Early Surf

Why Dawnie?



There is a famous saying in life. “The early Bird gets the Worm!”

Bringing this into Surf culture has been the best kept secret, maybe not a secret but not practised enough. The myth is when you know there is swell, you should be in the water before the sun comes up. This is when the waves reward you with no wind, no crowds and just waves running from top to bottom. It is the dream, especially if you live in an overcrowded spot. So this is the reason why wake up for a dawnie.

Why Dawnie


You may be thinking that there are swell charts and surf forecasts that can predict how worth while it may be to wake up before the sun does (Which can be at 4:40am in the peak of summer time). The motivation needs to equal the reward.  I can not count how many mornings I have woken up to clear skies, glassy waters, no crowds and perfect waves.

Even though I have witnessed this multiple times, it can still be difficult to be motivated to get out of bed at 5am in the morning. So I have to do what every healthy grownup does. I put my phone on the other side of the room, with an alarm tone that makes me want to break my phone to make it stop and then set up multiple alarms in a row. After I defeat the alarm, I brew some coffee and start to pack the boards and wetsuits in the car (regretting not having done it the night before).

Driving down (or walking if you fortunate enough) you arrive at your favourite spot. It is still dark so you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. You have made it this far so it no longer matters if the waves are good enough, you start to suit up! Getting into the water is the last challenge. It is always ice-cold or oddly warm.

Surfing Secrets




Now you wait to hopefully reap the rewards. You start to see the sun illuminate the sky in pinks and peaches, seagulls and flamingos fly past creating beautiful silhouettes. Everything is feeling magical. You look in the distance and see a fin… You start to panic and pray! “Let me see more fins!” As you start scouting where is the quickest space to get out,  the awe inducing pod of dolphins come right next to you. At this point you tell yourself, “This was all worth waking up for.”

The sun starts to peak over the horizon and for some reason the earths natural wave machine is somehow activated. You turn around and start paddling onto a 3ft-5ft wave. You cruise down the line, whipping the tail out every now and then until the end. You paddle back up and as soon as you get to the top, the next wave comes through. After catching about 10-15 waves you are exhausted.

By this time the rest of civilisation starts to get up. The words out that there are waves and the different surf squads start to gather in the parking lot. As they’re suiting up, you realise you better catch your last wave. You paddle and it’s a bomb! You shred the wave right out of the water. Walking back and watching everyone paddle in, you notice in the distance the ripples in the water. The Devil-Wind (on-shore) hits and the surf is over.

Early Wave



This has been my experience all too often. Maybe not every part, every time. More than often one of the beautiful experiences makes the ‘dawnie’ so worth it. Of course there are days when I arrive and there are no waves and its howling onshore. But you never know if you don’t wake up and see which day you will get!

It’s the small things in life that we should look forward to and waking up appreciating those small things can definitely brighten your day. Let me know some of your experiences below in the comments or via our social media channels and tell us why you dawnie.

Hikes & Adventures in JBay

And surrounding areas


I remember reading once that “An Adventure starts 10 minutes away from home”. Reading that statement made me rethink my outlook on the definition of Adventure. While Instagram makes you want to be in 20 different places all at the same time, it’s also important to make the most of the one place you are.

Jeffreys Bay is the pinnacle of a Surf Town. It took me some time to notice there were other things that make Jeffreys Bay a must-see destination. After gaining this local knowledge, and sharing it with countless other travelers, it was about time I compiled the ultimate guide to Jeffreys Bay and an hour surrounding.

1. Skydiving with beach landing
Jeffreys Bay has one of the best landing sites, Kabeljous beach or Jeffreys Bay Main Beach. This crew has successfully jumped over 2000 times. Skydiving over Jeffreys Bay’s coast line is a breathtaking experience. Some jumpers have spotted the Humpback Whales in season or our local surf competitors, the dolphins. I would recommend the 11 000ft jump, for the full experience with a 40-45s free fall. Also, a thing to note is the price is ridiculously good, whether it’s your first time, or you have the qualifications to jump solo. It is one of those experiences you can’t afford to miss out on.

2. Kayaking the Gamtoos River.
This isn’t a well-known activity in Jeffreys Bay. The reason being, it’s recently launched. There are 2 different options when considering this activity. There is a social option, which is a 2km row upriver and then 2km downriver. Afterward, you can enjoy a rewarding light picnic lunch and refreshments. This is a great option for family or friends just wanting to casually wander the banks. The other option is for the Brave and Wild. This is a 12km paddle upstream, then a 10km hike on a private nature reserve, which ends at a camp, with an open flame dinner to be devoured by the warriors of the day. This is a full-day activity, but once completed you will have seen a host of different BirdLife and Wild Game.
Social Price – R950pp including light lunch & refreshments & includes equipment.
Extreme Price –  R1900pp including light lunch, refreshments & open flame dinner included equipment.
Contact 084 954 8154‬

