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Spot: J-Bayjbay

Getting there: From the U.S. it is a trek to say the least.  A couple of the longest flights in the world are the desired means, leaving from Washington D.C. or Atlanta the flights run roughly 18hrs with a stop to refuel part way through the trip.  The tickets start at 1200 and go up from there depending on when you book.  Do not be surprised if you your travel spans three calendar days.  When you get to Johannesburg you will transfer to a flight that goes into Port Elizabeth.  Be prepared to lug your boards and the rest of your bags from the international terminal to the domestic.  Along the way people will try and “help” you carry your bags, heed the signs and just tough it out and carry them yourselves.  Once you get to Port Elizabeth you still have a drive to get you to J-Bay.  Depending on where you are staying make arrangements to be picked up. A lot of places offer this service and after 25-30 hours of traveling it is a welcome convenience.

Where to stay: There are quite a few places to stay but I would recommend one that is next to the break as opposed to being in town.  The more budget minded should look into Surfpackers, which is clean, cheap and ideally located right on the across from the walkway to the break.  For those looking to spend a little more money, African Perfection is right on the water with a direct view of Supertubes.  African Perfection also has one of the nicer restaurants around.


African Perfection



Boneyards: Boneyards sits on the outside and is quite a bit more exposed to the elements then the rest of the point.  On a typical day Boneyards connects through to Supertubes offering the best section of surf on the point.  Boneyards itself is not always the spot to sit as often times waves will swing a little wide and hit Supertubes, similarly a big set may taper off by the time it gets to Supertubes.

Supertubes: This is the best section on the point, which offers a barrel at times, and at the least a fast wall allowing for some speed carves.  Don’t be fooled watching videos, the “pros” turns out here are not the norm, but it is one of the best sections of surf in the world offering a challenge to even the most experienced surfer.

The Point: The Point sits towards the end of the numerous breaks along the bay, but offers the best performance small wave section.  When Supertubes is breaking over a few inches of water, trek down to the point for some real fun rights and lefts.

Getting in and Out: First thing you should figure out before paddling out is where the keyholes in the reef are located.  The first time you go out the lower keyhole is the ideal spot to go out from, as it is the easier of the two.  You will see people walking out at the upper keyhole, which is more a rock jump then anything, which is much more challenging.  If you haven’t spoken to anyone by the time you are set for your first paddle out just watch the people coming in and going out to figure out the location of the keyholes.

Equipment: Whatever board you are most comfortable flying down the line on is recommended.  If you come out with a 7’2 gun because you think the size dictates it you are going to be paddling into a fierce offshore wind, big board plus very strong off shore wind means you are going to be riding a kite.  Size down on the board, if you need some more foam try bringing a little thicker board with more paddling power but less surface area.  As far as wetsuits go, a 3/2 is plenty during the peak season.  Booties are not necessary but are nice to have on the colder days or when you are first feeling the spot out as they are a lifesaver when walking on the reef.  The town has quite a few surf shops in case you need to pick something up.

Ending Thoughts: Regular footers have long viewed J-Bay as one of if not the top destination in the world.  The wave has a ton of variation and there is always some surf to be found during peak season.  While the plane ticket makes it seem like the trip is out of reach once in town you will be very happy with the exchange rate.  You can stay in a multi person room for 8-10 dollars a night and get into your own room starting around 20 a night.  In addition food is cheap you can eat very well on about 10-15 dollars a day.  Do not hesitate when it comes to planning a trip the place is amazing and although the traveling can take a toll it all fades away when you walk up and see perfect waves peeling off.   Some videos to get you stoked on J-Bay.

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