The waves are best in winter

An interview with surfer Gary, who owns Gary’s Surf School in Muizenberg

Gary, you own a surf school in Muizenberg. How is business when it gets colder these days? Are people still surfing?
Business does slow down in winter but I never understood why beginners have not realised that when its raining the wind should be blowing from the north and that means offshore winds at Muizies. Besides you are going to get wet anyway, plus you have a wetsuit.

Is surfing actually better when it’s colder and the flippin‘ South Easter is gone?
The only time it’s not good is when the South Easter is blowing at 200km/hour.

How are the waves in general in Cape Town winters?
Generally the waves are best in winter. You get all the good swell and that’s what it’s all about!

Would you suggest a hoodie-wetsuit and these shoe-thingies so I won’t freeze?
The hoodie and bootie thing is a personal thing lots of surfers use the booties and not the hood and some surfers use both and some don’t use either. I think its all about body fat and blood circulation etc. I believe if you are getting cold you are not paddling hard enough!

Shall I drink hot stuff before/after the surf?
I think it’s always nice to have something warm to drink after you surf not before you enter the cold water.

How can I learn surfing the fastest?
The fastest way to learn how to surf is to come and see us at our school we get people surfing in one hour! (Not joking.) We have a money back guarantee. Then you just need to put time in the water the more time you spend surfing the faster you get better.

When I want to speak surfers‘ lingo, which words should I use?
The surf lingo is something you learn with time. There are so many different words but 'kiff' (very nice) is a common one, 'slotted' (got a barrel).. this could take some time...

Why are surfers seen as the cool dudes?
I think it’s the surfers that are seen as cool dudes because of their lifestyle and the fact that they have their priorities right! Surf, surf, surf.

What are the best surf spots in Cape Town?
The best spot for beginners, intermediate is Muizenberg. The best spot for advanced surfers is Long Beach, Llandudno, Glen Beach and a big wave spot is Crayfish factory, Dungeons and Sunset Reef.

When did you start surfing?
I started surfing in 1976.

When did you open your surf school and shop?
I started my surf school in 1989 and the shop came later.

Your vision on surfing?
Surfing is growing at a rapid pace since people are realising what a fun way to stay in shape it is and it clears your head, removes all stress and it puts a smile on your dial, must I carry on? To stay stoked just go surfing!

by Antonia Heil


Gary’s Surf School
34 Beach Road
 | Muizenberg | +27 (0)21 788 9839

Opening hours: 7 days a week, 362 days a year (closed on December 25 & 26, and January 1)

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