Cheat Notes: Jeffreys Bay
Between Capetown and Morocco, Africa offers a huge array of waves and experiences, however there is one place that is on almost every surfer’s bucket list – J Bay. With flights hovering around the $1600 return mark and travel costs super-cheap, there has never been a better time to get your leg burn on at the glorious right hand point.
The Southern Hemisphere Winter Season (May – September) sees a seemingly neverending barrage of powerful, long period swell smashing the South African coastline. The accompanying west – southwest winds that blow through these surf-generating cold fronts groom the swell lines into the ruler edge, J Bay perfection we all dream about.
Look Beyond Supertubes
Everyone knows about Supertubes, but what most people don’t realise is that a trip to the famed right point does not only consist of sessions screaming down the line at Supers. The point alone has several, distinct sections (you will have a favourite by the time you leave!). Starting at Boneyards, long period swells marching up from the roaring 40s thunder through Supertubes (the holy grail – watch where the locals paddle out at the Keyhole!) running through Car Park, Impossible’ s, Salad Bowls, Tubes, The Point and finally Albatross. There are a variety of ultraconsistent lava reef and beach breaks in the immediate area meaning that Jeffery’s Bay is no one trick show-pony. Magana Tubes and Kitchens are world-class on their day and often quieter than the points. A 45-minute trip south takes you to Seal Point and the rugged beach breaks of Cape St Francis or maybe, if you are lucky, a session at the mythical Bruce’s Beauties… Rainbow Nation Etiquette Travelling surfers who show respect and patience in the lineup will be rewarded. Hassling, drop-ins and back paddling will not be tolerated. Respect the locals - a universal law - fundamental to an enjoyable trip in these parts.
And after a day of mind bending perfection… $10 steak dinners! Cheap wine and cheaper beer, but definitely not cheap n’ nasty! Watch the setting African sun tip perfect Trestles-style A-frames at “Kitchen’s” (underrated surf spot!), whilst sipping your beverage of choice at the aptly-named Kitchen Windows restaurant. Great steaks and no $25 cocktails here! Nina’s Real Food is a 5-minute stroll from the Super’s car park, a great place to grab a pre-surf coffee or a post-surf refuel.
An hour or so drive takes you to one of the easy viewing game parks in the area. Do you want the see an elephant or a rhino, or maybe some buffalo? You can go whale/dolphin watching (if you haven’t had a close encounter with one of the local Supertubes pods already). If you are a thrill seeker, Bloukrans Bridge Bungy Jump is the highest in the world and just over an hour away!
Kit and Crowds
A good 4/ 3 is a must. Bring a spare wetsuit for chilly afternoon sessions. Booties for the first few days in J Bay. Cold, heavy feet and mussel encrusted lava rocks don’t make for a great combo. Talk to your shaper about something sleek for long, fast powerful walls. Leave the summer groveler at home. Rounded pins are the go to for the travelling pro - a bit of extra length for when the waves get overhead. If you have a look around you will find empty waves. With a small surfing population, weekdays and short drives will find you looking for someone to surf with.
J Bay is not just a wave it’s a state of mind.