Jeffreys Bay became known internationally in the 1960’s as the mecca of surfing with a pilgrimage to the small fishing village becoming mandatory for surfers from all over the world.
Supertubes was discovered and surfed by the early pioneers like Doc Van der Heuwel and Donald Paarman and became known as the best wave in the world.
Yet Jeffreys Bay has a lot more surfbreaks than just Supertubes, which is the venue of the Corona Open JBay, a World Championship Tour event.
Here is the inside info on each surf break in Jeffreys Bay. Enjoy; just remember that you will meet many hospitable and friendly people but respect the local surfers.
They can make your trip to Jeffreys Bay a memorable one and you could even make life long friends but if you are disrespectful it is almost guaranteed you won’t be getting many waves!
South Africa’s premier wave! A stiff paddle out awaits the unsuspecting surfer. Rather wait and watch how the locals do it. Timing here is everything. You can get into the line up without even getting your hair wet but get it wrong and you will get hammered.
Once in the line up, pause and check out the situation. Supers is the most localized spot in South Africa.The locals tolerate no nonsense! Due to the crowds that flock to the break each year, local surfers have organized themselves to deal with the “invasion”.
However, if you wait your turn and show respect you will end up getting waves. It might take a few sessions but once your face is recognized and you earn a reputation for being respectful, you won’t have any problems.
The wave is best in the 4 – 8 ft category. On the better days the wave breaks from the top of the point and winds all the way along the reef, past the car park to an awesome barrel section. Then its kick out time before the wave closes out at Impossibles.
A SW wind is best. Due to the sand dunes, the break is protected no matter how hard the SW blows. NW is cross shore and often blows in the early morning. It creates a bump that can make things unpleasant, especially on critical take off’s.
East and SE winds destroy everything but are most predominant in the summer months. A South wind can still be fun as it causes “crumbly” sections that can be bashed.
The Corona Open JBay surf contest is held each July at Supertubes.
Further down the point, one comes across a fun barrely wave aptly called Tubes. It a short and sometimes intense ride but loads of fun. On the bigger days there is a strong rip and the wave is best in the 4 – 5 ft category.
Offshore on a SW wind, it also likes a S or SW swell direction. There is relatively small take off section, which means Tubes cannot hold a large crowd. Home to the elder crew (and some youngsters) of J Bay surfers.
The first wave to be surfed in Jeffreys Bay. Point was discovered by long boarders in the early 1960’s, little knowing they had stumbled across one of the natural wonders of the world.
Not as protected as the other waves on strong SW day’s, Point does handle a large swell. The bowl offers some heavy take-off’s but after that the wave mellows out and becomes a bottom turn, cut back combination wave. On a really good day, barrels can be found here as well.
A low tide means waves breaking right on the ledge and you can get fun waves here when it is too small to surf anywhere else. A South wind can also be fun as Point offers sections that can be truly blasted.
Point is the breeding ground of the JBay grommets. The pecking order in JBay is strictly enforced. The groms are only allowed at Tubes and then at Supers once they have paid their dues. However, they are well looked after by the elder surfers who make sure the youngsters get their waves, no matter how crowded the surf gets.
This wave is the perfect place to start your JBay surf trip. If you want to settle down and get used to the power and vibe of the town paddle out here. There is a gully in front of the car park but again your timing must be right. There is a long “danger zone” that has to be negotiated before you reach the safety of the back line, especially on the big days.
Point is best in the 3-8 ft range, depending on what size waves you are comfortable with.
One of the uncrowded breaks in JBay. Slightly out of town, the wave works best on a NW wind and a low tide. Can get epic but usually better somewhere else. It needs the right combination of wind, tide and swell direction to get it good.
The top section of Supers. Breaks both left and right. Works best on a NW – blowing lightly. The wave has earned its name because it really breaks in shallow water.
Locals who have grown tired of the crowds at Supers have ended up surfing Boneyards. So if you get asked to move down to Supers, it’s probably better to go. It is rumoured that the JBU, a local crew of surfers, have claimed Boneyards as their sanctuary.
Probably the heaviest wave in J’Bay. It’s gnarly, unpredictable and sometimes just plain nasty! Best at 3-5ft and needs a NW. The SW is cross shore and the break is quite exposed. Likes a high tide, otherwise it tends to throw big close out sections.
Situated on Main Beach, Kitchens is a mellow reef break that is an underrated wave. A light SW wind is best on a mid tide. As soon as the wind picks up, the spray starts feeling like buck shot. Kitchens is the home break for kids from Pellsrus, a poor community on the edge of J’Bay. Surfing is giving these kids anopportunity in life.
A beach break that generally closes out. But if you are in town go check out the local Surf Schools, who are getting the next generation of locals into the ocean.
Photo of Supertubes: Deon Lategan