Kalk Bay Reef / Western Cape / South Africa

Spots Nearby

General Information

Level:9-10 Season:January 1 — January 1

Kalk Bay is a quaint little town on the east coast of the Cape Peninsula. It's neatly sandwiched in-between Fish Hoek and Muizenberg - if you're driving along the Main Rd, don't blink because you'll miss it.

 

The wave itself is world-class on the right day, with heavy lips unleashing their full fury on the K-Bay slab, much to the delight of big wave fundis and spectators alike.

Beach

Rock/Reef Reef

There's a narrow strip of beach on the other side of the train tracks - you've got to walk through the tunnel under the train tracks to get there. It's not much of a sunbathers' beach because there's not much of a beach to speak of, so not really the kind of beach for the whole fandamily. Plus, the sun hardly ever comes out in Cape Town anyway (nah, that's not entirely true...).

 

Being Cape Town, the water is cold, so you'll need a fullsuit. It's not nearly as cold as the water on the Atlantic side of Cape Town (in other words, the west coast), but it's not exactly Club Med either.

Wind&Waves

Wave spot

The best swell direction is southerly, with an offshore wind, which in this part of the world is a NW. Generally speaking, winter is the best time for good waves, but you'll find waves most of the year round. Strong winds are a huge factor here (as is the case everywhere in Cape Town), with the predominant wind being a howling South Easter (onshore) in summer.

 

There is a tight-knit group of locals who have got this place wired after years of putting in their due diligence here.

 

This is a reef break - it's pretty much a slab which is not very wide at all, so the take-off area is normally pretty ... intimate. It's a left-breaking wave which is super fast and you've really got to go confidently, or risk getting planted on the reef (even at 2ft it can give you a good hiding). A pushing or dropping tide works, but I'd avoid full low tide.

 

If I'm not mistaken this wave can hold up to about 10ft - 12ft, and when that kind of swell hits, it's on! All the big wave riders in Cape Town will give you a show that you won't forget in a hurry (unless you're one of them - then you'll be in the water and not watching from the safety of the car park).

Facilities

Parking Access by public transport

There's not much in the way of facilities, besides a car park and access by train.

Safety

Rips/undertows Underwater obstacles Sea creatures Localism

Obviously, the reef is your main concern here - it's a thick wave and it has the ability to do some serious damage. This is for experienced surfers only.

 

There are also sharks cruising this stretch - I don't want to put anyone off, suffice it to say that these are not baby sharks and yes, they do bite. Nevertheless, you still see guys surfing here all the time, even if sharks have been spotted in the area.

 

There are no lifeguards here, so it's better to surf with a mate.

Photos