Giuseppe Segneri (nickname Polix), a windsurfer from Rome, went to South Africa in January 2018, and he was completely conquered by this windsurfing (and not only) paradise. In this first article, he provides many valuable information on the organization of the trip, both for those who want to go there for windsurfing, but also for those who simply want to go and visit a fantastic country.
Windsurf spot reviews: South Africa, tips for the journey
(editor's note: read also a recent and very detailed journey report here)
My journey begins on January 16th between a thousand expectations and many curiosities. Me and my friends start from Rome Aerport with Emirates airlines, which allows you to load in the hold 2 baggages, for a total weight of 30 kg, and a substantial carry-on baggage trolley. Excellent Airline, the journey is long and stops in Dubai; during the trip you can watch movies and the food served is good enough.
Car rental and Accommodation
After the stopover in Dubai, we arrive the day after at the airport of Cape Town (Cape Point). It is very recommended to book the car from your country; we were satisfied with Avis, which provided us with a new Ford Fiesta for about 15 days, for a total cost of around 150 euros. The rental of cheaper and ancient cars is also recommended (e.g. the famous Golf of the late '70s) with the company "Rent a Cheapie": their cost is about 8 euros per day.
As for the place to stay, Table View is a must. It is a suburb of Cape Town of about 18,000 inhabitants, but in effect it is a town in itself, overlooking the sea and Sunset, one of the most famous spots in South Africa. Very welcoming, it provides beautiful villas for rent for an average price of 20-25 euros per day per person. In the town there is everything: a very large shopping center (Bayside Mall), two bars, "Trecastelli" and "Carluccio", meeting places in the morning for a briefing about the daily situation and where you can taste excellent italian pastries, and good espresso coffee. Personally, I much preferred Trecastelli, but to tell the truth from Carluccio I was able to take a selfie with the PWA champions Riccardo Campello and Gollito Estredo. Do not miss the sunsets at the "Blue Peter" bar restaurant where you can enjoy an aperitif or a beer after a windsurfing session. In the evening, after 9 pm, it is better to move to the nearby Cape Town.
The conditions of the swell and the intensity of the wind vary from year to year. We have found average conditions with winds on 25/30 knots, and waves that could vary from one meter to 2.5 meters. In the water, sails from 3.7 to 4.7. Lacking a 4.7, I brought with me the 5.0, but I mounted it with a 400, and so it resulted big and heavy for South African conditions. So, it is better to bring 2 masts, a 340 and a 370, and 3.7 - 4.2 - 4.7 sails. I still go back with my mind to these two beautiful weeks, with 13 sessions and an unforgettable session at Misty Cliffs, in the company of 3 dolphins, that passed under my board, and that swam next to us ... ..
There are 3-4 shops available:
“Capedoctor” in the street behind Trecastelli bar (Marine Cir Steet), currently equipped with Naish and Ezzy equipment.
“2nd Surf Africa” and “Cabrinha”: they are side by side, and provide RRD equipment; they are positioned directly on the spot of the Big Bay. This is the only spot provided with Bar-Restaurants and various shops.
“Best Kiteboarding Africa” located near Bar Carluccio.
They are shops that sell the new gear, but do not rent equipment. Anyway they are useful in case you want to buy something new: sails, masts extensions, mast feet, boards.
The dominant wind is the famous Cape Doctor. It is a wind from the south-east direction. It blows with a certain regularity from November to April with peaks in the months of January and February. It is a thermal wind, that blows from behind the mountain of Cape Town (Table Mountain) and goes down along the coast, reaching in order the following spots: Sunset, Big Bay, Haagkat, and if particularly strong it goes up to Yzerfontein, a spot that is about 70 km from Table View. It is interesting to note that if the mountain has a hat of clouds, the wind, that day, will be guaranteed until sunset. However, it can also happen that there are windy days with North-West direction, and in that case, you go out in the spots of the Cape of Good Hope, along the Main Road: Witsand - Misty Cliffs, which are famous for their white sand beach and the turquoise sea, where we have had the fortune to surf in the waves in the company of three dolphins, which were not at all intimidated by our presence. Further south Scarborough and Platboom. While with the wind from South-South-West, you go out in the Paternoster Bay, at the north of Table View, on the R27 state road, about 135 kms away. However, I will have the opportunity to better describe each spot in the next article.
In our two weeks of stay, two days with no wind have happened in which it was possible:
A visit to Table Mountain, with a cableway that reaches 1086 meters above sea level; it is the mountain that overlooks the city and from which you can admire a breathtaking landscape.
A visit to the Cape of Good Hope. It is among the most beautiful experiences of our trip to South Africa. Anyone who loves travel literature, has imagined at least once in his life, what it meant to sail the waters of the Cape of Good Hope with a sailing boat. You have to stop first at Long Beach to observe the first surfers of the day, then continue towards Misty Cliffs; at this point, as the name implies, the landscape is really screaming, there are no villages or bars, a pristine area, all nature and waves. In the Cape area, you can make several trekking paths. We took that one to the Cape Point lighthouse, with beautiful views over the Cape of Good Hope. From the lighthouse, a pleasant walk begins along the cliffs overlooking the sea. The path is all equipped with comfortable wooden walkways. Towards the middle of the path you find a fork: get it, it is beautiful! You can experience the thrill of bathing in the waves in one of the strongest seas in the world.
A visit to Waterfront. It is the historical port of the town, and one of the most visited places, located between Robben Island and Table Mountain, with the sea and mountain in background. It offers a variety of shopping and entertainment options with quaint restaurants and shops where to buy souvenirs. Do not forget Robben Island, the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years as a political prisoner.
Short mention on water temperature and sharks
The water is cold (about 14 °C), but not less than the one you have in many european spots in winter conditions, so, with surf shoes, and a 5 mm wetsuit, the surf day is always pleasant and never traumatically chilly. Last consideration: in the water I met the dolphins, on two days, and one day a small seal, but never the sharks!!
So, arm yourself with tenacity and courage, and face this journey that will not disappoint you at all.
Hang loose. Giuseppe
Read also the detailed spots review article.
Click here, to enjoy the complete slidegallery of the journey
Visit Waterwind forum, and join our community. Visit our YouTube Channel.
Become a supporter, to access to reserved contents!
Are you a passionate windsurfer? Do you want to collaborate with us? Read here, then!
If you want to sponsor Waterwind and advertise with us, or place your banner inside this article, contact us.
To make you feel wanting to leave, we propose this recent video by Victor Fernandez....