Kitesurfing, Windsurfing and Wingsurfing
Cape Town is a world-class destination for kitesurfing, windsurfing and, more recently, wingsurfing. During the summer months, foreign waveriders, particulary from Europe, descend on local beaches, armed to the teeth with boards, sails, wings and kites, bent on making the most of our strong and steady southeasterly winds.
The most popular spots are Sunset Beach, Kite Beach (Table View), Big Bay (Blouberg) and, when the wind gets stronger, Melkbosstrand. There are also a number of good, but less frequented, spots on the South Peninsula. Muizenberg has interesting onshore conditions, while Glencairn, Witsand, Scarborough and Platboom (in Cape Point Nature Reserve) all produce moments of perfection.
Perhaps the most tricky and edgy spot of all is Haakgat, a left-hand point break located across the road from the Atlantic Beach Golf Club, south of Melkbosstrand. In big wind and wave conditions, this spot lures the best wave riders in town and you’ll witness some of the most radical manoevres here.
For beginners and speed sailors, Rietvlei (behind the sand dunes at Sunset Beach) has good, flat-water conditions. The launching spot is at Milnerton Aquatic Club on the vlei’s eastern shore.
Surfing, Body Boarding and Paddleskiing
Cape Town is a surfing Mecca with a wide range of waves for every level of surfer. Muizenberg’s Surfer’s Corner is a beginner’s heaven with waves that are ideal for those just starting out or for kids having their first lesson. The slow, crumbly waves are also great for longboarders. This suburb is home to one of South Africa’s oldest surf shops, The Corner Surf Shop. You can rent a board and wetsuit from Gary’s Surf School, the Surf Emporium, Lifestyle or Xpressions on the Beach.
For intermediate surfers, Cape Town boasts a wide range of spots. Long Beach in Kommetjie is pehaps the most popular, with waves breaking in both directions, giving ample opportunity for both goofy (right-foot forward) and regular surfers. Big Bay in Blouberg is another popular intermediate beach with relatively consistent surf. It’s known for the friendly locals, and there are plenty of coffee shops nearby for an after-surf cuppa. Other good intermediate spots include Glen Beach, Llandudno, Noordhoek and Scarborough.
For more advanced surfers, there are a number of sharpish city breaks, such as Queen’s, Solly’s and Rocklands in Sea Point, as well as Off the Wall and Thermopylae in Mouille Point. Most of these are hollow, reefy and dotted with rocks, so if you’re a beginner they’re best avoided. Kalk Bay reef and Dunes near Kommetjie are good, advanced South Peninsula spots.
If you’re looking for some of the heaviest, most thrilling waves in Cape Town, look no further than Outer Kom and Crayfish Factory, near Kommetjie. For the ultimate challenge, there’s Dungeons off Hout Bay (made famous by the Red Bull Big Wave Africa competition). These monster waves are only for the most accomplished and brave-hearted surfers.
Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has grown rapidly in popularity in the Mother City in recent years. For beginners, and those hesitant to take on the surf, SUPping on flat water is a good and safe option. Beginner SUP boards are wide, stable and relatively easy to handle. With a little guidance, you’ll be up and riding in a short space of time.
For an inner-city paddle experience, SUP Cape Town allows you to be on the water close to the V&A Waterfront (they also offer SUP rentals and lessons at Clifton 4th Beach). You can hire a board and, after with a brief introductory talk, set off down the canals without the fear of rip currents or waves.
Once you’re confident on flat water, you’ll no doubt want to challenging yourself in the surf. Xpression on the Beach in Muizenberg is a good option as the waves here are gentle and great for novice surf SUPpers. Once you’ve mastered small surf, the sky is the limit with top SUPpers riding relatively large waves, including the awesome rollers of The Pipe in Mouille Point.