Travel Tips

Top 10 Surf Spots in Cape Town

Written by Joseph Cameron

In honour of International Surfing Day, Ker & Downey® Africa have put together a guide for all those avid athletes wanting to catch some waves in the most beautiful city in the world. Here are our top 10 surf spots in Cape Town, matched to our suggested experience level required for each spot.

01 Muizenberg

Experience level: Beginner

Surfer’s Corner is only half an hour from the city centre and is popular with those still learning to surf, as well as long-boarders. The waves are gentle, and form clean lines, and occasionally barrels, when the wind blows in a north-westerly direction. This is also a popular family beach, with an array coffee shops and restaurants, offering the perfect refreshment after session of surfing.

Experience level: Beginner

02 Long beach

Experience level: Intermediate – Experienced

On the opposite side of the mountain, Long Beach at Kommetjie is securely on our list of top 10 surf spots in Cape Town. Long Beach has some of the most perfect waves when the south-westerly wind is blowing, assuming that the swell is adequate, which it usually is. The wave breaks both left and right, giving ample opportunities for goofy and natural-footers alike. about 40-minutes from the Cape Town city centre and is suitable for intermediate or experienced surfers, depending on the size of the swell.

03 Big bay

Experience level: Beginner, Intermediate + Advanced (depending on the size of the swell)

A beach break situated between Melkbos and Bloubergstrand, Big Bay is ideal for surfers belonging to any skill level category. Getting there requires a 30 minute drive from the city centre, and it’s best when an easterly or south easterly wind picks up. With some of the the most friendly locals in Cape Town, and a range of coffee shops scattered near to the park your day is filled with unique experience from the word go.

04 Scarborough Beach

Experience level: Intermediate – Advanced

Beautiful views and uncrowded conditions make Scarborough a favourable choice with surfers and body boarders alike. Because it’s situated about 48-km outside of Cape Town (a 45 minute’s drive) you’ll never find It crowded, except on the occasional summer day. This is also the perfect spot for kite surfing.

05 Glen Beach

Experience level: Advanced

Only seasoned surfers should attempt surfing this wave. Glen beach produces some very powerful and hollow waves and is loved among advanced surfers. Situated in the beautiful area underneath the Twelve Apostles Mountain, between Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches, Glen beach is worth a visit for the avid surfer.

06 Llandudno

Experience level: Intermediate – Advanced

Llandudno is a beach break and possibly one of the world’s most picturesque places: The water is crystal-blue, and sands are as white as snow, with massive boulders emerging from both. Around 15-minute drive from the city centre, this hollow wave is favoured among surfers. Intermediate surfers will need to keep clear of the granite boulders which appear where the wedge.

07 Dungeons

Experience level: Advanced (only)

Accessible only by a 15 minute boat-ride from Hout Bay Harbour, the iconic wave of the Red Bull Big Wave Africa naturally made it onto the list of top 10 surf spots in Cape Town. This big right-hander that will have no paddle-surfers, but exclusively tow-surfers, which abound at certain times of the year. Only highly skilled surfers need attempt the drop. Just off sentinel in Hout bay, Dungeons has seen waves as high as 60 feet.

08 The Hoek

Experience level: Advanced

Situated around the corner form the parking lot at Noordhoek beach, “The Hoek” as it’s affectionately known by locals, only breaks during 3 months of the year. It delivers crystal-clear tubes during that time, and it requires a South Easterly wind to work adequately.

09 Crayfish Factory

Experience level: Advanced

Some of the heaviest and most exhilarating surf belongs to “the factory”, a 50- minute drive from Cape Town. This spot delivers the best rides when a north or north-easterly wind blows. The epic waves combined with great location make the factory one of the most incredible and challenging spots on our top 10 surf spots in Cape Town. The formidable right-hand waves that make the Crayfish Factory famous can reach a height of 15 feet.

10 Derdesteen

Experience level: Intermediate

Situated 30 mins by car from Cape Town, this spot marks the start of the “Wild West Coast”. This little-known surfing spot is one Cape Town’s jewels. It is has plenty of take-off points and can accommodate many surfers. Working best in Autumn and Winter, when the prevailing summer wind has died down and tides/currents/storms have shifted the sand into the optimum places, you can count on many a glassy session with one of the finest views in the surfing world.

What the locals say

“I’ve surfed the South African coastline for 20 years -East to West, Balito to Lambertsbaai. I’ve been living in Cape Town for the past 5 years, exploring the Atlantic every chance I get. The waters are cold, and you need a 4/3mm in summer and booties and hoody are advised. My favourite spots are Llundudno and, Kogel Bay’s ‘Caves’. See you out there.”

Local Cape Town surfer, Chesney Boshoff

Planning a trip to Cape Town? To make your time in our backyard the best that it can be, we’ve handcrafted a comprehensive, interactive Cape Town Guide of our favourite spots around the Mother city.

Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Ker & Downey® Africa Adventurists to give you some expert tips and insights.