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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 11 December 2017

Here are five surf spots that even the best surfers would do best to avoid: gnarly waves that are best left out of your holiday plans. This content pays our rent.


OCEAN BOMBS: Some surf spots are not for the faint hearted, or skills-less. Photo Unsplash

Yes, surfing is generally suitable for surfers of all abilities, but only if you travel to the correct destination. Some places have bigger, more powerful and more scary waves. Even some of the most experienced surfers would avoid these five gnarly destinations.

If you don't want to be put off forever, surf within your confidence and ability. While you may be tempted to visit these epic locations, only your E111 card renewal will save you.

1. Ghost Trees, North Carolina
The name of this surfing spot alone gives you the heebies. But if you do paddle out here on a 20 foot day, you are likely to become a ghost quite quickly. However, perhaps this will be due to the big white sharks that abound. The surf here (okay we're talking wave walls not swells) has been known to reach 80 feet. Just thinking about that could engulf you in the night terrors as ghostly wraiths dance on your soul.

2. Watergate Bay, Cornwall
What's not to love about this popular, crowded surf spot? E bye gum! Awright me 'ansome. You've got golden sands, a friendly atmosphere and authentic restaurants. "So, why should I avoid it?” Well, now this is purely for beginners, rather move a little away from the crowds to practise your technique and balancing skills. Watergate Bay heaves with SUP riders, longboarders, kiters, kayakers, and all other manner of craft. Rather learn how to surf away from the madding crowd.

3. Shipstern Bluff, Australia
Located in Tasmania, this is a horrible slab that could snuff you out like a bad movie. Like Ghost Trees, big torpedoes (shaaaarks mate) prowl the waters. Shipstern Bluff is surrounded by large granite ledges upon which the roar of convulsing surf can be heard. Being dead can completely ruin your surfing experience. Bone chilling water temperatures don't help all that much either.

4. Praia do Norte, Portugal
Giant, A-frame behemoths come beaming towards a rocky pinnacle close to shore at Nazare. They are positively gigantic when looking from the lighthouse on the cliff, but when you're being swatted by a heaving, surging ocean below, they will seem preposterously big. This is the place where the highest surfed wave was ever recorded, so unless you're at the top of your game, possess the latest safety gear and jetskis, and have super skilled mates with your life in their hands, rather toodle off to a nearby pensione and down some almond liqueur before its too late.

5. Praa Sands, Cornwall
Back to Cornwall. Aaarrr! Praa Sands, which means Witches Cove in Cornish, is not particularly scary like Ours, The Box, Chopes, Mavericks, Pipeline or Dungeons might be when under scrutiny for a feature of this nature, but it does have a small problem that might be your undoing. That of course is not raggedy hags in black putting a black curse of never eating another Cornish pastie upon your soul. Not, these are the rip currents that suck you out to sea. Choose another beach if you're learning.

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