The Eastern Cape certainly has its fair share of fantastic surfing spots, from the rugged points of the Wild Coast, to the world-renowned Jeffreys Bay. But one of the province's best kept surfing secrets are the two beaches that are separated by the Port Alfred piers - East and West Beach.
A favourite of world tour surfers such as Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds as a quiet getaway during the craziness of the Billabong Pro in Jeffreys, Port Alfred's East Beach offers a long right-hander that runs down a perfectly shaped sandbank when the wind and swell conditions are right, emulating the infamous Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay. Local surfers such as Warwick Heny and Lungani Memani have used the idyllic conditions to perfect their surfing, and both have gone on to represent the province at national level.
On the west side of the groins is the appropriately named West Beach, a heaving, wedging left-hander that is not for the faint-hearted… With the prevailing easterly longshore drift, the west pier causes heavy sand deposition and extremely shallow sandbanks at West Beach. The pier itself causes waves to reflect off it, meeting the incoming swells to form a powerful wedge that only experienced surfers should tackle.
The best time of year to catch East Beach firing is in the Autumn and Winter months when early morning land breezes and consistent south westerly swells meet to kickstart the East Beach wave machine. West Beach, however, offers decent waves all year round, but due to the nature of the wave’s temperament, most surfers will still opt for the friendlier East Beach even during the summer months.
One of the best aspects of surfing in Port Alfred is the piers themselves, which allow surfers easy access to the surf as they are able to walk out to where the waves are breaking and jump off the pier. In Port Alfred it is not unheard of to catch your first wave with your hair still dry!
Aside from the two main beaches, there are also several other breaks in the area that are popular with the locals, among them Kleinmond, Riet River and Kellys Beach. So if you’re looking for a peaceful, uncrowded and world-class surfing holiday, add Port Alfred to your shortlist and allow Green Fountain Farm Resort to take care of the rest of your needs.