Surfing at Morgan Bay on the Wild Coast

Wild Coast Surfing and popular surf spots

The Wild Coast is popular with surfers for its excellent waves and uncrowded lineups. A word of warning though; the area has a justifiable reputation for being sharky and there have been numerous fatalities at the excellent point breaks in the area. Many of the great breaks are several hours drive on very bad dirt roads, from the nearest emergency care.

Shark Point

Great waves, but is difficult to get to. In a bay sheltered by cliffs, the point is on the south side. Gets good in a south swell at 4-6 feet and light to moderate westerlies. About half an hour walk south of Mpande.

Rame Head

Long peninsula with a fast right-hand point two hours' walk from Mpande along the beach. Only works in big swell when other spots are out of control. Rame Head needs winds coming from westerly directions. Relatively protected from the strong southwest busters that bash up the coast.

Lwandile

Perfect sand-bottomed point break set-up. World class on a low tide when a clean 6-8 foot south to southeast groundswell is smoothed by light land breezes. The take-off zone lies off a slab of rock – a tubing entry point, then a long hotdogging wall as the wave moves away from the rocks, and runs over deeper sand, before it bends wide of a rocky outcrop and hits a series of sandbanks. On some waves, you can ride to the beach, a ride of maybe 250 metres. As in many Wild Coast spots, this depends on the time of year and sand movement, but even when the sand is not right, the point is still a good wave.

Mdumbi

A perfect point-break. When swell and sand line up, Mdumbe breaks for up to 800 metres, depending on whether you make the never-ending freight train section across vast river-mouth sandbanks. Best at six to ten feet in moderate west or southwest winds. The paddle-out can be daunting. Once you lower yourself into the best entry point, a narrow gully in the rocks, you can't see the waves, so you need a wave spotter on the rocks to signal between sets. Mdumbe rivals Jeffreys Bay but gets (more) sharky in summer and during the Sardine Run.

Breezy Point / Ntlonyana

The point break at Breezy Point (Ntlonyane) is a long, tubing right-hander similar to J-Bay. It is one of THE best spots in SA and is best when the swell is from the south and wind from the west or southwest. It comes with a bad reputation for sharks and shark attacks though, especially when the rivers are in flood during summer or Sardine Run is happening in mid winter.

Yellowsands

This exposed point runs out just south of the Kwelera River mouth and is one of the top rated surf spots in the area, with a perfect right hand break. The beach break is more consistent, with hollow lefts and rights, depending on sand around the mouth. The beach also handles strong southwest winds. The point needs solid, long-period south or southeast groundswell, pushing high tide and glassy or light northwest winds, otherwise it can be fickle, and you end up chasing shadows. On a good day, wedgy take-offs and long tubing sections along the rocks. Getting caught on the inside is tricky. 20 minutes from East London on the tarred Wild Coast Jikeleza Route.

Queensberry Bay

The relatively short ride at Queensberry Bay is made up for by its quality. The wave walls up along a shallow rock shelf, then bends around into deeper water and fades. In glassy conditions, it can be classic. The bigger the swell, the deeper you take off and the longer the ride. A south to southeast swell of 6-8 feet in light land breezes is best. Sensitive to wind. There is an inside left on the far side of the bay that gets good in east swell. Quiet during the week. 20 minutes from East London on the tarred Wild Coast Jikeleza Route.