Surfing chilly waves in Cape Town's Winter

If you must know, I'm very much a pleasant-conditions surfer.  Extremely fussy about times I do choose to surf, I decide mostly based on the outdoor temperature, wave conditions and whether the sun will be there post-surf to heat my bones.  Now in Cape Town, a large percentage of the time Summer equals South Easter wind which means one thing for surfers who usually long board and frequent Muizenberg beach: Washing machine of foamy crapness.  But in amongst the days when the SE blows shamelessly there are those priceless times when the swell is an OK size, the waves are nice and clean and the sun is shining beautifully enabling me to get warm and even tan afterwards.

But this was not one of those days.  We had all already established over the past two weeks that Winter had arrived uninvited, AGAIN and rained on our summer Capetonian vibe and sent everyone running towards 6 months of hibernation. 

Because I am not a die-hard surfer, I had no intention of getting wet if I was already cold, but today even though the sky was grey and it looked like rain was on the way, a North West wind blew breezily and the air was surprisingly warm.  My boyfriend had already switched into his panic-need-to-get-into-the-water-before-the-wind-changes-mode, so off we drove along the M3 highway not even bothering to put the roof racks on, but showing my borrowed board into the car.

I got my wetsuit on pretty quickly before I caught a whiff of any cold or lost my nerve and will to paddle. Last to go on were my beloved booties to whom I am forever grateful to for keeping my feet warm.  Board waxed, black shark flag up (meaning visibility for spotting sharks was bad, but that it was still safe to go in the water) and I was off towards the waves.

My spirits were high and my body keen to get moving.  That was until I felt the water.  It was utterly chilly and so unexpected for a warmish day.  But I was with two males and had already come so far.  It would be an epic failure to turn back now.  So off I went paddling to the mid-line (until I reached exhaustion, which happens pretty quickly) and waiting for some sweet waves to carry me forward.  And they came. 

One great thing about Winter and the cold, the waves are vastly more powerful.  Takes you awhile longer to get onto your feet and stay there, but once you're up, the ride is swift and rewarding.  If you happen to be heading Muizenberg beach way, I'm almost sure you may spot me there riding waves in the chilly water.

A rainbow over Muizenberg Beach on another Winter's Day