3. Hiking Lady Slipper
This is a quick, and easy hike that will take you about 40mins to drive to and then another 1 Hour to the summit, or maybe 20mins if you are a trail runner. The view is spectacular, overlooking the valley of beautiful vegetation leading to the wind farms, and the lush deep blue ocean – so don’t forget your camera. This hike is best to be done on a Saturday as there are nearby markets that offer local meals and refreshments, along with other delicious treats and sweets. If you are a rock-climber, there are routes to climb, so don’t forget your climbing gear.
Falcon Rock Entrance fee R30pp

4. Fat Bike Beach Rides
Exploring the coastline of Jeffreys and Kabeljous can be a rather strenuous walk, but it’s still well worth the effort, so getting on a Fat Bike makes the experience fun and getting to the destination, cut in half. Kabeljous has some really fun dunes to be explored and if you are up to the task, take along a fishing rod as the name suggests, there is some Kabeljous to be caught, along with Cod, Steenbras, and Mussel-Cracker, to name a few.
Fat Bike Rentals R200pp for 2 hours

5. Hiking the Kabeljous Natures Reserve
This is a beautiful hike just outside of Jeffreys Bay with a few routes to be explored or a full round trip if you want to make the most of it. The hike has been praised for its conservation of indigenous vegetation, an estuary hosting some beautiful birds, such as our national bird, the Blue Crane. As mentioned this has a few routes, namely the dunes route, riverbank route, and then to the lookout point. All have a different setting and if possible, should all be explored. Along the way, you will find information boards that will help give vegetation information or a general overview of the routes. The paths are well walked and easy to stay on. Take your beach gear, pack a picnic and make a day of it. It is well protected from most winds, depending on which side you go.

6. Hiking Cape St Francis Wild Side
Cape St Francis Wild Side sounds intriguing enough to strike a visit. This is a gorgeous hike along the coastline showcasing some very rare fauna and flora. Botanists have traveled the world to observe these habitats. This walk can start from the famous 18th Century Cape St Francis Seal Point Lighthouse or Sunset rock (which as the name suggests, is a beautiful rock to observe the sunset). There are caves along this route and beautiful rock pools with crystal clear water. I would bring along a pair of binoculars and snorkels as there is much marine life along the coastline, such as the bottlenose dolphins, seals, right humpback whale, jackass penguins, and if you are fortunate you might see a shark, from the shore hopefully.

7. Horse Back riding
Horse riding is a very daring sport/activity for some. I know I am humbled very quickly standing next to a horse. However, I long to jump on one and ride into the wind. Well, here in Bay you can do exactly that. You can ride over the beautiful shorelines and through the Nature Reserve. The guide also shares interesting facts along the way. It’s recommended to go just before sunset to get an even better shot for your Instagram feed.
From R350 for 2hours

If there is anything you think I should have added, please let me know in the comments below, so I can be sure to add it in the future.

Written by Challyn Armstrong, Images by @katrinereiersen, @matze.ried & @sovrin_photography



Is it Winter?

For some it would seem as if this year taking its time, while for others it’s flying by. Today is the last day of Level 4 in South Africa and entering into Level 3, we can resume surfing. It’s perfect timing for the Winter Swell, unfortunately the first winter swell hit us a week ago and some did break the rules to get out, others have been waiting patiently to get their feet back into the water. It is safe to say that even after all the home exercising there will still be a good few days of looking like a kook until we all surf in our element again.

The Good News.

Although Jeffrey’s Bay has been hit hard by Covid-19, there is a large amount of hope being restored into our small surfing village. There is a campaign being run by a group of Local Surfers, including the Surf Lodge South Africa Founder, Tobias Schroeder. This campaign started off as wanting to feed a 1000 people for 2 weeks, until the lockdown was extended which crippled even more families in the township areas, which relied on their daily wages for food. The campaign grew and they were able to feed more people they could imagine thanks to many donors. However the long term effects are not easily solvable. So there is now a transition into creating opportunities for them to be educated for self suitability with nutritious produce. If you would like to support this campaign, please click here, or keep following their activities on instagram @letsfeedjbay and facebook.

The Bad News.

With the world being impacted in every direction. It would appear that the WSL JBay Open 2020 has been called off. While this is disheartening to the community of JBay, Im sure the Pro Surfers are also a little sad to not be surfing the famous surf break. Although the WSL website has not made the call-off official, an official statement has been released via SABC News. We are still hoping for a surprise turnaround but this does sadly seem unlikely. Which brings the question. How will the WSL 2020 Championship Tour crown this years champion? Will it be host at quarantined wave pools? Whichever direction they decide, I am eager to see fresh surf content. I think I have seen enough of WSL Rewind Series for the year.


Whats happening at the Surf Lodge?

Challyn with his newly married wife are taking care of the piece of Paradise. As everyone else has been doing their own home improvements, the Lodge is also being improved. Lots of sanding, varnishing, painting along with other small maintenance details. Let’s hope the waves aren’t too good to distract the working progress. We are also getting some green fingers and working in the garden room. Planting some herbs and manageable vegetables, so hopefully they will all be ready to harvest by the next time you visit.

