5 Best Surf Spots in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

by Candice Boyers

Whether you’re planning a road trip or browsing through the Port Elizabeth flights list, the Eastern Cape should be at the top of the list when planning a trip to South Africa – especially if the itinerary revolves around surfing. If you’re looking for the best surf spots in the Eastern Cape, then you’ve come to the right place.

This country has various adrenaline-fuelled activities to choose from. However, the crowned jewel by far is the mosaic of wave-infused marvels of the Eastern Cape.

Unsure how to find the barrelling beauties within this sun-drenched province? Take a paddle through the waves of possibilities. Explore the top places to catch the sensational swells of South Africa in style.



Eastern Cape Surfing – FAQ

From a family safari to visiting its golden beaches, South Africa is the ultimate place to experience the zest of life at its fullest. 

The surfing splendors of Eastern Cape wait for no man. However, certain questions might hinder your enthusiasm of plunging into those barrels headfirst. 

Best Time to Go Surfing in the Eastern Cape?

The SA waves are considered to guarantee a terrific tubular time for surfers. However, we all know weather conditions are vital to have the best surf sesh. The best time to head out to waters with a board in hand is in the winter months (from May to August).

In the summer, temperatures and swells are the best suited for beginners. With warm waters and smaller waves, you’ll have a blast learning the tricks of the trade-in comfort. Beaches during December host a vast sea of tourists and locals waiting to experience the summer heat in all its glory, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Are the Waters Safe?

Situated in the sub-tropical wonders of the Indian Ocean, these surf spots have excellent waters to tread to experience a fantastic joy ride. 

While these seawater spaces are known to encounter a number of shark sightings, these beaches usually have a variety of precautions to spot these animals in advance. 


Surf the Eastern Cape Turf – Places to Catch Some Waves 

The Eastern Cape, also lovingly dubbed the Sunshine Coast due to the warm and sunny rays throughout the year, provides an ample supply of surf breaks. Take a look at the top places to get wet and wild from the surge and swells of the ocean:

East London

As my home town, I welcome guests to the captivating city which is known for its pristine beaches and fossil-laden spaces. East London, has a variety of diverse sceneries to get lost in. 

There are many unique activities and attractions to enjoy, such as strolling through the East London Museum. However, nothing stokes the fires of thrill-seeking quite like its surfing spots. 

One of the most popular spots to head to is the Nahoon Reef. The spot has some stellar surfing for individuals looking for a challenge. The somewhat exposed reef in the vicinity can be quite tricky to master. Be careful of these waters which have several rips and rocks to look out for.

Port Alfred

This unassuming space features some of the best surf breaks around. The picturesque small town oozes natural beauty, and a friendly atmosphere. 

These aquatic gems are known to provide a sequence of clean waves. So, expect longer rides where you can carve your way towards the beach. From the hearty challenges of West Beach to the wavy wonders at East Beach, this beachy escape is a surfer’s slice of heaven. 

Be sure to head to the water early when the surf is up. This will ensure you get a space among the throngs of local surfers ready to take the day on with a bang. Which is hopefully not the sound of your body hitting the water!


Jeffreys Bay

Also known as J-Bay, this surfing capital of South Africa is considered the best place to indulge in some proper wave shredding for experienced surfers. From the pop-up triumphs to the plundering wipe-outs, surfing these waves is an epic experience from the highs and lows.

April and September are considered the best months to brave these barrelling waters. During these months, the waves tend to create a majestic network of waves perfect for surfing. 

Various well-known surfing spots are peppered throughout its vicinity, ideal spaces for every experience type. Head to the Supertubes if you’re starved for some of the ultimate right-hand point breaks the world has to offer.

If you’re looking for smaller waves, you’ll find the point to be the perfect location for beginners to thrive with confidence. Make sure to keep a lookout for some friendly squeals, as dolphins tend to frequent these waters.


Cape St. Francis

Known as a charming village equipped with a carefree feel, Cape St. Francis is the place to be to experience the surf of a lifetime. 

While these narrow streets and quaint shops might feel like a ghost town in the off-season, this secluded space is the perfect spot to learn how to surf without judging eyes. 

The groundswells are more prone in this area and have some light and easily rideable waves for beginners. Are you planning to stay in the area for a few days? Be sure to make a trip to the Seal Point Lighthouse to ensure a continuous nautical theme to your trip.


Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay has a heartwarming small-town vibe and the salty pleasures of the abundance of fresh seafood available. It’s a magical mecca of understated exceptional experiences. 

Situated within the natural wonders of the Wild Coast, Coffee Bay is known to inhabit some idyllic conditions to embark on the surfing spell of your dreams. 

You’ll find the start of the winter swells from April. While June to August is considered to be peak conditions for an unforgettable surf.

The beach break is the place for beginners to strut their stuff and test out all the various tools they have learned in a leisurely setting. For intermediate surfers, the point is the place to roll with the punches. Expect to learn through trial and error to master the artistry of this spectacular sport.


Final Thoughts on the Eastern Cape Surfing Scene

Whether you enjoy floating in the ocean or prefer shredding waves in an epic fashion, surfing in South Africa is an aquatic adventure for all types of surfboard owners.

The Eastern Cape is a staple location in any surfer bucket list. It is the ultimate place to hang ten and on for dear life while riding these sensational aquatic steeds of the ocean.

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