The thought of balmy weather, a cool ocean breeze, and goofing off with the sand between your toes, allure millions of South Africans to the beach every December. 

Whether you’re heading to the coast to rip, trekking the family on annual vacation, plan to spend your time soaking up the sun, or entered the yearly beach-bat bonanza on Boxing Day, remember that the ocean is a multifaceted and mercurial environment to be enjoyed with mindfulness and consideration.

So before you rush off in your slops and shades, have a quick look at the tips we’ve assembled to help you and your family enjoy the beach safely, and prevent accidents or injury.


Safe Swimming

  • Be aware of your, and your family’s fitness, and swimming skills levels. 

  • Find the red and yellow flags and stay between them.

  • Look at, understand and always obey the safety signs.

  • Always swim with a buddy. Never alone.

  • Only swim in areas where other people are present.

  • Stay in sight of the lifeguard.

  • Never swim when lifeguards are off duty.

  • Enter the water feet first.

  • Swim sober.

  • Surfers and body-boarders shouldn’t surf in areas where bait and game fish are running, where seals are present, or seabirds are diving.

  • If you get into trouble, stick your hand up, stay calm, and call for help.

Shark Safety

  • Do not swim or surf near feeding birds, dolphins, or seals.

  • Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers.

  • Don’t swim if you’re bleeding.

  • Don’t swim near river mouths.

  • Pay attention to any shark signage on the beach. See below.

A shark has been spotted – sirens will sound; leave the water immediately

A white flag with a black shark diagram means that a shark is currently near the beach, and beach users must get out of the water. A siren will sound and the white flag will be raised.


Rip Currents

How to Spot a Rip Current

  • Water through a surf zone that is a different colour than the surrounding water.

  • A break in the incoming pattern of waves.

  • Seaweed or debris moving out through the surf zone.

  • Isolated turbulent and choppy water in the surf zone.


When Caught in a Rip Current

  • Don’t panic. Remain calm.

  • Swim or paddle very slowly, parallel to the shoreline or relax completely and allow the tide to carry you out past the breakers.

  • If you can tread water or float, you’ll be safe until you can escape the flow and head back to the beach.

  • When you head back in, do so at an angle to the shoreline. Again, maintain a slow and relaxed pace until you reach the shore or assistance arrives.


  • Seek shade under an umbrella or tree between 11:00 and 15:00 when the sun is at its hottest to protect your skin from too much exposure. Too much sun can cause nasty sunstroke. 

  • Keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, excluding alcoholic drinks.

  • Always wear a hat and apply high-protection sunscreen regularly, even when it’s overcast.

  • Leave your valuables at home, put your cell phone and keys in a waterproof bag, and never leave it unattended to go swimming.

Consider Other Beachgoers

  • Do not take glass containers/bottles to the beach as it can injure bare feet.

  • Shake the sand off your towel away from other people to avoid getting sand in their eyes. Take note of the wind direction as well.

  • If you’re digging a hole, fill it up before you leave, to prevent someone from falling in and hurting themselves.


Preserve the Environment

  • Take along rubbish bags to dispose of your trash properly.

  • If you smoke, leave those ugly butts off the beach.

So whether surfing or building sandcastles is your thing, the beach if there for everyone to enjoy. Make sure that you and your family are aware of the risks, and know what to do in case of an emergency, and take others into consideration so everyone can have some fun.


Reporting Beach Emergencies

Keep emergency numbers memorised or saved for urgent assistance.

Call 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone. Or dial 112 from any cell phone, irrespective of your network. Dial 10111 for ambulance services.

We wish you stoked surfing and a safe festive season

Want to learn how to ride the waves like a pro? From group lessons to private lessons, you’ll find your perfect fit. Get in touch with Stoked School of Surf to get started on your journey learning how to surf. 



Christmas is coming up and it’s the stressful time to get all your loved one’s gifts together. Luckily, we’re here to make the process an easier one for you. You probably have a surfer in your family or even a close friend (almost family) and you have NO IDEA what would be a great gift for them. After all, they already have a surfboard and the ocean, what more do they need, right? WRONG.