Supporting Surf Lodge.

Although Covid-19 has knocked down so many sectors worldwide, our goal is to keep Surf Lodge South Africa up and ready for when the restrictions cease. We know this little piece of paradise has crept into your heart and that you’re already dreaming of your next trip here! 

In to order to ensure it’s possible and that we can stay afloat, we’ll be selling vouchers. They can be redeemed for accommodation or activities hosted through the Lodge when you’re with us again. The voucher can be found on our website and is valid for 3 years.

Get it for yourself, buy one as a gift, you’ll not only help us until the travel bans are lifted, but you’ll ensure yet another memorable stay with us. The next wave is yours. 

Blog by Challyn Armstrong @challyho ( Photo credit: @matze.ried @isaplos)

Here’s five things for you to try:

Okay, so it’s been a while of not surfing. With South Africa comfortably settling into Week Three of our National Lockdown, we could resort to filling the hours with Instagram, Netflix and even hitting an identity crisis and making a Tiktok. (Yes, we are judging you for that.)
With beaches and lineups looking eerily empty, I think all of us have fantasised over the clean lineup, paddling out at dawn, and having a killer story to tell for the rest of out lives… Although we’ve quickly snapped out of that daydream with the global headlines of surfers bold (or stupid) enough to take the plunge.
J-Bay locals scoring R5000 fines for attempting a surf at Supertubes, to the extremes of a surfer in Costa Rica even being shot at by police when he dared to catch a wave. So now that we’ve established that sneaking in a surf shouldn’t be an option for us, what else can we do to fill our time?
We’ve used this time to scrape to the bottom of the World Wide Web to find some crazy or simply productive ways for you to keep the stoke during this lockdown. We’re guessing that you’ve already started a home workout, decluttered some part of your home and attempted to grow a vegetable. To not completely lose your identity as a surfer, here’s five things for you to try:

  1. Join the #HomeBreakChallenge

We’re frothing over the creativity of people getting resourceful, waxing their boards and getting ready for a challenge. Check out the hashtag #HomeBreakChallenge and see if you can bring your own flair. Get your board out, and show us your home break ;) (Tag us if you do make one)

  1. Bake Banana Bread

I’m sure you’ve heard of someone you know baking some sort of bread over the lockdown… It’s hard to balance the temptation of joining the trend with the reality of all the work you’ve been putting into home workouts recently. Why don’t you give this Vegan Banana Bread recipe a smash? Hot out of the oven with a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee…

  1. Start Surf Yoga (minus the surf)

Yoga is probably one of the most under-looked practices to improve your ability as a surfer. Your body benefits from movement and your mind benefits from stillness. You’ll notice that you’ll build strength, flexibility and balance that’ll do wonders to your agility in the water. Kelly Slater swears by it “I wanna have longevity. I wanna be 80 years old and be really strong and fit.”

  1. Binge on our Favourite Surf Films

After sifting through the archives and conducting a good old fashioned survey, we listed our three favourite surf films of all time. Maybe you feel like binging them all at once, or splitting them over the time left. If we missed one of your favourites, leave a comment on this post and we’ll be sure to add it to the next list

  1. Stay connected

It’s human nature to want to block out the severity of Covid-19 and focus on what’s within our four walls. It’s a crazy opportunity to be mindful of family, friends and those less-privileged to see if we could lessen their burdens. Call your family, see if there’s any way you can help out elderly neighbours who can’t get to the supermarkets or if there’s a shelter in your town you could help with donations.

Although these are onlyfive tips, there’s plenty more ways to make the most out of the Lockdown without your day-to-day habits. Who knows, maybe you’ll even develop some new traits you’ll hold onto for the rest of your life.


Stay safe x

Art and blog by Ruth Armstrong @truthtops

The Perfect SA Surf Trip

South Africa is one of the best spots to hit the waves on this Blue marble of our planet. With the gorgeous weather, wonderful scenery and tepid waters of the Indian Ocean, the time is now to plan your SA Surf Trip

As the premier Jeffrey’s Bay Surf Camp, we here at Surf Lodge have developed this comprehensive guide to the top surf locations in South Africa. Our testing process has been very rigorous, as we have personally gone to sample not only the waves at these locations but also the surrounding amenities and services. Our goal is to sufficiently equip you to make sure your SA Surf Trip is a resounding success!

From West to East – here’s a simple guide to the best surf trip of your life.

Second to maybe Indonesia, South Africa is one of the most wave rich countries on planet earth. Posting world class point breaks from the West coast all the way to the east cost. There’s a rippable wave on virtually every corner of this stunning country – and did we mention most of them are fairly uncrowded? If you in need of adventure, exploring new lands where your friends haven’t yet been. The South African surf trip is for you.

Elands Bay

Roughly three and a half hours north of Cape Town lies the sleepy, dusty windswept town known as Elands Bay. It’s a one horse town an 70’s style really weird hotel and a restaurant (if you can call it that) called the Wit Mossel Pot. The dead end town does have two bottle stores in close vicinity to each other which is a good indication of the valued commodity. But before you write Elands Bay off as a no-go zone, Elands Bay boasts one of the best if not the best left hand point break in all of South Africa. 

