Massive Waves in Durban close Piers but don’t stop the Surfing!
Hugh waves pounded KwaZulu-Natal’s coastline this weekend, leading to the closure of four piers along Durban’s beaches.
The swells were between 5m and 6m. Bathing and surfing, for those brave enough to take to the water, was prohibited on certain beaches.
Plastic bags were filled with sand and placed outside the entrances to the parks and gardens department’s beachfront office and police station to prevent flooding.
Surf industry mogul Mike Larmont, 63, said normal sea swells off Durban were between 1.5m and 2.5m.
Local talented photographer Nic Aberdien captured some amazing shots of the Durban waves this morning.
“Its been a really wild week of crazy swell hitting Durban beachfront but today its was literally breaking above the pier and the shoreline was right up to the shower.” said Aberdien. All pics were taken by him!
Durban, or Surf City, has The Golden Mile of perfect beaches tucked between a series of piers. These are all consistent beach breaks capable of holding sizeable winter swell and summer cyclone swell. The most popular of these are: Bay of Plenty; New Pier; North Beach; Wedge and Dairy. Further south towards the harbour, uShaka and Vetches only pick up when massive southerly winter swells wrap around the harbour and onto the reef.
South of the harbour, bluff beaches meeting the oncoming swell provide solid surfing conditions at the likes of Ansteys, Cave Rock, Brighton and Garvies. Of these, Cave Rock offers the biggest, best waves, but, with a reef bottom, only experienced surfers should apply.
Did you know?
The first South African Surfing Championships took place in Durban in 1966.
The South Coast, with its many reef and beach breaks, holds the promise of perfect hollow waves, especially if you’re in the water early before the wind picks up in summer, or in winter when the swell is big and conditions generally glassy.The first South Coast beach, Amanzimtoti, is a 20 minute drive from Durban, followed by Warner Beach. Further south, Scottburgh’s consistent right point break means there’s always someone in the water, while Happy Wanderers’ right reef break is empty until conditions are perfect. An hour further south are a number of good reef-to-sand surf spots: Margate; Uvongo; St Michaels; Umzumbe and Lucien.
North of Durban, surf spots worth a visit include Ballito, Umdloti, Westbrook, Umhlanga, Salt Rock, Sodwana Bay and Richards Bay. Of these, Ballito and Umhlanga have the best waves and enjoy a vibrant beach culture, with oodles of accommodation, while Westbrook features a long right when the swell is not too big.Durban waves are home to the most promising surfers and consistent waves in the country. Regular swells and favourable wind directions are in abundance as well as a variety of reef, point and beach breaks.
Competition is definitely fierce and localism may be an issue if you’re an inexperienced surfer hitting the main breaks. Durban consistently churns out great surfers and leads the pack when it comes to grommet tournaments around the country.
What Durban waves lacks in power it gains in the quality of its waves. Water temperatures are warm all year round and weather is generally hot and humid.
Breaks to visit: New Pier(ultra crowded and competitive), Cave Rock, North Beach, Dairy Beach, Baggies.