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July 13, 2012

Cape Town: A surfing mecca

The Mother City is a surfing mecca. Photo © Cape Town Tourism

One of the best things about living in Cape Town is that it feeds my addiction.

Before you start judging me, my habit is surfing, which you'd have to admit doesn't really compare to some of the more self-destructive addictions out there (although I did get a surfboard fin stuck in my forehead once, which was a bit reckless of me).

And it seems I'm not the only one who thinks Cape Town is a bit of a surfing mecca.

The good people at Australian surf magazine, Stab, are also a little tickled about the wave potential around the Mother City, and in their July 2012 edition they have placed it fifth on their list of the 10 best surf cities in the world.

There are a number of things that make Cape Town a special surfing destination: it is beautiful and scenic, there's a party atmosphere in the city and no matter the season, there is usually a wave to be found within striking distance of the city centre.

While summer is awesome in terms of weather – although it gets fairly windy – winter is the time to surf this destination. There is a reason this part of the world is known as the Cape of Storms.

The large low-pressure weather systems that repeatedly build a couple of hundred kilometres off the Cape Peninsula over the winter months send most people scurrying indoors, but they have the opposite effect on surfers who know waves will soon be crashing against the coastline.

And no matter what your level of surfing, there is a wave to suit your standard in the Cape. For long boarders and learners Muizenberg beach  along the  False Bay coastline, offers some of the gentlest waves in South Africa, and Big Bay, which is north of the city on the Atlantic seaboard.

Big wave chargers and crazy people will enjoy Dungeons near Hout Bay and outer Kom near Kommetjie, while tube riding enthusiasts should head to Llandudno or Kalk Bay.

There are dozens of surf breaks up and down each side of the peninsula and further afield – don't forget Elands Bay two hours north of Cape Town on the west coast; it's the longest left hander in South Africa -- which means you can spend your surfing trip searching out the waves that suit you best.

There aren't many places in the world where you can surf along such a varied coastline, so next time you plan a surf holiday, consider Cape Town.

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