Best surfed in the 3-6ft region, the wave wraps itself around a point and thunders down the line for at at least two to three hundred metres. The wave is extremely rippable and is in no way life threatening. Just try go during the week, weekend crowds tend to be heavy.

Victoria Bay

About a 500km drive from the Mother City lies the quaint town of George. And on the outskirts of town a breathtakingly beautiful bay known as Victoria Bay, or Vic Bay for short. Vic Bay is one of the most consistently good waves in South Africa. There’s a surfable wave almost every day of the year. When the waves get big, Vic Bay is strictly for advanced surfers, but in the 1-4ft region Vic Bay is an absolutely playful joy. Paddle out via the beach break and be prepared to enjoy some excellent point break waves. 

When you’re done with your surf, don’t worry, the surrounding garden route area is among one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa and chockablock with actives. Found out about what activities to get up to here.

Jeffreys Bay

Ahhhhh a Mecca of the surf world. Does J-Bay need any introduction? We think not. Besides Supertubes, J-Bay boasts numerous point breaks perfect for anybody from beginner to advanced and anywhere in-between. We wrote a whole article about waves to surf in J-Bay which you can read about here.

If you are an advanced surfer though, you CANNOT leave J-Bay without surfing Supertubes. And if there’s no swell while you’re there, best you extend your stay, because there’s nothing on this planet quite like firing Supertubes. It’s absolutely world class.

Also when you do find yourself – do pay us a visit!

Port Alfred

A two and a half hour drive from Jeffreys Bay you’ll find the charming little town of Port Alfred. Much like J-Bay, Port Alfred is made up of retired folk and holiday houses, but when you get to the beach the waves are anything but retired. PA boasts two main waves, or rather two waves the locals tell you about; East Beach to the left of the Kowie River mouth and West Beach to the left. East Beach is a extremely consistent sand bottom point break. On it’s day, East Beach can be world class, barrels, big turns and airs. east Beach has it all. If you watched the latest Stab in the Dark – you’d have seen East Beach in all it’s glory with Dane, Jordy and Mick Fanning shredding like mad men. 

Mdumbi Point/Coffee Bay

If you’re doing a surf trip through South Africa – visiting the Transkei is a must. Transkei, was an unrecognised state in the southeastern region of South Africa from 1976 to 1994. It was a Bantustan—an area set aside for black South Africans of Xhosa descent —and operated as a nominally independent parliamentary democracy. If you’d like to acquire a taste of how rural South Africa existed before colonisation, Transkei would be the place to visit. 

In the heart of Transkei, you’ll find Mdumbi and Coffee Bay. Coffee Bay isn’t a wave worth noting but certainly a place worth visiting. Mdumbi about an hours drive from Coffee Bay is quieter and has a great wave out front called Mdumbi Point. Make sure you visit at the right time of year so as to get it firing.

South Coast

The South Coast is known by South Africans as ‘the poor man’s Indonesia’. The South Coast stretches from Scottburgh in the north to Port Edward in the south. Although the ‘South Coast’ isn’t a wave per say, there are so many waves along this 100km trail it’d be a crime subduing this goldmine to one gem. They’re all gems. We’d recommend staying at a beautiful surf yoga backpackers called  Mantis and Moon and use this as your base to explore the surrounding area. You’ll love it.

Surf Lodge South Africa – Our Story

Surf Lodge SA was not born out of a drunken idea one night. Surfing has always been a central passion for our key staff here at Surf Lodge SA, and opening a surf camp has always been one of our lifelong goals. With a qualification from Pure Surf, becoming a surf guru at one of South Africa’s top surfing spots was no longer a pipe dream, but a reality. 

From humble beginnings to the top surf and yoga retreat in South Africa, we have been through a lot to get where we are. Here is our story: 

The story of how it all began.

The story of the Surf Lodge began at a surf competition in 2013. At the time, Toby was enrolled at Hochschule Munchen studying Industrial Engineering and Business.Toby was chosen to represent his University at a student surf competition called ADH Pro in Seignosse, France. Before the ADH Pro began, Toby spent a week at a Pure Surf Camp house training for the comp. The training paid off and Toby went on to win the competition claiming first prize! Pure Surf Camps, noticing Toby’s proficiency in the water encouraged Toby to complete his Surf Instructor Course and come back to work at the camp.

Toby returned to Jeffreys Bay on a mission! Him and good friend, 2018 Long Boarding World Champion; Steven Sawyer, quickly made the move to the beautiful city of Cape Town. It was there that they would gain some much needed surf coaching experience as well as their ISA approved Surf Instructor Course. “Steven and I lived it up in Muizenberg, we had an absolute party and we were able to get our Surf Instructors Course under belt.” remembers Toby. It was at a surf school on the beachfront of Muizenberg, one of South Africa’s surf hubs, where Toby cut his teeth as a Surf Instructor for 6 months.

