Travel Articles


by Roger Smith surf guide with

Points and bays. Beachbreaks and reefs. Lefts and rights. High tide and low tide. Onshore and offshore.

There’s a big swell on the horizon, and some of it is wrapping in to roll along the coast.
Where are the best waves on offer? It’s our job to find them, and to make sure that they are surfed.

The guys are ready and waiting in anticipation. They watch us expectantly while we debate and deliberate.

Okay, it’s decided then. We go west to a bay that will probably deliver the goods, and failing that we go to “the vale”.


Fifteen minutes later we are watching the lines pealing into the bay, fanned by a warm offshore. One wouldn’t think it was mid-winter. The sun is beating down out of a cloudless sky, and it’s only 8AM.

Nope, it’s not perfect. Maybe later when the tide pushes. We move on. The road is now a gravel one sweeping through bushveld and farmlands. Good road. Down into a valley, and onto a grassy patch.
The boys pile out. Cool sounds on the radio.

Look at that! A set lines up on the point and grinds over the rock and sand bottom. Five cooking waves follow. The water’s clear and the surf is good! A flurry of excitement as the guys get the boards out. I knew we’d get waves here and we’ll only have dolphins for company. Nobody surfs here! Baggies and a top will do as it’s about 20 degrees in the water.

Our American guests from colder climes are jumping around. This is the life, amigo.

The point is grinding but that doesn’t deter Glenn from backdooring the first wave….

Louis and Roger run Dawnpatrol, a surf tour operator based in East London on South Africa’s south east coast. They and their support team move up and down the coast, surfing the best waves on offer between Jeffrey’s Bay and the Natal South Coast. Check ou for more info!