There are numerous great small gifts to get that they probably don’t already have or need extra of! Stick around to get your inspiration to skyrocket, we’ll even let you know what NOT to get them.

What to Buy


1. Wax

Surfers can never have too much wax and most brands get the job done. If the wax is not festive enough for you, get wax with a great scent. Guaranteed they’ll think of you every time they use the wax.

If you can’t afford wax, there are some great clear surf grip stickers available on the market, like The New Pinline Deck Grip from

2. Surf Lessons

The December holidays are coming up and you’ll need something to do after all. Get some pals or even other family members keen on joining together and just have a blast learning to surf together. 

From groupprivate, and even Stand Up Paddle Boarding lessons, there’s something for any type of surfer. If you want to give the gift of surfing, why not consider a voucher for lessons?  

3. Surf Backpack

Since surfers have loads of gear they need to carry around with them, a surf backpack is a great gift. They can add in their wetsuit, sunglasses, towel, and more.

There’s an abundance of colours, sizes, and pricing available on the market.


4. Wetsuit & Other Essentials


A great, practical gift would be a wetsuit. These Cape Town waters can get pretty icy, and any surfer can benefit from a wetsuit, especially if they surf all year. 

Just remember to check their size beforehand.

Wetsuit Hanger

It’s always an issue when you’re done surfing for the day and you don’t know where to put your wetsuit. 

Wetsuit Dry Bag

Who wants to put their wet wetsuit in their car after a surf? Not us. A great gift would be a dry bag for storing a wetsuit that won’t allow it to make your seats or the boot of your car wet.

You can find a great dry bag from You just stand on the mat, take off your wetsuit and pull the strings close. 

5. Rinse Kit

Having a portable shower nearby after a surf session can be handy, especially if the water was colder and you need some hot water. There are various portable shower options on the market with the option of hot or cold water, and some can produce up to four minutes of shower time.

A great option would be the Outdoor Shower from


6. GoPro

Any surfer would love a GoPro or other camera to help them catch some great shots when they’re out on the water. 


7. Watch

What about a waterproof watch that can measure anything from your heart rate to a wave ride? A watch like that would guarantee a stoked surfer.


8. Waterproof Key Holder

A common issue for surfers? Where they should put their car keys. Get them a waterproof key holder, so they can hit the waves without worrying.


9. Ear Plugs

Ever heard of the term Surfer’s Ear? Although it sounds made up, it’s quite common among surfers. Wave riders can easily be affected by this problem, especially if they’re older than 30. 

Buy them some earplugs to help protect their ears from the water and annoying cold winds.


10. Roof Rack

Another great gift for any surfer is a roof rack to help transport surfboards on the roof of their car on their way to the beach. No need for a trailer.


11. Surfboard Leash

Keeping a surfer connected to his or her board is essential. In case of a wipeout, they’ll still be able to grab their board. 


12. Slackline

Another item that’s quite popular among surfers is a slackline. They can train their balance skills and friends and family can join in on the fun without needing a surfboard of their own.


13. Anti-Shark Wrist Band

Keep the surfer in your family safe with an anti-shark wrist band. This convenient and effective item helps keep sharks at bay when you’re in the water. 

The Sharkbanz from can be worn on your wrist or ankle and is swim/surf proof up to 100 metres.

What NOT to Buy

1. Surfboard

Although thoughtful, buying a surfboard for any surfer is not a smart idea. Picking a surfboard for a surfer is like picking someone for them to date. It’s probably not going to work out so well…

The person who is selecting their surfboard, are the ones who will be riding it. It sounds crazy but the surfboard can feel wrong and uncomfortable if they didn’t pick one for themselves. 

The only time this might be acceptable is when you know for a fact that the board you’re buying, is the board they want.


2. Zinc

People’s skin differ, so buying a surfer Zinc is another big no. Their skin might be combination, dry, oily, you just won’t 100% know. Leave the Zinc choices up to the surfer.