From Cape Town Toby made the move to France to take up the job promised to him a year earlier. “For the next two years I worked in France for Pure Surf Camps as a surf instructor.” While Toby was working in France, Pure Surf Camps initiated their first team surf trip. “It was basically a bunch of team riders they took to different camps to create content in order to promote each camp. The first camp we went to was Santandar, Spain and then Sagres, Portugal.” enthuses Toby. Toby recalls how he loved what he was doing and the places he was visiting but there was an undeniable niggle, “I just kept thinking, this is sick, but J-Bay is so much better!” And it was that thought that planted the seed.

In 2008 Toby and his parents moved from J-Bay to Paradise Beach – to what now is the Surf Lodge house. After the passing of Toby’s father, Toby and his mother returned to J-Bay and decided to sell the Surf Lodge house. But it wasn’t a seller’s market. The beautiful beachfront house stood vacant for multiple years without being sold or rented. After 5 years of struggling to sell or rent, Toby came up with a brilliant idea for the space: to repurpose it into a Surf Lodge.

Toby took responsibility of the house and began renting it out to guests with the intention of buying it from his mother. Toby spent months at time in Europe to save up enough startup capital to make the first initial changes to the house. He then did intermittent off-season stints working in Europe, to make sure the Lodge survived! “We started by

revamping the whole place so it could cater as a guest house. Every year from 2015 I just continued making changes to what it is now.” recalls Toby. The house started with three rooms and a dormitory and it now has 6 double rooms, a dormitory and can cater to 20 guests at a time. Funding the 

“We wanted guest to come over to South Africa and enjoy the best of what the area has to offer, whether through surfing, game farm tours or just hanging out and making friends. It’s

not just about the accommodation, it’s about the experience, we wanted to make people feel like it’s a home away from home.” says Toby.  

The Surf Lodge is a space to create great friends and memories while adventuring through South Africa and of course get cooking waves! “We’ve seen people fall in love, enjoy honey moons and find out they’re pregnant, all at the Surf Lodge! It makes it such a special place for me to be able to have a lasting impact on peoples’ lives.” says Toby.

Toby is quick to admit that the Surf Lodge wouldn’t have gotten to where it is today without the help of his two Pure Surf Camp mentors, Stefan and Christian and every Surf Lodge volunteer as well as manager, “Stefan and Christian guided me through the whole process of setting things up and still help me out if I have any questions. The Lodge also wouldn’t be the same without the help of previous managers; Carel, Ludi and current manager Challyn. They have all brought a homeliness to the space and have been invaluable to the Lodge. I am forever indebted to to every volunteer, employee and guest.” Says Tobi.  

“It’s been a hell of a rocky road, but it’s grown a lot and I’m proud of what the Surf Lodge has become.” – Toby.

Restaurant & Coffee Shop Guide – JBay

No surf trip to Jeffreys Bay would be complete without taking a stroll down Da Gama road, which has a plethora of shops, coffee shops and restaurants to quench your thirst and sate your hunger in a plethora of ways! If you’re looking to enjoy a surf trip to J-Bay or spending time at a surf camp and you’re worried about the quality of food and beverage, worry no more! 

If you want to learn to surf, Surf Lodge South Africa has everything you need, but if you want to experience all the tastes and smells of South Africa on your surf Holiday then you need to read this guide!


Nina’s Real Food Restaurant

Nina’s Real Food Restaurant, or Nina’s as it is affectionately known, is like visiting your grandmother’s house. You immediately feel at home, she welcomes you in with open arms. She smothers you in her love, makes you feel instantly at home, her fridge is always full and her schedule always open – waiting for your visit. No restaurant feels more homely and welcoming!

A stones throw away from the best wave in the world; Supertubes Nina’s serves up pretty much anything you could possibly desire. Thai food, curry, pizza, burgers, wraps, vegan, seafood, steak, ribs – Nina’s has it all. And if that wasn’t enough Nina’s has an array of absolutely delicious locally brewed craft beers. After a marathon surf, the best place to kick it and enjoy some great chow (as South Africans love to say) is at Nina’s. If you haven’t been to Nina’s, you haven’t been to J-Bay!

Also on a (hot) side note, on Monday nights Nina’s hosts a curry night; featuring a decadent spread of Indian curries that’ll have you spiced up for the rest of your trip!

Follow them here.


Quitschy’s Pizza Restaurant

We’re going to go ahead and say it: the best pizza on the east coast. Quitschy’s specialises in traditional Italian cuisine. And damnit their pizzas are good. Using only the finest Italian ingredients imported from Italy, there’s very few pizza restaurants outside Italy that are able to garner the flavours Quitschy’s can. 

