SOUTH AFRICA. The inescapable trip ?
If you are a water sports addict, you must be noticed that many riders around you fly to South Africa, and more precisely to Cape Town for winter.
Why do they choose this destination, for which sports exactly, at what period, and what are the good and bad plans ...? We will try to enlighten you as much as possible on this subject.
CAPE TOWN, IS IT WINDY?
It is not for nothing that the famous “king of the air” kitesurf event organized by Red Bull takes place on Cape Town beaches. Each year in February, a few selected athletes come to compete in a big air competition, the one who jumps the highest while making the craziest figure win.
The Airush kiteboarding brand offices are based there too, the testing ground is just perfect.
So yes, wind statistics are quite incredible from January to March, with a very strong wind in particular. My friends' windsurfers and kitesurfers, this is a good deal for your next destination!
Note that the wind tends to rise from midday and then to increase, this let you recover from the evening, or enjoy a glassy surf session.
Stan wearing STAN 3/2. I want it ! Credit HB-surfkite / Manu Morel
JOJO's opinion (Big Air kiteboarder - Saint Jacques Ambassador)
So on Capetown, there is not always wind. I went 1 week on the spot last year and I had only 2 days of strong wind, perfect for big air and one day with a small 15knots. I may have been unlucky. But when it blows : it blows !!! A bit like at home in fact ;P And if there is no wind you always find a surf spot!
Antoine’s opinion (Professional Windsurfer - Saint Jacques Ambassador)
Generally, the summer in Cape Town is considered rather windy, which is good is that you can choose the conditions you want thereby moving from spots, there are places more or less powerful, and you can even find a glassy spot for surfing.
Christophe’s opinion (Kitesurfer - Saint Jacques Ambassador)
Yes ! Yes ! and triple Yes ! South Africa has the best wind statistics of the African continent. I went 6 times to Cape Town, every time between January and April: a real delight !
Few MARIUS left. I take the last one !
Credits : Christophe checking the swell
Alexis' opinion (Windsurfer - SUP'er - Saint Jacques Ambassador)
So what's great about the Cape is that it is really windy almost every day and above all: there are so many spots that it's hard not to ride all year round. Recently, we have really been spoiled by the wind and the waves.
Jérôme's opinion (Kitersurfer - Saint Jacques Team)
Oh yes, it’s windy, so it is better to feel good and do not forget the 5m in the luggage. The south wind often comes by the afternoon and can be really violent.
CAPE TOWN, WICH SPOTS?
Cape Town region during this period is the best place in South Africa for wind enthusiasts. The icing on the cake is that there are so many spots that you can try plenty of different settings. You will find lagoons for flatwater sessions (Langebaan), as bumps & jumps spots (Big Bay) and of course perfect waves (Scarborough). You will be able to initiate yourself (many kite schools in the area) as much as to shred ! Consider renting a car or a van to take full advantage of this diversity, you can almost choose the strength of the wind, the temperature, and the water condition :)
All levels satisfied, large safe sandy beaches, but also tricky spots with lots of rocks and creepy algae (kelp algae). Yoshie boots will raise your confidence capital between launching and temperature.
Personally, I found Witsand (Misty Cliff) magnificent, a large sandy beach with dunes at the bottom and translucent blue water… all at the foot of the mountain. The place is splendid!
Personally I prefer to go south of the city because the waves are bigger and the wind stronger but sometimes the north works well, there are just more people because less far and more accessible.
Big Bay for sure, that is a great spot but unfortunately crowded by tourists. So most of the time I head to Muizenberg, Mystic cliff or even Langebaan. Great session there!
The best are the southern spots like Witsand, Scarborough and Cape point. These are really beautiful, wild places, with perfect conditions. You can practice a lot of support (surf, sup, windsurf) kite we don't talk about it (forbidden haha). The northern spots are also crazy, especially Haagkat.
We will not repeat it three times, only a few left. I take mine ! Credit @stp780
Credits : Alexis paddling smoothly to the peak
From PaterNoster towards Namibia (northwest) to Platboom near Cape Town (south), passing by the Brandvlei dam inland, there are plenty of spots and it is one of the great wealth of the region.
CAPE TOWN, WHAT TEMPERATURE?
South Africa is in the southern hemisphere so it is summer between January and March. The sun is strong, you can bring out your shorts and flip flop! Bring a sweatshirt for cool nights. Water temperature is simple, the more you go south the colder you’ll find. 18 ° towards Big Bay and 12 ° in the Cape Town reserve more in the South, it is prickly! There is also the Indian Ocean option, heading east to Muizenberg where the water is around 19 °. Provide a 4/3mm type as Marius or 3/2mm type as Stan quick dry plus Yoshie boots.
Of course, it depends on the season, but in summer it is hot or very hot. Only the water temperature stays a little cool even in summer. Provide a 3/2 or a long sleeve shorty for the less skittish.