3. How to surf book

Chances are that they already had surfing lessons (ahem with us) or that they are self-taught. So unless it’s on the history of surfing or about all the surfing pros, buying them a book on surfing might not be the best idea.

Besides, no book can teach you YOUR unique surfing techniques in the water.


4. Bikini

For the girl suffer… buying a bikini isn’t very practical. Most of the time bikinis are uncomfortable and might even cause the surfer to have a mishap in the waves…

Wetsuits are practical and help beat the cold water.


Now that you’re informed on the dos and don’t’s of surfer gifts, you’re ready to buy your gifts for the surfer in your family. As for you? Why not also learn how to surf either on your own in a private lesson or with some friends in our group lessons? Get in touch to get your stoked experience learning how to catch a wave.



The Mother City has much more to offer than just beautiful landscapes, lekker people, and lively places to have a jol with friends. Cape Town has an abundance of popular beaches with perfect waves to get your surf stoke on. 

When you are visiting Cape Town, you’ll have endless options to surf at beaches like Muizenberg, Big Bay, and Long Beach to name a few. But going on Google and typing in “Cape Town surf spots” isn’t the only thing to focus on finding the perfect spot. Remember to consider things like checking the weather, swell size predictions, and wind direction. 

Why surf in Cape Town?

Whether you’re learning how to surf or you’re a seasoned surfer, Cape Town basically has a wave for everyone in and around the lively city. Not only are there stunning beaches, each one offers something unique for each and every surfer. So you are guaranteed to find your go-to spot in Cape Town. 

Although Cape Town’s water is on the colder side, it warms up significantly during December and January, but the best time to be in the water is wintertime when there are lekker waves to catch.


Why Surfing in the Winter is Best

  • Fewer people

  • Blue skies and windless days

  • Whale sightings


Housekeeping Rules When You’re New to Cape Town Beaches

Remember that although most Cape Town locals are fine with newbies joining in on the mother city surfing, there are a few housekeeping rules to ensure you don’t ruffle anyone’s feathers unnecessarily. Keep in mind the following:

  • Since locals can be very protective of their surf spots, if you’re a grommet (Young surfer. Sometimes shortened to “grom”. Can also refer to children in general, not just those who surf), don’t think you can paddle out to the line-up whenever you feel like it. Rather paddle out through the channel where waves aren’t breaking yet.

  • The surfer which is closest to the peak has the right of way.

  • Have respect for the beach, so don’t litter and make a mess. 

  • Make sure you keep your eye on shark flags (courtesy of Shark Spotters) and know what they mean when you’re in the water. Shark attacks have occurred in Cape Peninsula waters in the past. Safety is crucial. 


Top 6 Surfing Spots to Surf in Cape Town

1. Muizenberg

Experience level: Beginner

If you’re new at surfing or you’re new in town, Muizenberg is the beach to visit and it’s only a 30-minute drive from Cape Town city centre. Home to the well-known Surfer’s Corner with ‘smooth ride’ waves, this surf spot is one of the hotspots for all levels of surfers.

This laid-back surf spot may not have the biggest waves but once the swell is pumping, all surfers can join in on the fun any day of the year, hot or cold. Muizenberg is any longboarder’s surfing wonderland.

If you don’t have your own gear, there are local shops close to the beach or in the area where you can rent surfboards, wetsuits, and even book some surfing lessons

After catching a few waves on your own or your surf lesson, there are several coffee shops, restaurants, and bars available for you to relax and wind down post-surf.

2. Llandudno

Experience level: Intermediate + Advanced

Llandudno is not only known for its gorgeous sunsets but it’s one of the best surfing hot spots in Cape Town. Sitting around the corner from Camps Bay towards Hout Bay, Llandudno either has incredible waves or average ones, there’s no in-between.

This spot is picture-perfect with its azure water and white sandy beach with large boulders arising from all angles.

