Cape Town, in South Africa, between December and February, is an excellent destination for windsurfing, and riding good waves, because it offers pleasant summer temperatures and many spots within a few kilometers, able to entertain everyone. Sunset Beach, Big Bay, Haakgat, Melkbos are the main ones. And in Rietvlei, there is also the possibility to have freestyle sessions.
Windsurfing, spot reviews. The Cape Town spots (South Africa): Sunset Beach, Big Bay, Haakgat, Melkbos.
The most popular windsurfing spots in Cape Town are located in the coast that stretches north, which you can admire from the top of Table Mountain, a striking horizon background to the south in almost all the spots in this area . An almost continuous, sandy shoreline begins just north of the Cape Town harbor and reaches the West Coast Peninsula. The first possible spot just north of the city is Milnerton, but, in fact, the one from which many riders start the day is Sunset Beach.
Sunset Beach is easy to reach (see map in the article). From Cape Town, or from Table View, take the R27, and turn towards Sunset Village (a very quiet residential neighborhood). You have several accesses to the beach, with their parking areas, and basically all are fine. The most convenient, however, is located in Hastula Way. Here, you have a parking area adjacent to the coastal dune, which offers 20-30 parking spaces (including those ones along the access road). From the parking lot, get directly to the beach (here, there are no wooden path). You mount the equipment in the parking lot.
The beach is about 70-100 meters deep, depending on the tide, and extends seamlessly north and south, connecting with Milnerton, Dolphin Beach, and Bloubergstrand. Even when there is no wind, it is extremely pleasant to walk near the shoreline, and enjoy the wonderful natural scenery, with Table View always showing its beauty to the South.
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Melkbos is the last of the spots near Cape Town. It's the most northerly. Besides Melkboss, there are Yzerfontein, Langebaan, and Paternoster (read the review of Paternoster), all far more distant.
The Melkbos spot can be reached by passing through the town of Melkbosstrand. It is not easy to find the parking lot where to leave the car. Take Charles Hoffe Avenue, and then Strandweg, until you reach a large asphalted parking area (100-150 parking spaces), close to the dune (see map above in the article). The beach is actually called Duynefontein. At the parking lot, it can be very hot. However, rig your equipment near the car, and then transport it to the water's edge, through the rather deep beach, for about a hundred meters.
This spot also works with the Cape Doctor, but it is better if the wind is oriented from the South, rather than from the South East, because, otherwise, it arrives rather unstable near the shore. The sea bottom drops gently in front of the beach. So, once you enter the water, you will have to overcome a good number of foams, and then find yourself, at about 150-200 meters from the shore, in front some breaking waves, even of good size (on average, a couple of meters). If the wind comes from the South East, and is very gusty, these may be the ideal conditions to break your equipment, as happened to several young guests of our Guest House during the holiday of January 2019, as they found themselves abandoned by the wind, without wind thrust, right in front of one of these waves.
But, sometimes, Melkbos may be the only spot to offer some decent waves (of 1-2 meters) to surf, with one or two bottom turns at most. Tendentially, however, it is a spot for jumping sessions, as the wave is not ordered and clean as in the other spots mentioned so far. Honestly, it is not a spot that, in overall, drives me crazy.
Finally, for freestyle lovers, or for those whose ability does not allow to face the biggest swell days, we point out the possibility of going out into the coastal salt lake of Rietvlei, in Table View.
To reach the spot beach, take the Sandpiper Cres street, and arrive at the gate of the Wetland Rietvlei reserve (open from 7.30 to 16.00). Continue after the entrance, and reach the lawn by the pond where you have the Milnerton Aquatic club. Here, the southeast wind comes in slightly less strongly than at Sunset beach. The water level is flat, or slightly choppy, and the water is dark brown. Often you will find world-class freestylers, intent on training here in winter.
So, in Cape Town, as for windsurfing, you'll be spoiled for choice. And in the next article, we'll tell you about the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula spots.
Hang loose. Fabio Muriano
Click here, for a slidegallery of photos taken in Haakgat and Melkbos.
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A video taken at Sunset beach and Big Bay
A video taken at Haakgat and Melkbos