South African board sports started off with surfing, then spread rapidly to skate boarding, windsurfing, kite boarding, and more recently, dune boarding. It's all about the adrenalin rush, the sheer joy of movement, the interface between you and the surface of the Earth.

Did you know?

A "waterman" is someone always on the ocean in pursuit of a chosen sport.


South African board sports began on the waves, down in Jeffreys Bay, land of the endless summer and the green room – that place where you are literally enveloped in a tube of awesome ocean power.

In the land of the wide-angle road trip, the urban jungle, the surfing safari and blue skies for Africa, wave-surfing set the trend for sporting sub-cultures. Music, adoring crowds, massive media exposure, wall-to-wall adventure, room-service sunshine and the ultimate thrill of harnessing, for a short while, the power of the oceans was the essence of a surfer's life

Then came surfing in the city – skateboarding. As with most board sports in South Africa, it was astounding what young people could do with their bodies once they were flying through the air on a little piece of varnished wood. Sports scientists followed every twist and turn as these young counter-culturalists rode their way into urban legend.

Some of the more prominent skate parks in South Africa are Gateway Skatepark in Durban, Boogaloos Skatepark in Johannesburg and Sentinel Boardriders Skatepark in Cape Town.

Back to water and sky, as the sports of windsurfing and kite boarding grew into wonderful solo adventures. All along the coastline and on many inland water venues, these board sport activities in South Africa gathered large followings. There are so many clubs attached to each sport, and they welcome offshore visitors who want an outdoor adrenalin rush. There are also training courses available.

But all these sports would have limited backyard appeal if not for commercial sponsorship. When major companies began to see the crowds that board sports attracted, they realised the media value of sponsoring various events. This allowed for international competition, and the game was on.

And now, to top it all, there's dune boarding, an exciting swoop down sand dunes and old mine dumps that is guaranteed to get the adrenalin pumping.