The low down on adaptive surfing in Cape Town

Surf Emporium Muizenberg is giving persons with disabilities the opportunity to experience the thrilling rush of the ocean through adaptive surfing lessons.

Surf Emporium, the only officially Surfing South Africa accredited Adaptive Surf School in South Africa, has made great strides within this space through regular surf clinics and group or private adaptive surfing lessons.

The organisation, together with the Roxy Davis Foundation and Adaptive Surfing Cape Town, aims to show people with disabilities that surfing is possible.

What is adaptive surfing?

An adaptive surfer is a surfer with a disability, which includes paralysis, cerebral palsy, amputees, or a person with a visual impairment.

They can enjoy all the benefits of surfing in a safe, controlled environment.

Adaptive surfing categories

There are different categories of lessons based on a person’s skill set and disability, and this will determine how many guides accompany the participants. The categories include:

• AS-1: Surfers who ride in a standing or kneeling position

• AS-2: Surfers who ride in a standing or kneeling position

• AS-3: Surfers who ride in a seated position

• AS-4: Surfers who ride in a prone position

• AS-5: Surfers who ride in a non-standing position and need assistance to paddle into waves

• AS-VI: Surfers who have a visual impairment

• *Adaptive Surfers with mental disabilities

How does adaptive surfing work

Each private lesson is 90 minutes long, which includes 40-60 minutes in the water.

A first-time adaptive surfer requires a minimum of 2 qualified adaptive surf coaches, 4 volunteers (depending on their disability and the ocean conditions), and possible assistance before and after the lesson.

Trained professionals will guide participants through the water as they offer valuable tips and tricks.

The cost of a private lesson starts from R900.

Bookings for adaptive surfing lessons need to be made at least two days in advance.

Surf clinics

Adaptive Surfing Cape Town, an organisation affiliated with Surf Emporium, hosts monthly Adaptive Surf Clinics throughout the year. The clinics introduce first-time participants to adaptive surfing, assist regular adaptive surfers to improve their skills and offer a free adaptive surf lesson.

How to join

If you want to join, either as an adaptive surfer, a volunteer to assist with the Adaptive Surfing Clinics and/or by booking an adaptive surfing team building, please visit

About Us

Cape Town Tourism is the city of Cape Town's official Regional Tourism Organisation, responsible for tourism marketing, visitor and industry services.

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