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. The locals don’t tolerate nonsense. Due to the crowds that flock to the break each year, local surfers have organised themselves to deal with the “invasion”. However, if you wait your turn and show respect you will end up getting waves.
The wave is best in the four to eight foot 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 southwest wind is best. Due to the sand dunes, the break is protected no matter how hard the southwest blows. Northwest is cross shore and often blows in the early morning. It creates a bump that can make things unpleasant. East and southeast 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.
Home to the Billabong Pro in July.
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 four to five foot category. Offshore on a southwest wind, it also likes a south or southwest swell direction. There is a relatively small take-off section, which means Tubes cannot hold a large crowd. Home to the older crew.
The first wave to be surfed in Jeffreys Bay. Point was discovered by long boarders in the early 1960s, little knowing they had stumbled across one of the natural wonders of the world.
Not as protected as the other waves on strong southwesterly days, Point does handle a large swell. The bowl offers some heavy take-offs 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.
Point is the breeding ground of the J-bay grommets. The pecking order in J-bay 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 older surfers who make sure the youngsters get their waves.
This wave is the perfect place to start your J-Bay 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 big days.
Point is best in the three to eight foot range.
One of the uncrowded breaks in J-Bay. Slightly out of town, the wave works best on a northwest 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. No local crew as yet.
The top section of Supers. Breaks both left and right. Works best on a northwest, 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 three to five foot and needs a northwest. The southwest 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 southwest wind is best on a mid tide. As soon as the wind picks up, the spray starts feeling like buckshot. Kitchens is the home break for kids from Pellsrus. Surfing is giving these kids an opportunity 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.