When most surfers think of South Africa, they immediately picture the long, roping rights of J-Bay’s supertubes, the big-wave mutants of Cape Town’s Dungeons, or the warm beach break tubes of Durban. South Africa happens to be one of the most surf-spoiled countries on earth, and the Garden Route offers a wealth of classic set ups.. A drive along South Africa’s Garden Route is worth it for the wildlife and scenery alone — scoring epic and uncrowded surf is merely a bonus. Here are five of the best surf spots on the Garden Route.
There is a theme on the southern coast of South Africa: perfect right point breaks. This spot will take swell from any direction, but prefers a four to eight foot South or Southeast. Larger swells and westerly swells still work, but the waves become a little gnarlier and a lot less perfect. Under the right conditions this is one of the best surf spots on the Garden Route.
You probably won’t find it. If you do find, you’ll have to hike through hell to get there. If you get there, it probably won’t be working. If it is working, a giant shark might eat you. Still, if you don’t mind braving poisonous wattle trees, ornery tortoises and breeding great whites in the take off zone, you just might score a wave that breaks better Bruce’s Beauties with a fraction of the crowd.
Mossel Bay is a beautiful little fishing town that boasts two great waves: Inner Pool and Outer Pool. Outer Pool is a powerful right hand reef that breaks just outside of (you guessed it) a rather large man-made tide pool. Inner Pool is a smaller, high-performance oriented wave that breaks to the inside of the tidal pool. The proximity of the seawall promenade to the lineup makes Inner Pool the best grom-heckle spot in Africa. You can paddle out through the pool to access either spot. Mossel Bay has a fantastic seafood restaurant overlooking the pool. You can watch the takeoff at Outers and the mayhem at Inner Pool while you enjoy some of the best seafood in the country.
Let’s say you’re in Cape Town and you want to experience a perfect right-point without the hassle of driving all the way to Jeffries Bay. Victoria Bay may be the call. Vic Bay is an idyllic set up in the heart of an upscale vacation village. It’s a bit pricey. It’s a bit fickle. And it’s not quite as long as Supertubes. However, what Vic Bay lacks in size and consistency it makes up for in perfection. If you get one screaming 200-yard Vic Bay right, you’ll understand why this is one of the best surf spots on the Garden Route.
With a name like Nature’s Valley, you probably expect beautiful scenery. You won’t be disappointed. You won’t be disappointed by the waves either, provided you go at the right time. Nature’s Valley needs a long-period South or Southwest groundswell and light winds. When it’s on, you can expect punchy beach break tubes in one of the most beautiful places on earth.