Family owned, the Italian owners moved from Italy to J-Bay to start a pizzeria and thank the lord they did. The pizza bases are thin, the flavours are rich and layered – each slice basically melts in your mouth. The decor however, is questionable. Quitschy’s boasts mannequins wearing Venetian gowns and masks (why?!) scattered throughout the restaurant. Yes, you read correctly, fully dressed mannequins. Think that’s a waiter standing behind you? Wrong. It’s a plastic mannequin. Rumour has it, the decor is inspired by traditional Italian kitsch style. Whatever decor inspirations are being thrown around, we couldn’t care less, Quitschy’s pizza is a culinary journey of the tastebuds.

Find out more here


Salted Surf

The Surf Lodge’s sister company and perfect post surf hangout, Salted Surf is our favourite coffee shop/surf school. No older than four months, Salted Surf is perfectly located to go for a quick surf lesson with world class surf coach Remi Peterson, followed by a delicious cappuccino.

There’s usually a bunch of the local crew hanging out shooting the shit, a banger playlist blasting over the speakers and some excellent surf magazines and books been shared around. And if your sugar levels are low after your gruelling session tackling the beasts of the deep ocean, well then Salted Surf has an array of superb sweet treat delights loaded with sugar and made in the old Afrikaans style way: decadent. Salted Surf – your favourite post surf hangout coffee shop.

You can follow Salted Surf here.


First Light

Step into First Light and the first thing you’ll be confronted with is the fresh, pungent smell of roasting coffee beans. Along with being an extremely inviting coffee shop with friendly, jovial staff and stylistically appealing in a Pinterest kind of way, First Light boasts its own coffee roastery where they roast all their own beans. The beans have won awards and are nationally acclaimed. If you’re looking for a quick snack and invigorating coffee after enjoying extensive retail therapy at the nearby surf shops, drop in on First Light.

Boogie Slide n’ Jive

Owned by longtime J-Bay locals, Clinton Theron and Ludi Du Toit, Boogie Slide n’ Jive is an avant-garde coffee shop inspired by skate and surf with a couple of dope second-hand threads waiting to be acquired by a suitable suitor. Situated in a nook between a lawnmower shop and a bar which caters to those who enjoy drinking continuously and without retreat, you’ll find Boogie Slide. It’s a brilliant little place and they throw down a mean coffee and a hearty jaffle. 

Follow the Boogie here.

waves for days

Why SA Should be Your Next Surf Trip

A surf vacation you’ll never forget. #NextWaveIsYours


Waves for days

South Africa has more waves than most countries have people. And not just any old waves, we’re talking world class setups. From Lamberts Bay on the West Coast to Ballito on the North, there’s a brilliant wave wherever the road meets the sea. Thank goodness for our favourite stretch of tar, the N2, a gift bestowed upon us surfers from the surf gods – a National highway which runs from Cape Town, along the coast to Durban – subsequently connecting all our favourite surf spots.

waves for days

If you are doing a surf trip through South Africa there are a number of waves you must tick off your bucket list. These include, Muizenberg in Cape Town, Vic-Bay in George, most certainly Jeffreys Bay (and when you are in J-Bay be sure to stay at our Surf & Yoga Retreat!) and Coffee Bay in the Transkei.

A Cultural Experience

Culturally, South Africa is nothing like you’d ever experienced anywhere else. SA has 11 official languages and is where Africa and Europe collide. Don’t worry though, most people have a firm grasp of the English language and you’ll easily be able to navigate your way around.

If you’d like an authentic African cultural experience, here are several activities you should partake in:

  • Mzoli’s: Located in the heart of Gugulethu township, Cape Town, Mzoli’s is the perfect example of a modern day African party. Buy meat from the butcher, get it barbecued over open flames, enjoy local beer all the while dancing to local modern day African beats. Mzoli’s is modern day South African personified.
  • Township Tour: A township tour is a necessity when visiting South Africa. Unfortunately, South Africa is one of the most unequal societies on the planet. And this means the South Africa that tourists experience isn’t the South Africa that most locals experience. A township tour will put South African life into perspective.
  • The Transkei: The Transkei is rural South Africa. And the best depiction of how the Xhosa lived pre European arrival. The Transkei consists of endless green hills rolling into the ocean, ancient Xhosa villages where time slows down to a standstill, dusty gravel roads occasionally lined with roaming cattle and of course, great waves. Best places to stay in the Transkei would be Coffee Bay: here or Mdumbi: here
  • Safari: No South African trip is complete without endeavouring in a Safari game drive. To witness the big five up close and personal is a surreal experience and one you wouldn’t forget quickly. South Africa is laden with brilliant Safari’s but one we would highly recommend is Schotia Safaris, a stone’s throw away from our Surf Lodge, featuring all the big wave.

cultural experience

A brilliant nightlife

Perhaps brilliant shouldn’t be the operative word here, or rather, we should change the heading to Cape Town has a brilliant nightlife. Because she certainly does. Before heading down south towards wave rich Jeffreys Bay, one should venture to delight in the nighttime activities offered by the Mother City.

From full moon skateboarding events, live local rock bands, jazz clubs, electro clubs, excellent bars, incredible food, weekend markets and tons of art galleries, Cape Town is a city that activates your sense and not only that it it also has great surf. Cold, but still excellent. The Mother City remains the perfect start to any African surf trip.


