Elands Bay on absolute fire. Unknown surfer smashing it. Pic by Jean Maree.
We feel it is relatively safe to write up a piece on Elands Bay. As surfers, we understand the need for secrecy of certain surf spots. However, long live the days where online surf forecasts, webcams, Facebook groups, surf celebs and influencers hash-tagging the heck out of their new favourite international surf destination, do not exist. So, here we go giving you our 2-cent comment on how we have fallen head over heels for the west coast’s charming Elands Bay.
We are (most likely) all aware of the Bay where paintings of Eland are smeared with plant juice on to walls of bushmen caves and where the tall four-legged mammals once roamed alongside the desolate left-hand point break. And, most of us have probably scored it on absolute fire.
After your surf, pay a visit to the nearby bushmen caves where paintings of eland are still clearly visible. Pic by Jean Maree.
The thing about E-Bay is that you have to make sure that you are timing it correctly. As in: make sure to recharge your mobile phone with enough data to be able to compare the different surf reports with each other and set up a book club with your mates, but call it the “Which Surf Forecast Platform Should We Believe” club, and check online that the swell is predicted to actually be wrapping into the bay rather sweetly. It will be worth the 2.5 hour drive leading you all the way up to Namibia on a very long…straight…long west coast road. Or not, if you didn’t do your homework properly the day before.
Watch out for the tortoises crossing the road.
We can vouch for the following: if the swell is predicted to be maxing at an impressive 3.5 metres at 15 seconds on the west coast, but it is a touch too southerly – Tube Wave in Melkbos could be squishing everyone on the head with solid bombs, and Elands could be a heartbreaking Lake Elándinö. It is just the way the bay is positioned for the swell to be bending in. So, make sure that WingGuru says the swell is at least south-west for the swell to wrap into the bay, and not south-easterly swell making Muizenberg a tiring paddle.
Take a walk to the top of the west coast’s favourite left-hand point break and jump off the rocks to join the rest of the line up. Pic by Jean Maree.
Let’s talk about when E-Bay is actually on. We’ve replayed the same Tash Sultana playlist a few times on the drive up because she’s said to be performing at the next festival in Darling, so we have to at least know the chorus to all her new songs. And, we have finally arrived in the dirt road parking lot at the bottom of the point. Absolute glistening left-hand pearlers are reeling down the rocky point break as the rocky outcrop in the shape of a majestic baboon, above the endless train track, oversees the surfers cheering on each other in the line up, getting their surf fix to last them until the next spell. The wind is light south-east creating a glassy offshore, and the swell is wrapping in at a spectacular 227 degrees from a south-westerly direction.
The rocky outcrop in the shape of a majestic baboon, above the endless train track, oversees the surfers cheering on each other in the line up. Pic by Jean Maree.
Life is good. The waves are on. But, the water is just so crowded. It is the weekend and the online predictions displayed as great for everyone’s favourite surf spot, all week. Surfers of all ages and sizes loaded all their boards on to the cars’ roofs, charged their DSLR’s to brag all over Insta with surf snaps for the following week, emptied out all the cold water wax from the local surf shops, and proceeded west along the quiet coastal road, away from the Mother City.
That is just the thing – everyone wants to score this excellent wave and everyone will know when it is going to be on. It is a quiet little west coast town with not much occurring, apart from a game of pool at the one and only hotel next to the dop winkel and opposite the town’s police station. So, it makes for a rather special place, as outsiders only really arrive when the waves are of quality.
Oh, Elands Bay, how the surfers of Cape Town especially appreciate you. Although, the west coast’s point break has become very well known, the town is still far from commercialism. Try to catch Elands on a sneaky day during the week when all the Weekend Warriors are busy grafting in the big city, and be sure to have one of the most memorable days of your life surfing waves you will never forget.