The Cape Doctor is fast becoming Cape Town’s most unwanted houseguest. You don’t have to be a surfer to agree, it has overstayed its welcome!
As the ocean is my office, my waking ritual is a cup of coffee and weather forecast check. The wind, ocean tides, ground swell and wave size are always variables that make surfing exciting and different every day.
Calculating all the variables and making an educated guess on the surf is something every surfer does daily. It will determine what board you load onto the car and which wetsuit you decide to pack. When you pull into the car park realizing your call was spot on, you have a quiet sense of satisfaction knowing you made the right call.
A usual summer in Cape Town offers a fair share of Southerly winds leaving the more capable surfer regularly heading to the Atlantic coast. I’m a keen advocate of a little wind as an offshore surf day offers great potential to hold up a waves face for a longer ride. For some reason this summer, the variable of wind has become a constant! One week of light offshore catapulted into five weeks of near gale force winds… it has been a pretty bleak summer for decent surf to say the least.
The prevailing wind has blown out the surf and pushed the water temperature down to sub 10 degrees leaving ice cream headaches and choppy sea horses a certainty.
Surfing in these conditions is an art in itself. You need to judge every wave before paddling in, as the back spray in your face can be blinding. It always helps to lay a little further forward on your board, stopping the wind from catching under the nose. When riding down the line, keeping your center of gravity low and a wider stance always helps getting through the chop on the waves face.