The best times to visit this spot is during spring and summer months when the storms haven’t ruined the sand. This surf spot is best for advanced surfers as it has unpredictable hollow barrels not ideal for beginners.

3. Bloubergstrand

Experience level: Intermediate

If you’re interested in having one of the best views of Table Mountain while surfing, Bloubergstrand is the spot to be. 

With a beach that stretches on and on, the beach is not just known for surfing. Kitesurfers travel from all corners of the world to catch the strong southern winds of Cape Town. 

As there is no shelter on the beach from the northeast winds, it’s better to make the best of the situation and surf to your heart’s content. With both wave breaks from the left and right, surfers will have the best of both worlds. As some waves break close to the shore, experienced surfers will fare better hear.


4. Big Bay

Experience level: All Levels

Big bay, situated between Melkbos and Bloubergstrand, is the perfect spot for surfers of all levels. About a 30-minute drive from Cape Town City Centre, Big Bay is best surfed when the wind is blowing from the east to south-east. 

This spot is well-known for its friendly locals and coffee shop across the beach for a post-surf chill session.

5. Dunes

Experience level: Advanced

About a 40-minute drive from Cape Town City Centre, Dunes is another popular surf hotspot close to Noordhoek. 

Before you get excited for your stoked surf moment, you’ll have to journey on a super long beach for around 30-minutes before reaching the water. But who said finding your perfect wave is easy? Luckily this also means the beach won’t be crowded.

Expect some major waves when there is a south-easterly wind present, so be sure to check the weather and wind forecast before your trip! 

This spot is definitely for more experienced surfers who can handle powerful waves with banks that favour rights and super hollow waves. 

Fun Fact: Dunes is a popular surf spot for the band, Goldfish. 


6. Long Beach, Kommetjie

Experience level: Intermediate + Experienced

With consistent swells, friendly locals, and a few covers on numerous travel magazines, Long Beach, Kommetjie is a great spot for advanced surfers to catch a wave or 12.

If you’re lucky (and you check the conditions beforehand), you can find near-perfect left and right wave breaks. The perfect place for natural (right-leg dominate) and goofy footers (left-leg dominate).

Long Beach is one of the few spots in Cape Town that can hold up well with the strong South-West winds. The spot is ideal for surfers, kneeboarders, stand up paddleboarders, longboarders, and even bodyboarders. 

Before you journey to Long Beach, be sure you are prepared with gear and other accessories as there aren’t many nearby rental facilities. You’ll also have to pack food or drive elsewhere if you want to relax at a restaurant post-surf. 


Want to Surf in Cape Town?

With various experienced surf coaches, Stoked School of Surf can provide any new surfer with the opportunity to learn to surf at Cape Town’s many surf hot spots. From private to group lessons, and Stand Up Paddle Boarding, we have it all. You can also choose to meet us at the beach or join a ride with other surfers. Get in touch to ‘Experience the Stoke’.



I just had the most epic Thursday afternoon filled with surfing and great people but let me start from the beginning. 

I was picked up at the McDonald’s pickup point in Observatory by one of Stoked School of Surf’s vans and one of the coolest drivers I’ve ever met, Cavin. We drove to Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg where the waves were just right for beginner surfers like myself. 


Putting on my Wetsuit

Now let me tell you, I have never worn a wetsuit before. Putting on a wetsuit was the first challenge of my whole surf lesson experience. When the suit was less than halfway, I wondered if I should give up. Nonetheless, I persisted, and a few minutes later, I was suited up.

Once the suit is on, it feels a bit tight, but when you’re in the water, it becomes more flexible, so don’t worry too much. 

Warming Up

After the wetsuit challenge, I joined the other surfing newbies in the group on the beach. Wade let us run across the beach and do some quick warm-up exercises and stretches to help prevent injuries during our lesson. Caution, the suit gets warm.

Standing Up

Once we were warmed up, it was time to practice standing up on the board (luckily just on the sand for the moment). Wade showed us his method of popping up. For me, it was like doing burpees, and my arms quickly got tired after doing a few of these. 

