Jeffreys Bay: the ultimate 1200-yard surfing experience
- 10 June 2014 | Travel
Jeffreys Bay is a miracle and, for many, it's the best surfing wave in the African continent. A world-class wall of continuous breaking water.
The spot has many names. You can call it Jeffreys Bay, Jeffreysbaai, J-Bay, Jay Bay, etc. In the end, it's all about a powerful, fast right-hand point break admired by surfers from all corners of the world.
J-Bay has made world champions and surf icons. It proved to be a training ground for multiple generations of surfers. Shaun Tomson, Terry Fitzgerald, Mark Occhilupo, Miki Dora, and Mark Price will never forget the allurement of this South African spot.
The first surfers to hit these blessed waters were Brian McLarty, Gus Gobel, and for other local surfers, in March, 1964.
Located 45 miles west of Port Elizabeth, at the base of Cape St. Francis, this amazing surf gem can deliver a 1200-yard (1100 meters) long wave ride or, if you prefer, two minutes of pure pleasure through its multiple sections (Boneyards, Supertubes, Impossibles, Tubes and Point).
The best swells hit Jeffreys Bay between May and September, i.e. wintertime, when the Southwest spot is exposed to the Roaring Forties. With light side to offshore winds, you'll be able to draw your lines in perfect six-to-ten foot wave faces, in a mix of sand and reef bottoms.
Wave sets produce copied/pasted lines with six-second barrels. A successful ride will require advanced skills in the take-off and bottom-turn departments.
Sharks are the only problem, although fatalities are rare. Dolphins are frequent in the region, and you may easily spot them riding their share of waves in the South African surfing treasure.
Jeffreys Bay inspired surf movies and surf books. In "The Endless Summer," "The Endless Summer II," "Litmus", and "Surfer's Code" you will be invited to discover the unbelievable surfing experience that is J-Bay.
"J-Bay molded the way I am as a surfer. I have a wonderful association with this place. It is all about rhythm, speed, power, aggression and style, which are the basic building blocks of surfing. The sixth element is creativity," synthesizes Shaun Tomson.