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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Latitude: 33° 53.938' S
User rating (4)
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Drive down to Moulle Point, which is the area just west of the Victoria and Alfred waterfront development. If you are facing the sea, Thermo's is the last beach on your left, right next to Granger bay. It's recognizable by a metal object sitting out at sea, about 100m from the beach. This is the only remaining part of the Thermopylae shipwreck.
DistanceIn the city
WalkInstant access (< 5min)
Easy to find?Easy to find
Public access?Public access
Special accessDon't know
Alternative name Thermos
Wave qualityRegional Classic
BottomReef (coral, sharp rocks etc..)
Normal lengthShort (< 50m)
Good day lengthLong (150 to 300 m)
Good swell directionWest, SouthWest, South
Good wind directionSouthWest, South
Swell sizeStarts working at 2m-2.5m / 6ft-8ft and holds up to 4m+ / 12ft
Best tide positionHigh tide only
Best tide movementRising and falling tides
Week crowdFew surfers
Week-end crowdFew surfers
Thermo's faces North. This protects it from the predominantly south-west swell, so it only works when the swell is somewhere between big and huge. This also makes it, along with Kommetjie's Long Beach, one of very few spots that works on a south west wind.
Generally, if the swell is 12 ft, Thermo's is 6 ft, and so on.
The paddle out is pretty easy - just jump in and go out over the reef - the only problem is that the kelp will sometimes make it hard to progress.
Thermo's is a long, powerful, left breaking rollercoaster of a wave - by far the longest ride of any of the city breaks. The takeoff is right behind the shipwreck, and is not for the fainthearted.
If you want a more mellow surf, just sit 30m down from there and you won't need to contend with colliding with anything on takeoff. The reef is so long that you can sit almost anywhere and still get a long ride.
When Thermo's is in the 3-6ft range, is an easy, fun wave for all surfers.
On bigger days, this is a truly thrilling wave, with plenty of power.
The wave tends to break in sections, which are typically makable, offering exciting moments as you charge down the reef.
Way down at the end of the reef there are a few shallow rocks to watch out for, and be careful not to get caught against the concrete breakwater down there - not pleasant!
On those freak 15-20ft swells be careful. Despite Thermo's getting less of the swell, strong currents start up at that size, and it's not hard to get swept into the concrete breakwater at the end of the wave, or to get into trouble getting back in.
The atmosphere here is quite easy going. Requiring big swells, the spot does not break all that often, and it does not have a strong local element.
When the swell is big, and the south-wester is a-blowin, this is the place to go. Remember - it's a high-tide spot, so make sure you are on top of the tides.
By Mark Dayton , 13-08-2009
11th August Swell 2009 - Jeez I surfed my biggest wave yesterday, I went out quickly during lunch time got some very large conditions 8 – 12 foot at a spot off a ship wreck called Thermopylae (Thermopylae ✪ ✪ ✪ A rare point break in Cape Town, this north-facing left-hander needs a huge southwest or west swell. There can be long lulls, unless a really big west swell is running.The wave bends around a rock shelf, and ends in front of the luxury Radisson Hotel. The take-off can be tricky, depending on swell size and tide). I got to surf one long wave which gave me such an adrenalin rush. I paddled back and was feeling a lot more confident for the next one. There was one other guy in the water who caught a wave close to me while I was sitting on a different section waiting for a wave we said howzit then he started paddling back to where he came from so I started paddling more towards the inside of the break because nothing was coming through hoping to catch a smaller wave in the mean time. When I looked back it was too late a massive set wave rolled through I tried to paddle to make it through but I would have had it land on the head so I tossed my board and swam down. Damn then I felt my leash break, that wasn’t funny I came up only to see this massive crazy sea around me and no board. Luckily it popped up over the wave 20 odd meters away. I tell you that was the fastest I have ever swam as I needed to get my board before the next wave did. So caught the next wave in safe and sound but wow what an experience.
By Jonathan Levenson , 12-09-2007
Biggest Barrel Ever - I bodyboarded this place with my school when it was about an 8 foot day.
after a long paddle back after an amazing wave, i wanted more so i took off late on an 8 foot set that every surfer had wiped out on, free fell 8 feet to the bottom and got the biggest barrel of my life.
Was crazy! if u get the chance surf this place, take it!
By Matt Gray , 29-10-2004
best left in CT - when its on this place cranks - like today, swell in the 8-12ft region, wind just switched to South East and high tide at 4pm - u have to surf this wave on a higher tide else too much exposed kelp to dodge - had some insane waves here, including a bad experience when I snapped my leash and my board floated out to sea in the current never to be found again! - it can get heavy!
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