Kitesurfing South Africa
For kitesurfing South Africa, the kite spots are second to none. South Africa is without any doubt the number one kitesurfing destination for pros and for regular kitesurfers through the northern hemisphere winter. And what’s not to love about it? The wind blows with incredible consistency (you might have heard of Cape Town’s famous ‘Cape Doctor’) the cost of living is well below what you’d be paying in North Europe, the weather is great, and you’ll be joining thousands of likeminded riders who want to spend their winter kitesurfing South Africa! There are plenty of beaches to choose from and you can easily find yourself a bit of space with just you and your mates… Then there is of course the biggest event in kiteboarding in February each year – the King of the Air – which you can watch unfold over the course of an epic day’s kitesurfing.
Off the water you are also spoilt for choice, with incredible options for heading out to eat and to party as well as festivals and other big events. Then – if the wind isn’t playing ball – you’ve got so many great options off the water. You could go surf or SUP at the various spots, climb Table Mountain, do a wine-tour, go to the ‘Dirty Habits playground’ for the cable 2.0 system, get stuck in to some of the world class mountain biking; Shark cage diving; Seal snorkeling; Freedive Apnea surf training; Tandem paragliding; Skydiving. Yup, there are plenty of options…
Away from kitesurfing Cape Town and there are plenty of option for more adventurous kitesurfers – you can start heading east along the famous Garden Route and then head on to the famous surf spot of Jeffreys Bay before hitting up the coast of the Transkei and on to Durban, where you will find a host of great kitesurfing beaches and you can also ditch the wetsuit…
Where to kitesurf in South Africa
1. Big Bay is just north of Blouberg, but still more or less connected to Cape Town. This is South Africa’s kitesurfing beach…
2. Dolphin Beach is one of Cape Town’s most famed kite surfing spots – usually packed with kiters riding their twintips. A great venue for beginners and intermediate kiters.
3. Kite Beach is only a few hundred meters downwind from Dolphin and has a very similar vibe. As the name implies, it’s the most renowned beach for kitesurfing.
4. Blouberg is the most well-known and popular area for kite surfers and windsurfers. If you are working your way round from the south then the beaches go as follows: Sunset Beach, Dolphin Beach, Kite Beach and Mystic House.
5. Sunset Beach is popular with windsurfers and the wind here is usually slightly offshore. If the Cape Doctor is active, this beach is always the first place for the wind to pick up. Sunset is also well known as the start for a downwinder for kiters, who head downwind to Mystic House, or even all the way to Big Bay or Haakgat.
6. Melkbos is the northernmost of Table Bay’s quality beach-breaks. The waves in front of this very long, sandy beach are usually well-sized, although it doesn’t generally get as windy here as further south. The further from Table Mountain you are, the later in the day the south-easterly starts – which means Melkbos is often the place to hit at the end of the day, when other spots get blown out.
7. Langebaan and Shark's Bay are the most famous flat-water spots of the Western Cape. Ideal for beginners and for flat-water lovers. The scenery is beautiful and – even if you are not into flat water – it’s still worth the hour and a half drive from Blouberg.
8. Velddrif is a boating and fishing community located at an estuary mouth a bit further up the R27 from Langebaan. A protected system of lagoons and wide canals that stretches far back from the coastline, Velddrif offers great flatwater kiting.
9. Yzerfontein (west coast) can be a ‘difficult’ kite spot, but when it works, it's one of the most incredible wavespots of the Western Cape. Experienced riders only. Yzerfontein is a point break that only goes with a proper W/NW swell.
Atlantic CapeThe Cape’s Atlantic spots offer a spectacular alternative to suburban Table Bay. The drive is an experience in itself, especially over the legendary Chapman’s Peak Drive. Unbridled, rolling Antarctic swell is the compelling case for a trip south. Plus, closer to the Cape itself, there’s a higher probability of wind.
1. Witsands at the Cape Peninsula: perfect lines roll in on this beautiful, long white beach. It offers a certain degree of safety in cross-onshore south-easterly, but cross-off north-westerly is best for clean down-the-line riding. Park your car on the road above the spot, and walk down with your gear.
2. No problems launching off the sandy beach of Scarborough towards probably this region's fastest wave. Experts only, and even they shouldn't get too close to the kelpbeds – fall here and you'll be washed onto the rocks.
Eastern CapeIt’s another world on the eastern side of the Cape. The Indian Ocean is distinctly warmer, and the beach-breaks of Muizenberg are more forgiving, with its onshore winds which make it fun to practice your strapless airs or try your freestyle on the flat water between the waves.
If you had to pick one kitesurfing spot…It would probably have to be the iconic Big Bay. Big Bay is sheltered due to the shape of the bay, and the flat sections between the waves make it a favorite for twintip riders. With good, clean waves in certain spots, it’s also popular with more experienced wave kiters. The home of Red Bull’s King of the Air, Big Bay is a perennially lively location, with shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, and there is plenty of parking. It really does perfectly sum up kitesurfing in South Africa...
South Africa kitesurfing conditions + what to take
If you are kitesurfing South Africa during their main season then the south easterly winds blow dependably and the wind stats are enough to get you pretty excited. Basically, if you don’t get on the water at least once for every day of your trip then you have been unlucky. And it is windy… The biggest kite you are likely to need for freestyle (or Big Air!) is a 12, and for riding in the waves a 9m. You will be most likely to use something like a 6 and 8m for freestyle and a 5 and 7m for waves. Out of the prime season if you talk to the locals they’ll tell you that they score plenty of days with just 4 or 5 guys riding in Big Bay. It’s worth taking a bigger kite for this time of year, and also your surfboard as this is the prime surf season.