Surf’s up in Durban

Private Property South Africa
Megan Deane

The temperature isn't the only thing sizzling in Durban this season, the waves are perfect for surfers.

Welcome to surf city! Warm waters, sunny skies, surf shops, a laid-back culture and a long coastline of great beaches is what makes Durban the place to grab your surf board and catch a wave.

Surfers are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding good waves. Durban’s coastline is roughly split between Durban central, and the North and South coast.

There are a couple of popular surfing spots found along Durban’s beachfront, otherwise known as the ‘Golden Mile’. A favourite among locals, which consistently promises world-class, hollow, fast and powerful waves is ‘New Pier’, located left of California Dreaming restaurant. Not too far off this section you will find Bay of Plenty that once was the all-time popular surf spot for many. Other surfing favourites along the Golden Mile include Dairy, Wedge and North Beach. North Beach is where the annual international surfing competition took place, popularly known as the Gunston 500, between 1969 – 1999, and then Mr Price Pro from the year 2000 - 2008.

The North Coast offers a great surf culture, and some of the best waves, especially in Umhlanga and Ballito. Ballito became the next home of the surfing competition from 2009, which, in its 47th year, is now known as the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong.

The South Coast also has much to offer and you can expect big swells, especially if you catch your waves early in the morning, before the wind picks up.

To find out how the waves are performing in a certain area, go to swell.co.za and look at the forecast.

Competitions coming up:

  • Quicksilver Off The Lip Movember Surf Jam; at Beach Bums; 26th November 2016 hosted by Broadriders
  • Log Your Time; at Tiffany’s Reef; 3 December hosted by Find the Stroke and Coffee Bay
  • El Nino Series; at Ansteys Beach; 10 December 2016 hosted by Bluff Boardriders
  • Lizzard Hurricane Summer Surf Contest; at Umhlanga Main Beach; 10th & 11th December 2016

Surfing 101:

  1. Surfing is unpredictable and demanding; know your ocean safety
  2. Get a good beginners surf board
  3. Practice on land first
  4. Find a beginner’s surf spot
  5. Have FUN!

What is Durban surf known for?

“Our piers, warm water, tropical type climate and its close proximity between the breaks makes us definitely stand alone amongst the rest.” – Chris Knutsen, SA Surfers Masters Champ

“Happy hollow days and barrels of fun. Surf city of South Africa is the warmest place to be.” – Warren Wareing, CEO Island Style South Africa

“My favourite surf spots are Wedge and Bay of Plenty. I grew up surfing at the Bay of Plenty so it holds a special place for me as well.” - Deon Knoetze, Find the Stroke Salt Rock Surf Shop

“I enjoy surfing at Umhlanga and between the piers when it’s all time. Durban is an unrivalled surf factory for both waves and surfers. Warm water, consistent swells and plenty of spots to let loose on with your choms.” - Andrew Paterson, Local Surfer

“I surf at Scottburgh, Warners and other beaches along the South Coast. Durban is known for its warm waters, friendly faces and good surf.” - Adam Burgoyne, Local Surfer

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a trip through Durban in this spectacular video:

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Durban Central
Beach meets business
Durban Central is a diverse, colourful neighbourhood that includes the beachfront areas, the Berea, Morningside, Glenwood, Musgrave and the CBD. The beach is the biggest attraction and locals flock the promenade to cycle, run, surf, swim, fish or just catch some sun. There are also incredibly lush parks and open spaces dotted around the neighbourhod for residents to take advantage of. The nightlife in Durban Central is exciting with numerous bars, pubs, restaurants and night clubs in close proximity to each other. As its name implies, Durban Central's location makes it convenient to get to any of the other areas around Durban.
Durban South
Seaside suburbs of the South
Durban South has a very family-like feel to it, with spacious homes at affordable prices. Enjoy quiet neighbourhoods and great community living, amongst a diverse range of cultures. The area feels warm and welcoming to anyone and everyone. This part of Durban offers convenient access to beaches, malls, and good schools. It's suburban bliss, just a stone's throw away from the city of Durban. It's the ideal place for those wanting to retire near the seaside.
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