Water sports in Winter?

Words: Shift ONE

Contrary to what one might think, the call of the Atlantic becomes even louder in winter.

Just ask anyone emerging from the waters of the West Coast. And while there might be an icy chill in the air and grey skies up above, there is no sight more breathtaking than clean lines on the horizon as you drive into Big Bay on a cold winter’s day.


Why this has become a favourite playground for water warriors young and old, is no secret. Right up ahead from the parking lot lies the popular Big Bay beach, while a short stroll towards Melkbos takes you to the left-hand break of Kamers and the glassy A-frames of Horse Trails. Perfect for various levels of surfing, bodyboarding and SUPing, the conditions on the day ultimately dictate whether you’re experienced enough to paddle out or not.


Winter is in fact the best time to get wet on the West Coast. Here’s why:


Firstly, the unruly gale-force Cape Doctor will be hibernating till early summer.
Secondly, the waters are much warmer during the chilly season than you’d expect.
Thirdly, there are fewer crowds to contend with. It’s therefore also a great time to get skilled in a new watersport.
Big Bay has easy access to two well-known surf equipment suppliers. You can buy and rent various sized surfboards, bodyboards and wetsuits from Surf Zone or book lessons at Cabrinha where you’ll also find a wide range of surfing, bodyboarding, SUPing and kiteboarding supplies. Should you have any questions about the changing of the tides, winds, wave periods and general surf conditions for the day, the staff will gladly assist you. And if you’re keen to take part in a SUP event, you’ll be happy to know that the Big Bay Lifesaving Club frequently organises events and competitions.


Here’s what else we love about Big Bay:

Plenty of space to wax your board
Safe parking underground
Car key stowage with Snoekies and Beach Bistro
Clean showers
Plenty of restaurants to warm up in afterwards
After a long day of sand and sea, you’ll have to agree that whoever said the ocean and beaches were only meant to be enjoyed during summer, had definitely not experienced the charm of the West Coast during winter.


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