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Big Bay water temperature
Big Bay ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.8
Consistency of Surf: 3.6
Difficulty Level: 2.8
Wind and Kite Surfing: 4.6
Crowds: 2.0

Overall: 4.0

See all 18 ratings

Based on 9 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Big Bay Water Temperature and Wetsuit Guide

(Cape Town, South Africa)

Today's Big Bay sea temperature is 15.5 °C.

Statistics for 18 Dec (1981–2005) – mean: 19.0 °C, range: 17.7 °C to 20.9 °C

Sunny with pleasantly warm air temperatures (feels like 21 °C) at Big Bay, yet the sea remains several degrees colder than the air. Most surfers will need a spring wetsuit though a summer suit or even a shorty may suffice for a short session.

South Africa Sea Water Temperature

Map of current South Africa
Surface Water Temperatures
based on measurements from oceanographic satellites
South Africa Water Temperature Anomaly

Map of current South Africa
Sea Water Temperature Anomalies

(compared with long term averages
at this time of year)

(click thumbnails to expand)

Below is a graph of Historical Sea Surface Temperature for Big Bay. This has been derived from analysis of two decades of oceanographic satellite measurements of nearby open water. We have calculated the average water temperature variation around the year as well as the extremes that have been observed on each date.

Big Bay Water Temperature Graph

All of the graphs for the surf breaks presented on Surf-Forecast.com are on the same scale to enable comparison between locations around the world.

Big Bay sea water temperatures peak in the range 19 to 22°C (66 to 72°F) on around the 31st of January and are at their minimum on about the 10th of August, in the range 14 to 16°C (57 to 61°F). Big Bay sea water temperatures are maximum at the end of January. Surfers should use a 2mm long sleeve shorty or a 3/2mm spring wetsuit if the wind is up. The minimum seasonal sea water temperatures at Big Bay in early to mid August lend themselves to a 4/3mm wetsuit or a 3/2mm suit and 3mm neoprene boots.

Actual sea surface water temperatures close to shore at Big Bay can vary by several degrees compared with these open water averages. This is especially true after heavy rain, close to river mouths or after long periods of strong offshore winds. Offshore winds cause colder deep water to replace surface water that has been warmed by the sun. Air temperature, wind-chill and sunshine should also be considered before deciding on the kind of wetsuit needed to stay warm when surfing at Big Bay. Refer to our detailed weather forecasts for this information.