After practising the popup, Wade took us through a safety briefing. He explained about the sharks, what the shark flag colours mean, and other safety tips. 

Then it was finally time to go into the water!

Carrying Your Board

Now facing the third challenge (after getting the wetsuit on and practising our popups), was carrying my surfboard. Wade showed us two ways to carry our boards. I have short arms, and the wind was strong, so I found that both methods were a bit tricky.

It took me a few tries, but I managed to safely get my board in the water without hurting myself or someone else. 


When you see surfers in the movies or on television, they make it look like it’s the most straightforward task in the world. Let me tell you, it’s harder than it seems and your arms WILL turn to jelly after your two-hour lesson.

Standing up on your board in the sand, yeah I can do that. Popping up while on the water is another matter.

My biggest challenge for my entire surfing lesson was timing it just right to get on my board and be ready for the wave. I was either too early, or I was too late, and the wave tumbled me over like I was only a little teddy bear. 

I practised on my own as much as I could, but I was glad when it was my turn to get help from Wade. He helped me get on my board and yelled words of encouragement each time the wave sent me on my way. 

Final Thoughts

I guarantee you will hit yourself with your surfboard, you WILL have saltwater everywhere (inside and out), but I promise you’ll make the best memories that will stay with you until you’re old and grey! I absolutely LOVED surfing. Even though I was so bad at it, I had so much fun. Just being in the water and playing around on the board was heaps of fun.

Yeah, you’ll be hit by a few big waves when you’re not looking, but each time you’ll get back up on your board and try again, and each time will be better than the last. 

It was especially great how helpful our instructor was and how stoked they were to teach us how to surf. From driving to the beach to being dropped off back at the pickup point, I’ve felt welcome and treated as part of the team. 



Here at Stoked School of Surf we love surfing and sharing the surf lifestyle, with as many people as possible; and nothing makes us happier than when our surf students and friends are captivated by the stoke!

As we all know, the stoke is a very addictive feeling and over the years a few of our friends couldn’t resist the urge but to share their new found passion for surfing and the fun they had whilst learning to surf with us in Cape Town.

We have selected a few of our favourite blogs and fantastic videos made by our awesome surf students to share with you:

Written by Tarah Darge on behalf of the prestigious Cape Grace Hotel – Surfed April 2017

Joined a group ‘Experience the Stoke’ surf lesson and quickly had a friend convinced to join her in the stoke.

Epic Drone footage in collaboration with and showing off the beautiful Muizenberg waves during our first 2-Day ‘Stoked like a Local’ Surf Camp hosted in November 2017.

Written by Jacques Du Plessis of Icarus Paragliding – Surfer December 2012

Adventure tourism providers unite as we host Jacque and his team on their first ‘Experience the Stoke’ surf lesson and we try our luck at soaring through the Cape Town skies with the amazing team at:

Written by Will Tang – Surfed November 2017

Full time Travel Blogger Will Tang and his friend joined us on an epic morning ‘Experience the Stoke’ Surf Lesson in his search for awesome adventures around the world. Since then we have also featured in 2 of his amazing videos about his time in Cape Town:

  1. Top 12 things to do in Cape Town:

  1. Why I love South Africa

Written by Anja Knorr – Surfed November 2014

Anna, writer for the wonderful German travel blog: joined us for a surf lesson, was immediately captivated by the stoke and upgraded to our old 2-Day ‘Weekend Stoke’ Surf Camp

Written by Hanna Asmussen– Surfed September 2016

As members of this beautiful surfer travel blog, Hanna and her friend joined us on an epic few days of surfing during their stay in Cape Town. They joined us over an amazing 4 days of sun and surf with 2 days of pre camp accommodation, gear rental and transport, leading into our wonderful 2-Day Surf camp. Safe to say that the stoke was definitely provided!

Filmed by South African Tourism UK in October 2017 – featured on South Africa’s Official Tourism Site.

