Skeleton Coast, Namibia, AFRICA
Skeleton Bay is one of the best waves on the planet you've never heard of. Hugues Oyarzabal is gonna show you all of it, inside and out. Hugues Oyarzabal's last DREAM surf trip was to go to a wave in Namibia, one of the best and longest sand banks on the planet, over a kilometer, and littered with BARREL AFTER BARREL. Hugues saw a good surf swell arriving there via the internet from France, so he jumped on a plane and went to score the wave and realize his dream - surfing and capturing Skeleton Bay on his Go Pros... The mysterious wave was amazing - but not easy, and a day of surfing there meant walking over 15 kilometers to get there, hours in the water, crazy barrels, wipe outs and lots of emotions... Check out this video of an incredible wave filmed from the inside.
Namibia is one of the last frontiers of the surfing world. It receives consistent swell, but aside from one or two small patches of coastline close to the few towns, it remains almost completely untouched by surfers. Extreme isolation, unfriendly terrain and virtually impossible access combine with cold water, strong currents, dense fog, unpredictable conditions and lots of very large sharks to keep much of the coast unexplored. The entire Namibian coastline, over 1500km (930mi) long, forms a part of the oldest desert in the world. The Namib Desert is characterised by huge red dunes in the south, making the coast completely inaccessible except around the crumbling German colonial town Lüderitz, which itself has several fickle breaks. The central zone and the major coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are the most commonly surfed areas. North is the Cape Cross Seal Reserve - three classy left points that house the largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere. Sharks are drawn to the seals, but in truth the biggest obstacle to surfing these points are the National Park officials. After a small minority of surfers abused the rules and regulations, they have banned surfing anywhere within the park grounds.
When to Go
The coast of Namibia picks up even the smallest of South Atlantic swells and receives waves on an almost daily basis, year-round. The best season is from May to Sept, with consistent 6-10ft (2-3.3m) SW swells. Most spots are difficult to find and fickle. This is a windy stretch of coast and most spots are highly sensitive to the wind. To score anywhere but the Cape Cross points requires patience. The dominant wind is from the S, varying very little from 49% (August) to 62% (November), and S-SE is the prevailing annual wind direction. The tidal range can reach 6ft (2m), and tide tables are available in Swakopmund.
Epic surf videos from Namibia have been spread on the internet. And that make many rippers search for some of the long lefts just here.
Namibia is one of the youngest nations in Africa and it is situated between the Kalahari Desert and the roaring Atlantic Ocean.
Even though a lot of the surfing potential already has been mapped in Namibia and you might even be eble buy some surfing equipment in Swakopmund this does not mean that many surfers go here – on the contrary. Just buckle up for your next brig surf adventure.
The Waves in Namibia
Consistent swell hits the coast of Namibia and that makes it a perfect place to go search for African waves.
You can fly to Windhoek and head for the coast but it might just be cheaper to fly To Cape Town and go on a wave hunt up the coast to and through Namibia.
A good place to start your search could be around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay just west of Windhoek or further north at the Skeleton coast or in the south at the coast in Namib-Naukluft National Park.
The season for the better swell will be from March to October with the best month in April and May. And remember to bring a full wetsuit (e.g. 3/2) or if you go really early in the season you might get by in a shortie.
World Class Surf in Namibia
Report says that there is plenty world class surfing spots in Namibia. Most of them are pretty unknown so there is nothing stopping you from getting a piece of the action before this might be next big thing in the world of surfing.
Strong currents and heavy swell should keep beginners and kooks away from here.
Look out for…
Visa to Namibia
Visa is not required for visitors from a wide range of countries including EU, USA and most Commonwealth countries. Most visitors from Eastern Europe do need a visa though.
Namibia Surf Spots:
Wreck: In Swakopmund you find a sewage pipe around on Strandstreet here you will find a nice reef break. Surf it after high tide. Here you might find some locals in the line-up, so go some place else if you want to explore Namibia and have waves all to yourself. Look around north and south of the town as there are many different breaks here.
Bocock’s bay and Cape Cross: Bocock’s Bay is located at the 100 milestone north of Swakopmund which is a 30 kilometers drive north of Cape Cross, where you also find waves. This is a nice point break. Don’t go in October to April as it is the sharks mating season. Luckily the best waves are outside this period here and then there shouldn’t be many sharks around. On a good day you will find perfect waves here. Or else try further south at Cape Cross which is similar though.
Delaray Point and Affenrücken: North of Affenrücken in southern Namibia you find three obvious point breaks if you look at the map at Chameis Bay, Bakers Bay and Delaray Point. Lots of world class surf breaks here. Only problem is, that there is a private diamond mining industry at Affenrücken and they don’t seem too happy about surfers getting to close. So don’t go searching too close to these guys.
Skeleton Coast: Reports says there are world class breaks here on the Skeleton Coast and further north but is quite inaccessible. Find already mapped spots and directions on the links below and then you should be ready to go explore.
There sure is a lot more spots mapped in Namibia so check out the websites under here. And don’t be shy to go explore a bit yourself.
After your visit to Namibia please report back to GoSurfAfrica.com and let your experiences and photos benefit later surf explorers. Also contact us if you need more information about surfing in Namibia and we will try to help you and answer all your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.