Not a Tropical Paradise
But as a surfer you probably don't care.
Surfing along the oldest desert in the world not only offers consistent, year-round quality waves for all levels with low crowds - on top of this, the Namib desert's mesmerizing scenery and the endless barrels of Skeleton Bay will remain etched in your mind.
Be prepared, this place is wild.
The desert climate can be harsh and you might surf alone with no soul in sight apart from some friendly seals and dolphins, while jackals watch the car on the beach - it's all part of the adventure.
For all the facts like, sharks, safety and the cost of beer, read on or see our Surf Namibia FAQ and Travel Namibia FAQ.
- Stay Salty! -
Let's Go Surfing
Whether it's your first surf lesson or you're a seasoned tube lord comfortable riding the longest, and one of the fastest and heaviest barrels on earth - Skeleton Bay - or anything in between, we are ready to get you stoked and filled up on Vitamin Sea!
In-depth knowledge of surf spots and local conditions.
1st aid trained guide/instructor and our company is licensed & insured according to Namibian regulations.
We speak English, Deutsch, Italiano, Afrikaans, Dutch and a bit of French too!
Tube lords: we know when Skeleton Bay is working and will gladly advise on if a trip is worth it or not.
We take you surfing according to your level by choosing from the services below.
What's my surfing level?
Never surfed before.
Some past surfing experience or attended surf lessons before, has stood up on whitewater/small green waves on large board.
Able to catch unbroken waves, trim sideways, duckdive and paddle to backline in some conditions. Waves up to '4ft' (2m). Medium to high fitness. Hard board with volume 35-80L. Familiar with lineup etiquette and has probably tried not only beach breaks.
Surfs any spot type, waves up to '6ft' or greater (3m +). High level of fitness. Board matched to surfer's body and surf style.
Surf Seasons in Namibia
Certain seasons are more suited to certain surfers. And of course since surfing is at the mercy of nature, these guidelines are not 100% accurate - each year is different and there are always surprises, like scoring Skeleton Bay for Christmas!
Namibia has consistent waves all year round. Our coast is surfable close to 365 days of the year with good-excellent conditions of clean high period swells on over 250 days of the year.
Mild but moody - we can have 4 seasons in any one day. Air temperatures rarely drop below 10 deg C even in winter. Any day of the year can turn out sunny with temperatures usually in the 20's and rarely, when we have hot desert winds, even well into the 30's. When the sun doesn't shine due to fog, air temperatures are usually 15-20 deg C.
Most days have zero or slight wind in the morning - this is prime surfing time often with glassy conditions. Late morning usually brings a mild to strong onshore which lasts well into the afternoon. Sometimes there is an evening glass off when the wind dies down and it's time for that sunset session.
Small to medium sized swell perfect for surf lessons and intermediate level surfers. It's our summer with water temperatures of 14-17 deg C and in January and February as high as 25 deg C. Of course for advanced surfers, there are options too and there can always be an unexpected big swell or two.
An exciting mix of conditions for beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers with usually mid-sized swell and the odd big one. A bonus is some of the mildest and warmest weather of the year with favourable winds. Water temperatures drop to 12-20 deg C.
Swell season a.k.a Donkey Season is May-August. This is our winter, when frequent far away storms in the South Atlantic send big, clean ground swells towards Southern Arica's coast. These first hit the Western Cape in South Africa and then make their way up the West Coast of Africa to Namibia together with Saffas heading north on the N7 highway towards the barrel of all barrels.
As for the weather, May-July usually have the lowest wind and are surprisingly warm, while in August is starts to get colder and windier. Water temperatures are usually 12-15 deg C, hardly ever colder. Best for intermediate to advanced surfers, as we surf a variety of break types not suitable to beginner lessons. Of course there are exceptions, so lessons are not impossible, just unlikely.
Certain spots come alive during these colder and more windy months, which are best suited to ambitious beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers. Water temperatures are typically 12-17 deg C and there is a mixture of small, medium to large swells.
For more facts like sharks, safety and the cost of beer - see our Surf Namibia FAQ and our Travel Namibia FAQ.
What hazards are there to surfers in Namibia?
Very few. We have near zero water pollution, very mild currents, very few urchins, our rocky reefs are usually covered by soft plants/mulluscs and as it is not crowded in teh lineup, surfers pose little danger to each other.
Is it sharky in Namibia?
There are sharks in Namibia, however they are no big danger to surfers. Namibia has recorded zero shark attacks on surfers and swimmers. Sharks are rarely sighted while surfing even though there is an abundance of sealife.
Why is Namibia famous for surfing?
Namibia is famous for surfing because of Skeleton Bay, a surf spot which advanced surfers and professionals flock to every year during the months of May to August.
Is Namibia safe as a country?
Namibia is politically stable, the coastal town of Swakopmund is one of the safest in Namibia as are most other towns, the general infrastructure is good, the drinking water is safe and should something happen, there are good hospitals in major towns.
How is the weather at the coast in Namibia?
Sometimes we have four seasons in one day. Please see the "Surf Seasons in Namibia" section on the "Surf With Us" page for detailed information.
How cold is the Atlantic water in Namibia?
Usually 12-18 deg C. Please see the "Surf Seasons in Namibia" section on the "Surf With Us" page for detailed information.
What wetsuit do I need for Namibia and what about booties, hood and gloves?
Most surfers use a 4/3 mm wetsuit.
What is the best way to get to Swakopmund?
Namibia has two international airports:
What is the best town in Namibia to be based for surfing?
Swakopmund. Not only does it have dozens of surf spots in or just outside of town for all conditions and surf levels, but the town is also scenic, clean and safe, has really good bars, cafes, restaurants and supermarkets and it is possible to do everything on foot or bicycle.
Is Namibia suitable for beginner surfers?
Yes. We have a wide variety of surf spots in Namibia including sandy beaches and the swell conditions are often but not always suitable for beginners. See the "Surf Seasons in Namibia" section on the "Surf With Us" page for detailed information.
How long is a surf lesson?
Generally a surf lesson with Salty Jackal is 2-2.5 hours long. This includes the time to get changed in and out of wetsuits, theory and dry land excercises and warmup stretches. Time spent in the water is 1.5-2 hours.
What languages are surf camps, lessons and guiding offered in?
Deutsch, English, Italiano, Afrikaans.
Is surf gear included in surf lessons?
Yes. Surf gear is included in surf lessons at no extra cost.
Is surf gear included in surf camps/guiding/trips?
No, it is available at a small additional fee. See relevant pages for more information.
How big are the waves in Namibia?
This depends on the swell and wind conditions which vary day by day and seasonally.
How crowded is the surf in Namibia?
The crowds are generally very low.
What type of surf breaks and spots are found in Namibia and are they left or right?
1. Sand bottom beach breaks
How consistent is the surf in Namibia?
We have surfable waves almost every day 300+ days/year or around 85-90%. On some days one might surf a minimal or a longboard or head to some swell magnet spots for bigger waves. For more information see our "Surf Seasons in Namibia" section.
Are there yoga classes and yoga studios in Namibia and Swakopmund?
Yes there are handful of local yoga studios and instructors in Swakopmund and other bigger towns. Yoga tours are also available in Namibia.
How is the localism at Namibian surf spots?
Because the surfing population in Namibia so small, pretty much all local surfers know each other - Literally. As a visitor you will be noticed so have respect.