It’s pretty hot in summer, no less than 20 degrees very early in the morning and it can go very high if there’s no wind. On the other hand, the water is freezing. I prefer a 4/3 despite the outside heat.
Take at least your 3/2mm, the Stan Quick-Dry 3/2mm is the one I always carry there! But basically, the temperature is hotter on the east coast, thanks to Indian Ocean, than the west coast.
You should know that you have Antarctica and the Indian Ocean not far away. So, according to your spot, the water temperature could really change. In the south, it can be 12/13 degrees and on the Indian Ocean side it's 20 degrees, so the difference is huge.
Jérôme tell it to you, nothing better than the STAN 4/3 Quick Dry.
The water ranges from 16 degrees in Witsand to over 20 in Langebaan. The air oscillates between 25 and 35 degrees continuously. Perfect condition with the Stan 4/3!
CAPE TOWN, GOOD AND BAD PLANS ?
Stan's opinion (Saint Jacques Co-funder)
I would say that most plans are good, except when you crash your wing on a sharky spot full of rocks. Enjoy!
Stan wearing a STAN. Stan-ception. Credit HB-surfkite / Manu Morel
Good plans, there are many, the town of Cape Town, the entire coast of the Cape, Muizenberg Beach is great for longboarders and foilers! And then to eat there are lots of nice places. I recommend the Empire Cafe in Muizenberg (we eat very well and the view on the spot is great!) And the Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market which opens only on Friday evening and we can eat plenty of delicious things.
Concerning bad plan I did not have too much to tell, apart from if you go on the Big Bay coast which I did not find interesting unless you want to be between tourists ...
Good plan: Café Caprice on Sunday evening before sunset
Bad plan: Café Caprice on Sunday evening after 9 pm haha
The cost of living is cheaper, the food is excellent, streets are safe and people are so helpful! If you are interested in photography, you need to see natural lights there, just amazing colors on the breath-taking landscape! To sum up, I exclusively had good plans !
In summer, the best plan is to go to the Canary Islands and in winter, go to South Africa : it is a windy reliable source !
Good: Take your car to Rentachipie
Bad: Traffic jams, you have to learn how to avoid peak hour.
CAPE TOWN, EXCEPT GLIDING SPORTS?
Another big advantage of South Africa is that there is really a lot to do. Of course, there is the history of this country which is just incredible, Nelson Mandela revolution...
Landscapes are spectacular and varied, go on top of Moutain Table to discover a 360 ° vision of the ocean, the city and surrounding nature. Go for a walk on the Good Hope Cape where tumultuous Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet.
Meet during your trip a track of baboons, penguins and ostriches on the beach, just magnificent. Finally, Cape Town is also a big megalopolis with different districts to visit, very good places to eat or to party.
Nature is just beautiful !!
Credits : Jojo aka The Rock.
Hiking, wine tasting, partying, doing safaris,… There is always something to do there !!
Nature, food, local people... There is a bunch of stuff to discover!
What is great in Cape Town is that you have more than just riding, you have lots of other things to do: hikes, safaris, see whales, huge seals… There are also crazy restaurants, you can also participate in wine tasting. In short, South Africa is super beautiful, super cool and much more (I'm not going to tell you everything, you need a few surprises)
Beautiful male from the Penguins family. 3 years old and 4,7kg weight.
Credits : Jojo for an Arte documentary
Climbing Table Moutain of course, from all sides, it is a real privilege. Hang out at the WaterFront for shopping, taking aperitives or eating at the restaurants. Visit Robben Island to see the incredible evolution of this country since the end of Apartheid, not so long ago ...
CAPE TOWN, DO WE TALK ABOUT SHARKS ??
We're not going to lie, there are sharks since the dawn of time But most of the beaches are under surveillance, accompanied by flag signaling. Few accidents happen, however, it’s better to remain cautious.
I'm pretty sure you already guessed what it was...
Obviously, you don't go to Cape Town without talking about sharks. There are sharks, everyone knows. You necessarily think about it by going to the water, there are bay watchers who monitor beaches all day long, but that does not prevent riding. I surfed several times in Muizenberg which is located in False Bay. Bay where there is the highest concentration of Great White in the world .... and personally, I have not seen one and, in view of tens of people in the water, you must really be unlucky if you get crunched... Locals still advise against getting into the water in certain places.
We are much more likely to die in a car accident than to be attacked by a shark…
All these shark stories turn the real situation into psychosis. There are so many fishes that they don’t try to chase us. Take it easy and finish your wave quietly !
This year, no sharks apparently in South Africa. All the white sharks are gone. Apparently it would be due to the arrival of a killer whale family in the area ... So a bit less stress in the water: you can wade, but all the same, stay careful.
Yes, we talk about it as much as possible to scare kooks and prevent this great destination from becoming overcrowded too quickly. He who is afraid is a sissy (laughs)
And what about you ? Do you know Cape Town?
Write us a comment with your suggestions or correction.
Credit HB-surfkite / Manu Morel
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