Road Trip! Surfing My Way Through South Africa
By Matthew Karsten Cape Town, South Africa Date: January 23, 2017 I love to surf, but I’m not very good at it. So I’m spending the next 6 weeks surfing South Africa’s best waves with professional instructors. Yes, you read that correctly. An epic surfing road trip from Cape Town to Durban, with instruction from some former pro surfers. Sounds like a dream adventure travel vacation, right? That’s what I thought. I’ll be heading out on a multi-week South African Road Trip to experience legendary surfing conditions and locations that South Africa is well known for. Surfing South Africa Where will I be surfing? The adventure starts in Cape Town and I’ll slowly work my way up the East coast to Durban over 4 weeks, stopping at all the best surf spots along the journey. Cape Town (Muizenberg Beach) Plettenburg Bay Jeffrey’s Bay Coffee Bay Durban (Anstey’s Beach) Volunteer Projects My journey won’t just be about getting better at surfing though. We’ll also dedicate time to local community projects throughout the trip. Like organizing football matches on the beach for township kids, teaching surfing lessons, and more. It’s another aspect of this adventure that I’m really looking forward to. Surf Vacation Packing List Did I mention that July is winter in South Africa? The Drakensburg mountains were covered with snow on my flight in! My travel gear for this adventure will be slightly different than my usual kit. 4/3 Wetsuit The water in South Africa isn’t tropical, and I need a proper wetsuit (4mm chest, 3mm arms/legs). Luckily I found a local company that has a factory in Cape Town. I snagged a brand new, custom fit, 4/3 wetsuit direct from the Coral Wetsuits factory store for only $126! 50+ Sunscreen My Irish skin doesn’t tan well, so plenty of strong waterproof sunscreen is a must. Maybe some Zinc for the nose too. I’ll be putting in a lot of wave time under the hot sun each week. First Aid Kit Surfing can be a rough sport. Getting slammed into the rocks by a wave will leave a mark or two. That’s why it’s important to have a first aid kit for the inevitable cuts & scrapes. Warm Clothes Despite it being winter here, air temperatures are between 50° – 70°F (11° – 21°C). So it’s really not that bad. However early mornings and late nights on the beach will require warm & comfortable clothing. After a 3 hour session surfing in cold water, warm clothes are exactly what you need. GoPro Camera & Accessories I’ve written a whole post about my favorite GoPro accessories for travel, but wanted to test out some new stuff on this surf trip. So I picked up a few dedicated surf mounts, replaced my underwater housing with the blackout version, and bought GoPro’s new adjustable gooseneck/hand-grip. Hoping to capture some great surfing footage & photos to share with you. Surfboard! I’m normally accustomed to surfing 9 foot longboards, but I’d like to move down to a shorter board. It will certainly be a challenge. Before I get my hands on one though, I’ll use longer boards while slowly working my way down to shorter ones as I become more proficient. Special Surprises Of course there is much more to South Africa than surfing. If you love adventure travel, this amazing country has a lot to offer. That’s why we’ll be embarking on other activities as well. Follow Along! You can follow my surfing adventures in real time on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram. What About Sharks?! I’ll punch them in the nose.