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January 10, 2012

A day at the beach with Roxy Louw and Heinrich Rohwer

Roxy Louw shares her favourite surfing spots and safety tips with us. Photo courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

Riding the monstrous waves at Cape Town’s seven blue flag beaches and enjoying the vibrant city nightlife are all in a day’s work for local champion surfers Roxy Louw and Heinrich Rohwer.

They shared their perfect surfing spots and water safety tips with us.

Roxy Louw, surfer and TV personality

What are your top five surfing spots in Cape Town and why?

Kogel Bay in Gordons Bay – one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with perfect surf banks when the swell is smaller.

Big Bay – it's known as a top water sports desination and Eden on the Bay is great for sipping on a Kauai smoothie or enjoying a bottle of wine at one of the restaurants. They also do surfboard rentals and lessons at the surf shop.

Camps Bay – I feel like I'm in Miami with all the tourists and the nightlife.

The Glen – because of its good waves and Melkbosstrand, because when the swell is right, it’s a phenomenal surfing spot.

What are the water safety rules that you live by?

Don't panic in the water! That's the most important rule. Relax, lie on your back and you will be fine. Follow your instincts; if you feel you must get out, get out!

What are your favourite night spots after hitting the waves?

I usually feel pretty healthy and refreshed after a surf so, rather than clubbing, I go to Kauai at Eden on the Bay for a pesto wrap and smoothie. That's my pit stop after a surf.

What is your best kept Capetonian secret?

Will it be a secret then? The wine routes, they're not far from Cape Town and a day out there on the estates doing wine tasting is bliss.

How does Cape Town inspire you?

Cape Town has a great energy! And the different cultures in one location from our locals to international tourists all vibing together. It’s great!

Heinrich Rohwer, kite surfer 

What are your top five surfing spots in Cape Town and why?

Misty Cliffs and Scarborough – these spots produce great size waves and there are few places this good for kitesurfing.

The shipwreck in Table View – when the Seli 1 ran aground there it produced an artificial reef with a super fun wave and all kinds of sections to play with both inside and out.

Kamers in Big Bay – when it's uncrowded and the wind is peaking below 20 knots, this peeling left will have your heart racing. For me it delivers some of the best backhand vertical sections you can find.

Long Beach and Dunes – cold, sharky, so not for the faint-hearted. I love it!

Macassar – I would not recommend paddling here as it is a stone's throw away from Seal Island. However, on a kite, you can ride uncrowded waves to your heart's content.

Llandudno – the rights and lefts at the mountain that ends in the sea are beautiful and no kite is needed.

In addition to all of this, I get to ride "concrete waves" every day thanks to www.carverskateboards.co.za. It feels just like surfing.

What are the water safety rules that you live by?

Never abandon your board. Relax, never panic. Most drownings and accidents are caused by panic. Respect Mother Nature, and others on the water, with a good mindset and every session will be a good one.

What are your favourite night spots after hitting the waves?

Zula Bar, the Grand Café & Beach in Granger Bay, La Med and Café Caprice.

What is your best kept Capetonian secret?

Not many secrets left here, however False Bay has so much to offer when it comes to surfing with a kite.

How does Cape Town inspire you?

Cape Town is where I grew up. The elements are harsh and the rewards are great. Having travelled extensively I can tell you there is no place like home. In a nutshell – mountains, ocean, wind, waves, good wine and pretty ladies.

Cape Town is at the tip of Africa yet we manage to keep infrastructure and tourism running like a well-oiled machine and on par with international standards; we set an example for South Africa and the rest of Africa. We also have such diverse cultures but we keep working together to make Cape Town a better place.

Heinrich shows off his impressive kitesurfing skills in the video below:


Cape Town Tourism’s Water Safety Tips:

When you’re frolicking in the gorgeous waves at one of our seven blue flag beaches (Bikini Beach, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th Beach, Llandudno, Mnandi Beach, Muizenberg and Strandfontein)please remember the following water safety rules:

  • Cape Town’s beaches in False Bay are monitored by the Shark Spotters programme. A total of 21 shark spotters are deployed between Muizenberg and Glencairn. A flag and alarm system is used to warn beachgoers of a shark’s whereabouts – please adhere to all signals.
  • At the beach, be vigilant about using sunblock, at least SPF15, and limiting your exposure to direct sunlight between 10h00 and 16h00.
  • Do not swim directly after a meal and watch how far out you swim.
  • Parents are reminded to keep their children within sight at all times.
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