Surfing Cape Town: A local’s guide to surf spots in Cape Town

Last updated on: July 28, 2022
Surfing Cape Town

Cape Town, where the two oceans meet.

Cape Town always has some sort of surf with two coastlines, two up-coastal stretches within a few hours striking distance, and a rugged and varied shoreline. Along with this, and due to the nature of the topography, there is always a bay that’s offshore. The only downside to all these opportunities is that you often need to travel in Cape Town. However, it’s a beautiful place, so travel is part of the joy of visiting Cape Town.

This is all good, but to get to the best waves in Cape Town, you have to spend some money on expensive fuel. Unfortunately, the global economy has dramatically increased fuel prices in South Africa. Still, Cape Town surf spots are varied and fun. There is something for everyone, from easy beginner waves like Muizenberg and Table View to the behemoths that roll in at Dungeons and Sunset Reef.

Surf in Cape Town is not hard to find. From the small beach-break waves of the west coast to the spitting reefs of the deep south. Cape Town has arguably some of the best surf in South Africa. You can literally follow the coastline and shoreline from any point in cape Town and find waves soon enough.

Talking of the deep south, this is where you’ll find some of the best surf spots in Cape Town. The Cape Point Nature Reserve, the zone between Scarborough and Kommetjie, and then the impeccably groomed barrels of Noordhoek and The Dunes. These are the quality waves and the ones that make surfing Cape Town a worthy endeavour. Reefs, sand bars, bommies, and ledges make up the bulk of waves in the deep south.

The Surf Scene In South Africa's Capital

While Durban is often called Surf City in the South African context, and Cape Town usually gets overlooked due to the freezing water, it is still the current hotbed of talent and surfing creativity.

The rise of Cape Town surfers can be attributed to the consistency of good surf in Cape Town. As a result, the local surfers get to consistently practice and work on their surfing and moves.

Cape Town surfers have always been known as friendly and accommodating surfers in South Africa. While this rings true for most surfers, some have become a bit less warm. This is due to covid-related overcrowding at many of the metropolitan surf spots.

The Best Surf Spots In Cape Town

  • Beginners:
    • Muizenberg
    • Big bay
  • Intermediate:
    • Long Beach
    • Scarborough Beach
    • Elands Bay
    • Llandudno
  • Advanced:
    • Dungeons
    • Sunset Reef
    • Outer Kom
    • Crayfish Factory
    • Glen Beach

1. Best Beginner Surf Spots

There are so many waves that there is something for everyone regarding Cape Town surf spots.

When it comes to beginner waves, Muizenberg is possibly one of the best beginner beaches in the whole world.

Gentle rollers left and right, peel endlessly over a gently sloping sand bottom. Muizenberg is possibly the most user-friendly of all the Cape Town surf spots, and it also is the place to go to if you want surf lessons in Cape Town.

Surfing at Muizenberg Beach - Cape Town - South Africa

2. Best Intermediate Surf Spots

For more intermediate surfing, the best surf spots in Cape Town can be found around the Kommetjie area and also up the west coast.

Around kommetjie you will find spots like long beach,

Heading up the west coast can be exciting and fun, with most people running for Elands Bay, a perfect but cold left-hand point-break that breaks in thick kelp at low tide.

When the tide comes in and rises above the tethered kelp heads, the wave morphs into a long freight train left, the jewel of the west coast. It can get crowded, but like its’ right-hand counter-part in JBay, you only need one or two waves to get the stoke levels up.

A short 15 mins drive from Cape Town, will take you to Llandudno, which is arguably one of the most picturesque surf spots in South Africa.

Surfing at Llandudno Beach - Cape Town - South Africa

3. Best Advanced Surf Spots

The advanced surfing element in Cape Town is mainly based on big waves. There are many famous or notorious big waves in Cape Town, and they are only for the skilled and experienced.

The most well-known is probably Dungeons, which was home to the Red Bull Big Wave Africa for 10 years.

Sunset Reef is currently the flavour. It is close to Kommetjie and is reasonably easy to access and film.

Outer Kom was the venue for the Spur Steakranches Surfabout finals in giant 12-foot surf in 1985 and has remained a firm favourite for big wave surfers in Cape Town.

The Crayfish Factory is the big right-hander that breaks around the corner from Outer Kom. It has a handful of regulars who hit it whenever it breaks.

Surfing Big Waves In Cape Town South Africa

Cape Town Surf Shops For Surfboard Rental

All roads again lead to Muizenberg regarding surfboard rental and surfing lessons in Cape Town. There are other smaller hubs, but nothing can beat Muizenberg for the best locations and the optimum waves to learn to surf on.

  • Lifestyle Surf Shop offers rental and board at Muizenberg beach, with experienced surf instructors
  • Expression On The Beach at Muizenberg has experienced surf instructors, boards for rent, wetsuits for rent, and makes excellent food and coffee. They also specialize in SUP boards for any level of expertise. They are a stoked bunch of individuals with good surfing pedigrees.
  • Surf Emporium offers Surf and SUP lessons and has a beautiful location at Muizenberg. They also host a Muizenberg webcam. The Surf Emporium is well-established and has been around for a long time, with many customers returning for further lessons and instruction.

Where To Find Surfing Lessons In Cape Town For Beginners

We have examined the Muizenberg area for surfing lessons in cape Town. Still, as mentioned, the peninsula is a big place. Over on the west coast, Big Bay is home to Surf Big Bay surf school, where the experiencer instructors will soon get you up and riding. Big Bay is also a user-friendly wave, but it can get cold as it is situated on the colder Atlantic Ocean. In comparison, Muizenberg is based on the warmer Indian Ocean.

A little bit further afield, there is also an excellent surf school at The Strand near Somerset West. The gently rolling waves of The Strand are also very suitable for Learn To Surf lessons. The qualified instructors will soon have you on your way to becoming a surfer.

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