GERO LILLEIKE hits the waves
The sun is out, the sky is blue, it’s time to surf. I arrive at ‘Surfers Corner’ in Muizenberg as people soak up the day like seals.
I suit up and make my way to the waters edge. Muizenberg is possibly the most crowded surf spot in South Africa. The waves are small and break gently, making it a popular beach for people wanting to learn how to surf.
Paddling out at Muizenberg is like driving into oncoming traffic, you have to dodge and dive to avoid collisions with other surfers. Everyone paddles for the same wave making it a free-for-all wave frenzy. Surfing etiquette? What’s that?
I wasn’t out for long when a surfer rode over me leaving me to bleed in the sea.
Perils aside, Muizenberg can be a fun place to surf, especially when there’s a record to break. In 2009, the Earthwave Beach Festival saw 443 surfers take to the water, attempting to set the Guinness World Record for the most surfers to ride a single wave. The attempt was successful, with 110 surfers riding the same wave, beating the old record of 100 set in Santos, Brazil in 2008. Muizenberg still holds that record.
The earliest recorded surfing event in South Africa took place in Muizenberg in 1919 when Heather Price, a Capetonian woman, befriended two American marines who disembarked in Cape Town on their way home after World War One.
The two gentlemen proceeded to introduce Heather to stand-up wave riding. The photograph of Heather Price surfing in Muizenberg speaks for itself.
If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Cape Town and have the nerve, visit Muizenberg, rent a board or a surf instructor and go for a paddle. You might be pleasantly surprised at how fun surfing really is. Good luck!