Halfway between Durban and Cape Town is South Africa’s best and most consistent surf zone.

The frequent winter SW swells and the occasional E swells that hit this SE facing coastline, turn on dozens of classic point breaks that are hidden away inside crescent shaped coves. Jeffreys Bay (J-Bay) is obviously the most renowned wave and is considered one of the best righthanders in the world.

The J-Bay area has an unstable climate but one that is generally dry. Summers are warm and you could even surf in a shorty. For the remainder of the year you will need a good fullsuit. Temps can vary widely from day to day. The hot Berg winds can bring high temps and great weather off the mountains, followed a day later by a cold front coming off the sea, bringing a sudden drop in temperatures.


S-SW swells from Antarctica’s “Roaring Forties” are common from March to Sept and provide plenty of 6-15ft (2-5m) swells, although Cape St Francis will filter wave heights down to an average 3-10ft (1-3m). Shallow offshore shoals increase the refraction on longer period swells, especially those with more W in them, slowing them down and turning them into the vast bay. July-Aug shows the greatest consistency, when there should be weeks of back-to-back swells in the headhigh to double overhead range with adequate period to help link up a few of the J-Bay sections. Occasionally, strong E winds or tropical cyclones occur from Jan-March and can provide short-lived E-SE swells. All lows tend to travel past South Africa quickly and can often push strong SW winds in over the bottom half of the country. This makes east-facing spots like J-Bay a much better bet for offshore conditions in the SW-W airflow that gets deflected by the various surrounding mountains. April to June sees more NW-NE Berg (or Devil) winds descend from the mountains, blowing chop into the barrels or destroying the waves completely. From Nov to March the wind changes direction and blows primarily from the E, not good for the majority of spots, bringing warm Indian Ocean air and plenty of showers to the Eastern Cape. Tidal range can be significant so get a tide chart from the J-Bay surf shops.

Source: lowpressure.co.uk


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he famed Super’s is ranked as one of the 10 best waves in the world. On the right days, which occur mainly in the winter months of May to August, Supers provides rides of up to half a kilometer in length. It’s an easy takeoff into these absolutely perfect rights, speeding up until you get to the inside section in front of the car park known as Impossibles. This is where the brave and fearless pull into spectacular tubes. Supers breaks very close to mussel-covered rocks. Full wetsuits and booties are advised. Not only for warmth but also as protection against the razor sharp mussels (you can paddle out in the channel and come in at the Gulley to bypass the sharp mussels). Works best on a full S swell normally pushed in by passing cold fronts. Can be ridden from 4 to 15 feet. Ask locals about location of the paddling channel if you’re not sure.