Embracing the uncertainty of the Rainbow Nation!
Surf trips don’t all have to be the same! Embrace the uncertainty, South Africa calls!
With a coastline as diverse as the people who call it home (The Rainbow Nation!), South Africa is a fantastic alternative to the “go – to” destinations we return to year after year and direct flights to Johannesburg from Sydney and Perth are a thing ($1600.00 upwards Qantas / South African Airlines)!
From Cape Town to Mozambique REAL pay dirt awaits those willing to take the road less travelled! The adventurers! The intrepid! Even with an unlimited budget, you wouldn’t find all the hidden gem’s going un-ridden daily in a lifetime! So, as we’re pressed for time, lets focus on South Africa’s Surf Mecca, Jeffreys Bay!
The Southern Hemi winter (May – September) sees a seemingly never-ending barrage of powerful long period swell smashing the South African coastline. The accompanying W – SW winds that blow through these surf generating cold fronts, groom the swell lines into the ruler edge J Bay perfection we all dream about.
More than Supertubes
Everyone knows about Supertubes, but what most don’t know is that a trip to the famed right point does not only consist of sessions screaming down a lined up “Supers’ wall. The point alone has several distinct sections (you will have a favourite by the time you leave!). Starting at Boneyards, Long Period swells marching up from the roaring 40’s thunder through Supertubes (the holy grail – watch where the locals paddle out at the Keyhole!) running through Car Park, Impossible’ s, Salad Bowls, Tubes, The Point and finally Albatross. There are a variety of ultra-consistent lava reef and beach breaks in the immediate area meaning that Jeffery’s Bay is no one-trick show pony. Magana Tubes and Kitchens are worlds class on their day and often quieter than the points. A 45-minute trip south takes you to Seal point and the rugged beach breaks of Cape St Francis or maybe, if you are lucky, a session at the mythical Bruce’s Beauties…
Travelling surfers who show respect and patience in the lineup will be rewarded. Hassling, drop-ins and back paddling will not be tolerated. Respect the locals – a universal law – fundamental to an enjoyable trip in these parts.
And after a day of mind-bending perfection…
$10 steak dinners! Cheap wine, Cheaper beer, “cheap cheap” but definitely not cheap n’ nasty! Watch the setting African sun tip perfect Trestlesesque A-frames at “Kitchen’s” (underrated surf spot!), whilst sipping your “insert beverage of choice” at Kitchens Window (great steaks too!) – no $25 cocktails here! Nina’s Real Food is a 5-minute stroll from the Super’s car park, a great place to grab a pre-surf coffee or a post-surf re-fuel.
So you’ve decided to take the plunge. Lekker Bru!
An hour or so drive takes you to one of the easy viewing game parks in the area. Do you want to see an Elephant?! Or a Rhino? Maybe some buffalo? You can go whale/dolphin watching (if you haven’t had a close encounter with one of the local Supertubes pods already!). Are you a thrill seeker (of course you are!)?! Bloukrans Bridge Bungy Jump is the highest… In the world and just over an hour away!
Lastly, some Africa trips, Hot tips!
A good 4/3 steamer is a must. Bring a spare wetsuit for chilly afternoon sessions. Booties for the first few days in JBAY. Cold, heavy feet and mussel encrusted lava rocks don’t make a great combo.
Talk to your shaper about something sleek and ready for long, fast powerful walls. Leave the summer groveler at home. Rounded pins are the go-to of the travelling pro – a bit of extra length when the waves get overhead.
Don’t be afraid to overlook a fish accompaniment in your quiver.
If you have a look you WILL find empty waves. With a small surfing population, weekday’s and short drives will find you looking for someone to surf with.