Cheap Equipment

South Africa has some of the cheapest surf equipment on planet earth. Particularly when it comes to new surfboards. Virtually every coastal town has it’s own shaper pumping out world class surfboards. And as economics would have it, a higher supply results in a lower price tag. Instead of bringing a surfboard to SA and paying all those unwanted fees to an airline that’ll probably present your surfboard to you on the other side of the globe with a healthy supply of freshly acquired dings, rather buy one upon arrival! You can read our blog post: Why You Should Buy a Surfboard in SA (here)

Surf equipment

Jeffreys Bay

No motivation for South Africa as a surf trip would be complete without mentioning the crown jewel of the South African coastline: Jeffreys Bay. Arguably, the best righthand point break in the world. Perfect waves that reel on forever. User friendly, cool water and consistent, there’s a reason why the world’s best surfers come to South Africa every year. And that’s because J-Bay is in a class of it’s own. You can read more about all the waves in Jeffreys Bay here. (here). And be sure to book your accommodation at our surf camp!


Coming to South Africa?

Here’s why you should buy a surfboard here.


South Africa plays host to a bucket load of excellent surfboard shapers and waves (which you can read more about here ). There’s no official stat and this may be a complete thumb-suck, but we bet there are more shapers per surfer in SA than anywhere else on planet earth. Every coastal town/city has at least one surfboard craftsman and some cities and towns have multiple. Safe to say, with so much foam dust being spread around, you are bound to encounter some pretty damn excellent surf equipment. From Cape Town through J-Bay and onto Durban, there are new surfboards being created every day. And did we mention that they’re cheap? Marketing rules that you can’t get the cheapest and best. With surfboards in South Africa, we beg to differ. Here’s why you should buy your next surfboard in South Africa.

Wave Diversity

The variety of waves offered in South Africa are as diverse as the country’s people and the waves, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. When it comes to waves, SA has it all. Wanna be a big wave charger? Head over to Cape Town for multiple big wave spots to test your metal. Prefer perfect beach break barrels, don’t worry, we got that too. In fact, South Africa has it all. From death slabs to big wave spots, to the endlessly running point breaks
of J-Bay and the wedgy, fun, warm water rippable waves of Durban. Each wave type stimulates a unique approach to shaping. The long winding walls of J-Bay require a different style board to the wide-open barrels of Cape Town. And thus, whatever conditions you’re looking to tackle, there’s a South African shaper that’ll create for you the
perfect craft.


Surfboards in South Africa are cheap. Our country might be riddled with corruption and inequality but at least our surfboards are cheap, our waves are consistently firing and the sun cares little for seasons as it refuses to stop shinning. Oh, the price of paradise. Surfboards in SA have seen an increase in price over the last couple of years but relative to global prices they’re cheap as chips. And if you still can’t afford a new board, simply beckon to your knees and offer to clean your shaper’s factory and you’re guaranteed he’ll hook you up with a deal.
Amber Hurdle once said, “Cheaper does not always equal better.” – obviously Amber hasn’t ridden surfboards made in South Africa.

Shapers that care.

Unlike most places in the world where you’ll sorta amble into a store and just kinda take, what’s on the wracks, South African shapers care deeply for their clientele. They’ll invite you into the shaping bay, listen to your hopes and desires, and needs before whipping up a magic potion and shaping an item to your specifications. Hell, they’ll even throw in a spray to your liking. Buying a board in South Africa is a hark back to the good old days of surf culture. Where MCD was a legitimate surf brand where Billabong had the slogan, ‘Only A Surfer Knows the Feeling’ And shapers were magicians who had the power to forge magic carpets. Where every surfboard was uniquely tailored to your needs and not popped out by some Thai factory at the expense of the worker to enhance profits. In South Africa, we have shapers that care and produce surfboards made from love.

Shapers that shape for world champs

In the last number of years, South Africa has enjoyed the likes of three world surfing champions. Twiggy Baker – Big Wave World Champion, Jeffreys Bay’s very own, Steven Sawyer – Longboard World Champ, and Simone Robb – ladies World Longboarding Champion. To be the best, there’s no doubt, your equipment must follow suit. The best surfers need the best surfboards.

Steven Sawyer rode his father’s boards, (Sawyer Surfboards) to victory at the Long Boarding World Champs in Taiwan and Twiggy Baker rides his own brand of surf crafts shaped by a local shaper. Not only that but Jordy Smith also now rides his father’s surfboards, SMTH Shapes. South Africa has some of the best and cheapest surfboards on
planet earth. Buying a board in J-Bay is a no-brainer. If you’d like to know more about surfboard shapers in J-Bay, you can visit Surf Neutral: here

7 Small things you can do to improve your surfing

Let’s be honest, all surfers, no matter your ability, we all wanna shred. Whether you’re a complete beginner or the GOAT, Mr Kelly Slater, everyone wants to improve. Now there are a ton of things one can do to make yourself a better surfer, literally, hundreds, luckily, we’ve highlighted a couple of key points that will help you along the way. Always remember though, surfing is a journey and there are no overnight successes, it takes copious amounts of time and dedication but when it all comes together, nothing on earth feels better.

