So you’ve done the surf lessons bought the surfboard, know where to surf and now it’s time to get out there. Before setting foot into the ocean outside of the controlled surf lesson environment, there are a few golden rules that we encourage you to abide by to ensure a safe and enjoyable surf experience:
#1 Drive with care
Before you hit the road, make sure that your boards are tied down securely. There’s no need to speed, even if the waves are cranking. Be careful in parking lots at the beaches. Ensure there are no boards (or small children) behind your car before reversing out of your bay. If traveling through smaller coastal towns or the more rural areas of Southern Africa, drive with care.
#2 Study the surf and currents
We recommend watching the ocean for 5-10 minutes (or at least for a set or two) before paddling out, studying the currents and taking note of where the main peak is. Look out for any possible dangers like rock or reef. If it is the first time you are surfing a break, we recommend chatting to a local to ensure there’s no danger you may have missed. Most locals are happy to assist if you ask.
#3 Surf waves suited to your ability
Do not paddle out somewhere that is beyond your capability. Not only can you put yourself in danger, but you run the risk of putting fellow surfers in a dangerous position too.
#4 Paddle around the wave, not through it
Once you feel comfortable to paddle out knowing where the safest path to the backline is, be sure to paddle around the defined peak (the channel) and not through it (where people are surfing it). This makes for an easier paddle out and also won’t ruin anyone’s wave.
#5 Look both ways before taking off on a wave
Once you have waited your turn to catch a wave, make sure you look both left and right before paddling for it. The person first to their feet closest to the breaking part of the wave, has right of way. Taking off on a wave where someone is already in this position is considered ‘dropping in’ -a cardinal sin in surfing. If you do drop in, make sure you kick out immediately and ensure you apologise to the person whose wave you possibly messed up.
#6 Always stay in control of your board
Always stay in control of your board. Do not ‘bail’ (let go of) your board. It serves as a good flotation device so hold onto it tightly especially in bigger surf. If you are on a minimal or longboard which is difficult to duck dive, 'turtle roll' to get under the foam (and hold onto the board with all your effort). If you are ever panicked in a situation and decide to toss your board aside (which we do not recommend) and swim under a wave, never do so until you have looked behind you to make sure no one could get hurt.
#7 Paddle back out safely
When you are paddling back out after a wave, do not paddle in front of someone riding a wave (unless you are way further down the line from them). If you find yourself in a position where you think the person may ride over you, we recommend speed paddling in the direction that the surfer is coming from and not where he is going to i.e. toward the breaking part of the wave, not the open face of the wave. This is not only a safer call, but will also ensure you don’t get in the surfers way and mess up his wave.
#8 Do not be a ‘Wavehog’
If you are a longboarder or SUPer, respect the guys on shorter boards on the inside. It’s so much easier to catch waves on these boards making it tempting to catch them all. Respect the rotation system especially at point breaks. Be gracious and generous in letting other surfer's get their fair share of waves.
#9 Help other surfers and guide those surfers with less experience
We all started somewhere. Don’t forget that.
#10 Respect the ocean and the beach
Leave only footprints. If on your way out of the water back to the car you stumble across some trash, pick it up. Every bit helps.
#11 Respect the locals
Show respect and you will get your fair share of waves.
The ocean is for everyone to enjoy in a safe and respectful manner. If we can follow this simple code of conduct, it will make for an enjoyable surfing experience.
Please note: The illustrations used in this piece are by Jenna Barbe. These are photographs of the illustrations which have been printed and laminated onto boards at Muizenberg Beach front. If you ever need a refresher before you head out into the surf, have a quick read of these useful signs on your way down to the beach.
HOLIDAY SURF CAMPS
Get your kids off their screens and into the SURF!
These holiday camps are a great option for your kids and teens if they want to spend their holidays outdoors in the sea and the sun, learning to surf or improve their surfing. These surf camps offer you complete convenience as we collect your kids (from collection points in Camps Bay, City and Newlands), transfer them to the beach for their surf lesson and then return them back. We offer separate camps for kids (grade 4-7) and teens (grade 8-12). We have a strict COVID-19 safety plan in place to ensure the safety of your child and staff.
Each surf lesson is 1.5 hours long and includes:
- use of a wetsuit (if they don't have their own)
- use of a surfboard (or they can bring their own if they have one they prefer to surf)
Surf Camp drop-in rate: R370pp
Surf camp 4-lesson package: R1360pp
Next camp dates *Limited Slots available*:
Camp #1: 28th June-1st July 2021
Camp #2: 5th -8th July 2021
Camp #3: 12th-15th July 2021
Camp #1: 29th June-2nd July 2021
Camps #2: 13th-16th July 2021
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to book.