Cape Town’s most famous surfing beaches, home to the renowned Surfer’s Corner it prides itself on being a top surfing hotspot for locals and tourists alike. And the best thing is, Muizenberg welcomes anyone and everyone to cruise its cool waves any day of the year! Known for its perfect ‘smooth ride’ waves, Muizenberg is a great pick for surfers of all levels, so whether you’re a surfing pro looking for a chilled day out on the water or a beginner looking to surf their very first Cape Town wave, Muizenberg is just the place to do it! The gentle waves and clean lines can be surfed almost year-round, making it the ideal Cape Town surfing hotspot as well as any longboarder’s paradise. As the cool seaside town of Muizenberg embodies Cape Town surfing culture in every way, there are also plenty of places to rent wetsuits, surf boards and even take up some surfing lessons. Besides being one of the Mother City’s most celebrated surf spots, Muizenberg is also home to a great blue-flag status family-friendly swimming beach, tons of cool restaurants and beach-front hangouts as well as the world-famous Muizenberg Beach Huts that add an extra splash of colour to the Muizenberg beachfront. Being on the Indian Ocean side of the Cape Peninsula also means that the water is a little warmer here, thereby making swimming, surfing and smooth wave chasing a bit more bearable and tons of fun too!

3. Long Beach, Kommetjie: Experience level – Intermediate – Experienced

 

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The beautiful Long Beach in the stunning seaside town of Kommetjie has certainly graced the covers of many travel magazines, Instagram feeds and getaway scenes, and with really good reason too! But not only is it beautiful, it’s a pretty epic Cape Town surfing spot too! Paying tribute to its name means that there certainly are LOTS of waves to surf, making it an extremely popular surfing hotspot for local and global surfing fanatics. Known to have year-round near-perfect waves and one of the most consistent swells in the Cape, optimal conditions mean you can find incredible left and right breaks which gives ample opportunities for both natural (right-leg dominated surfer) and goofy footers (left-leg dominated surfer) to conquer a killer Long Beach wave. It is also one of the few Cape Town breaks that will hold up well with a strong South West wind, and ask any Cape Town local, those can be a real bugger! While Long Beach is certainly a local South African favourite, it is also known to draw the surfing crowd from all over the world, also providing the perfect waves for longboarders, kneeboarders, bodyboarders and stand up paddleboarders, thereby offering a little something of everything. But while it certainly welcomes a big surfing crowd, the big waves are not ideal for inexperienced surfers, and is therefore way more suitable for intermediate or experienced surfers, depending on the size of the swell of course.

2. Llandudno: Experience level – Intermediate – Advanced

 

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Not only is Llandudno known as one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches and top sunset spots, it’s also one of the best surfing hotspots in the Mother City! Talk about the whole package! Boasting crystal clear blue water, a picturesque white sand beach and large granite boulders emerging from all angles, Llandudno is pure beach bliss. Situated just around the corner from Camps Bay towards Hout Bay, Llandudno is certainly one of the most scenic breaks in the city and its hollow waves that work in a south-to-south-easterly wind is definitely a fan-favourite among surfers from all corners of the globe. When the swell arrives, Llandudno is known to have one of the best and busiest waves in the city with every Cape Town surfer looking to get in on the action. It’s also known to be best during the Summer and Spring months when storms haven’t dug into the sand just yet. But while Llandudno definitely offers one of the most scenic surfs in Cape Town, it’s unpredictable granite boulders and big, hollow barrels makes it not ideal for beginner level or inexperienced surfers and intermediate suffers are also advised to take extra precautions. This beauty definitely packs a bit of a punch, so don’t you dare underestimate her power!

1. Dunes: Experience level – Advanced

 

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Located close the beautiful beach-front town of Noordhoek, about 40 minutes from Cape Town city centre you’ll stumble on this favourite local surfing spot known as Dunes. But wait, you’re not there yet! In order to get to the beach break, you will have to trek along a mega-stretch of beach, which will take you roughly 30 minutes, so you better make sure you’re up for a little extra effort and keen for a bit of an adventure! But no one ever said finding the perfect wave will be easy right? Dunes thrives when there is a good south-easterly wind, where you can expect solid six to eight-foot waves that provides world-class tubes for an epic ride. Boasting classic waves that gets super hollow, and powerful heavy waves with banks that favour rights, this cool Cape Town surfing spot is definitely for the more experienced and advanced surfer. Because it requires a bit more effort and time to get there as well as sometimes boasting more dangerous rips, it’s often one of the peninsula’s quieter waves, making it perfect for an experienced surfer looking to break away from the crowds. A fun fact is that Dunes is also the favourite surfing spot of famous South African electro music duo, Goldfish, thereby earning it some super cool points!

By Bianca Bunge.

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