Ps: J-Bay is the perfect place to improve your surfing as the waves are long and easy to ride. Read about all the different spots you can surf in J-Bay here. (https://surflodgesouthafrica.co.za/jeffreys-bay-its-not-all-about-supertubes/ )

Watch surf movies.

You wanna be a surfer? You wanna shred? Best you immerse yourself in the subculture of surfing. Surfing is not something you do on holidays once maybe twice a year, it’s someone you are. You are a surfer. You need to begin to think like a surfer. how do you do that? You watch surf movies. Start off with something a bit more tasteful and documentary style like The Endless Summer II and Point Break and then slowly make your way to the more hardcore stuff like Momentum Generation or Kai Neville’s, Dear Suburbia.

There is a host of splendid surf movies for your viewing pleasure being uploaded to the world wide web on a daily basis, simply log onto Stabmag.com or follow the World Surf League for a video a day.

Ride alternate equipment.

It’s so easy to get stuck on your beloved thruster with its classic dimensions. And we understand, generally your classic surfboard is easiest to ride, paddles well and has the perfect dimensions and volume for you. But there’s something wonderful to be said about alternate equipment like fishes, singlefins, bonzers, etc. You can read more about these boards here: (https://lushpalm.com/surfboard/). People ride retro surf equipment because they do things differently, they feel different and they provide you with a contrasting sensation. But most importantly alternate surf equipment makes it easier to draw new lines. And when you draw new lines you’re essentially surfing differently. And once you’ve experienced the joys of alternate surf equipment you can work at incorporating that approach with your standard shortboard.

Wake up for the dawn patrol.

If you’re not a morning person, this might not be the thing you’re wanting to hear. And perhaps it’s more of a metaphor than anything else. But be committed and respectful of surfing. If the wind’s offshore and the surf pumping tomorrow, don’t consume copious amounts of alcohol. Becoming a good surfer takes an investment into today and there’s no easier investment than keeping those 6 beers and 3 tequila shots to 2 beers and no tequila shots. Good surf forecast = no party.

Dawn patrols are great because it coincides with their being fewer people in the lineup and thus you get more waves. More waves ridden, quicker you improve.

Buy a nurse.

In surfing there’s this great term for when you’re not surfing as hard a possible, for when you’re holding back on turns – it’s called ‘nursing it’. And it means you’re pussyfooting. Nobody wants to nurse their turns. You wanna wind that thing an uppercut it as hard as you can. That being said, buying a surfboard that acts as a nurse to you, there’s no shame in that. Let’s be honest, none of us are pro surfers and we will never be pro surfers, thus we need surfboards that will make our lives easier. We’re talking boards that have more volume so they paddle easier, boards that have less rocker so they hold speed through the flats and deliciously full rails so you don’t bog on your turns. Confer with your local shaper, he’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Understand rhythm.

The ocean works with a certain rhythm. A pattern. A beat if you will. And the rhythm changes at different spots around the world. Wonder why the best surfers are always on the best waves? they’ve figured out the ocean’s rhythm. If you watch guys like Mikey February surf, the ocean will be flat, they paddle 50m down the beach and suddenly there will be a wave there, then he’ll paddle 50m in the opposite direction – and guess what? Boom, there’s another wave! The best surfers understand the ocean’s rhythm and they tap into it. How long is it between sets, where do the set waves break, where do the medium-sized waves break,  how it all changes with rising and falling tides?  Before hopping in your wettie and darting out there like a hyena after a dying bull, take some time, watch the waves and fall into the rhythm of the ocean.


There’s a misconception in surfing that you should be an elastic band to be a good surfer. Untrue. And history hasn’t disagreed. Just look at Occy, Sunny Garcia, Wade Carmichael or Willian Cardoso and tell us we’re lying. That being said, there is value in being flexible. Especially when attempting a big juicy drop wallet or when the 6-foot wave you’re riding decides it doesn’t like you and attempts to transform you into a German pretzel; Forcing your heels to your ears. Then being malleable is extremely helpful. So dedicate time to stretching. You need not continuously listen to Ravi Shanker and break into the downward dog every five minutes, but stretch every now and then – that should do it.

Surf & keep fit.

Surf as much as you can, when it’s big, small, onshore, offshore, cold, hot – go surfing. Don’t be a fair-weather surfer. Especially if you want your surfing to be respected. Your mind acts as a hard drive, storing all your surf sessions, building knowledge and understanding. And over time you can use all that knowledge to your advantage in the surf. Also very important, keep fit. Whether that means working on your cardiovascular activities or if you’re landlocked and need to dedicate yourself to swimming lengths in a pool.

Ps: J-Bay is the perfect place to improve your surfing as the waves are long and easy to ride. Read about all the different spots you can surf in J-Bay hereNext wave is yours.