This fantastic mini-web-show tries to capture the true essence of South Africa as Maya, Alice and Saunders roadtrip across South Africa, capturing the truly wonderful African culture, natural beauty and of course stoke filled adventures, such as learning to surf in majestic Muizenberg during our Experience the Stoke surf lessons.

Filmed by Youtuber Cody Jensen – Surfed May 2018

Creative entrepreneur, Cody Jensen and his friend joined us for an early winter Experience the Stoke surf lesson as part of their The Most Beautiful Day video for his truly fun youtube channel. This video captures the beauty of the South African landscape and the fantastic winter waves in Cape Town.


Each of these blogs, videos or honourable mentions, hold very special memories for us and our students who became friends whilst learning to surf.

We hope that our amazing friends, will inspire others to try surfing and to spread the shear joy and fulfilment that is the stoke.



So you’ve done a few lessons or consider yourself an intermediate surfer and think you have the backline sussed. Now you find yourself in Cape Town without surf equipment and the waves are pumping…there are several options available to you. Find the description below which best suits your surfing ability (be honest with yourself and rather downplay your skill level!) and then choose the option that best suits you:

1. Beginner surfer: You have had a handful of lessons and have yet to understand how to handle a surfboard in waves, you still need an introduction to surf etiquette, rips and currents, how to ride a wave left and right etc. 

  • We DON”T recommend renting out equipment but rather that you take a surf lesson with a qualified instructor for you to get the most out of your experience. You could otherwise find yourself frustrated…or worse…injured. Book our ‘Experienced the Stoke’ surf lesson now and get tips from qualified coaches before venturing into the surf alone.

2. Intermediate surfer: You can paddle out on your own, ‘read’ the surf, attempt an angular take off and ride down the line. You have a good grasp of surf etiquette and an  understanding of rips and currents. 

    3. Advanced surfer: You surf 3-5 times a week. Your default page when you open your web browser is a surf forecasting website and your work productivity is directly proportional to the swell direction and offshore winds. Your surfboard is an extension of you but since you find yourself in Cape Town on a quick trip or were unwilling to pay the hefty board fees to bring boards on the plane-you have an idea but no gear.

        • We recommend you hire a car for the day and rent gear from Vudu Surf if you’re based in the city or Kommetjie Surf Shop if you’re down south, and cruise the Peninsula for a spot that faces the correct direction for the prevailing swell direction and winds that day.
        • OR you sign up for our surf guiding service and based on the kind of waves and board you regularly surf, we will guide you to the best spot on the day of your booking.

    Below is a list of places you can rent surf gear in Cape Town:


    Vudu Surf Shop offers rental options where you can drive around with the board for the day/multiple days. We only recommend this option for an advanced surfer who knows where to go and how to handle themselves in the Cape surf.


    There are a plethora of stores on the beachfront but our pick is Lifestyle Surf Shop. They have a range of boards and wetsuits and as a family owned and managed business, the store assistants have a great approachable vibe. Please note that when renting you will be restricted to their store hours and surfing only Muizenberg as gear may not leave the beachfront area and is rented on an hourly basis.

    Big Bay:

    There are many places to rent gear along the beachfront. We don’t have any particular place we could specifically recommend however, just get down there and take a look at the quality of gear on offer before making your decision on which store to rent from. Also just remember to take store hours into consideration when planning your surf time.


    Kommetjie Surf Shop is located down in the surf village of Kommetjie, 45 minutes away from the city area and on the way down to Cape Point. There are some good breaks in the area, but again only suitable for those who have an excellent level of surfing ability and a thorough understanding of surf etiquette. Don’t paddle out here if you’re still a beginner please.

    Camps Bay:

    If you’re staying in Camps Bay, are an advanced surfer and looking to rent equipment, we can offer board rentals delivered to your villa/hotel. Only call us if you have the experience described in the ‘advanced’ surfer section above. We do not rent to anyone without the skill level required to get themselves safely out at the city beaches (Camps Bay, Sea Point, Llandudno). These beaches ARE not friendly for beginner or intermediate surfers! Contact us should you match these criteria and we will bring the gear to you…