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December 10, 2012

Kiteboarding Big Bay’s windy strip – Charlie Browners love it

Photo courtesy Craig Ahrens.

What’s not to love? Big Bay is a gorgeous stretch of surf along Cape Town’s north coast (sandwiched between Melkbosstrand and Blouberg’s Kite Beach). It delivers daily side shore winds that are near perfect for launch, topped with incredible views of Table Mountain. The water is cool, in fact very cool, but nothing a wetsuit can’t tame.

Those in the know place Big Bay in the top four kitesurfing destinations in Cape Town, along with the likes of Sunset Beach, Kite Beach and Witsands. The bonus with Big Bay is that you’re guaranteed a wave, although not always a monster.

Big Bay is quite a narrow strip of long surf – so watch out for the rocks on either end. The waves are clean and when the wind gets going the swells build up far out, and you can enjoy a long, lekker surf all the way.

It’s no wonder that some of the world’s best “Browners” – the likes of Ruben Lenten and Aaron Hadlow – come to Big Bay to teach, to train and to up their game.

Things you should know

  • It can get crowded
  • Windsurfers hang out on the left; freestylers stick to the shore-side of the water
  • The wind can get very gusty
  • Sunset can mean a difficult blind ride – the sun will hit your face directly

How to get there
From central Cape Town take the N1. Take the Milnerton/Marine Drive off-ramp. Continue along the road and turn left at the first traffic light onto the M14, or Marine Drive. You’ll see signs for Big Bay, follow them until you reach the parking lot closest to the beach.

What about rigging?
Rigging happens on the beach or on the grass next to the parking lot

Take a closer look
Check out the superb surf at Big Bay via Cabrinha’s live wind webcam. This ingenious kiteboarding school and shop (that also sells second-hand gear) is open seven days a week and is located in Big Bay, at the Eden on the Bay Mall. Follow them on twitter for daily wind updates and kitesurfing tips.

Wish you were here

Thanks to Alssando Piccani, member of the Kite Boarding Culture Facebook group, who uploaded this creative commons video of him and two friends hitting the surf in Cape Town earlier this year.

Watch this AWESOME video from Naish Kiteboarding, promoted on their Facebook page and shared on Vimeo, called “Meet me in South Africa”. Starring Naish teammates Sam Light, Rick Jensen and Kevin and Jalou Langeree, the video tells the tale of four kitesurfers – each with a different style – who all speak a different language but understand the universal love of kitesurfing.

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