South Africa Surf Trip with a Purpose

Max Hepworth-Povey


8 months ago in News

Riding Waves for Conservation and Community

I had the pleasure of visiting South Africa in 2016 and whilst my personal growth amounted to nothing more than surfing some of the heaviest waves I had experienced up to that point in my life, whilst dining on the best carnivorous delights previously unbeknown to me, there’s a lot more on offer making the South African surf experience a journey of conservation, community engagement, and personal growth.

The author many moons ago on more of a pleasure seeking adventure

Here’s a few ways how we aim to make a positive impact on the environment and local communities in South Africa, whilst experiencing the beauty of the World in one country.

Conservation Efforts

One of the most pressing issues faced by oceans worldwide is plastic pollution. Numerous local initiatives are dedicated to preserving South Africa’s coastal ecosystems. Surf travellers can get involved by volunteering for beach clean-ups or supporting these organisations financially to help combat marine litter and protect the marine life. 

When running our epic Gap Year South Africa Surf Adventures, we ensure we leave ‘nothing but footprints’ as they say and immerse ourselves in whatever’s happening in the locations we visit.

Marine Conservation Research

The vast stretch of coastline we visit whilst traveling through ‘The Garden Route’ is rich in marine biodiversity, providing sanctuary to real wildlife like whales, dolphins, and of course sharks and many marine research programs welcome the participation of volunteers and we have had numerous customers extended their stays in the country to get involved, helping to contribute to data collection efforts and gain insights into marine conservation, making their surf trip an educational and meaningful one.

Empowering Local Communities

In many of the coastal towns we visit, poverty and socio-economic challenges are prevalent. We aim to engage with local communities by supporting small businesses, buying locally-made products and contributing to social development projects. This form of responsible tourism has a positive impact on the lives of the people living in these areas.

Surfing Programs for local young people

Surfing can be a powerful tool for empowerment and skill-building. Several non-profit organizations in South Africa run surfing programs aimed at providing underprivileged young people with access to the ocean, teaching them valuable life skills, whilst instilling a sense of responsibility towards the environment. Waves for Change was actually originally started by Ticket to Ride in 2007 and has grown to become one of the most successful surf therapy programs in the World.

Personal Growth

Our adventures through South Africa will guarantee to see an improvement in your surfing skills but will also have an impact on your personal well-being and mindfulness. Combining the healing powers of yoga with the adrenaline rush of surfing can result in a transformative experience, leaving you more in tune with themselves and the environment.

Learning from the Locals

Engaging with local surfers is also an enriching experience and naturally encourages our riders to learn about the history, culture, and deep connection that South Africans have with the ocean. Sharing stories and experiences can foster mutual understanding and appreciation. Donating a board or two at the end of your trip will leave the imprint of a smile that will stay in your mind forever.

So to summarise without trying to sound too salesy, a surf trip to South Africa can be more than just catching waves; it can be an extraordinary opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment and local communities. By participating in conservation efforts, engaging with local communities, and seeking personal growth through surfing experiences, our guests can create lasting memories and leave behind a meaningful legacy.

Responsible tourism and mindful surfing can pave the way for a sustainable future, where the beauty of South Africa’s coastal treasures can be preserved for generations to come. 

So, the next time you plan a surf trip, consider riding waves with a purpose in South Africa