Surfing in Durban - An Essential Guide

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Set in the Kwazulu-Natal province of South Africa, Durban is famous as the surf city of the country. Those who are seeking an alternative to J-Bay or the chilling water of Cape Town can undoubtedly consider this city. Durban is among the safest surfing destinations in South Africa, protected with shark nets that inhibit sharks from coming near the specified shore area. The longest-running International surfing event in South Africa has been held in the harbour city of Durban. Also, it is home to several best surfers in South Africa. Remarkably, Durban is widely known for its marvellous beach breaks. When south swells enfold the Bluff Peninsula, groins, and the piers from the south, it creates splendid point breaks, best suited for surfers of advanced level. Contrastingly, the northern beaches have beach breaks that are appropriate for beginners. Durban has some impressive spots offering idyllic surf conditions that are a must-visit if you enjoy surfing. Let us explore!

Best Time for Surfing in Durban

All kinds of water-related sports seem more enticing to enjoy in the summer. In the summer period in KwaZulu-Natal, i.e, from November to March, the weather is hot & the water seems inviting, but the shorewards north-easterly winds often make it choppy (except that you get there at daybreak). Therefore, the best season of the year for surfing in Durban is the winter season. The winters in Durban prevail from June to August, which is the most dependable time for surfing here. During this time, the waters observe large & consistent swells generated way down in the abyss. Notably, the water temperature goes down at this time of year, but with a 3/2mm wetsuit, you are good to go. Waves are usually smaller, inconsistent, & less potent during the warmer months, whereas winters observe groundswell and longer rides.

Best Surfing Spots in Durban

1.  Addington Beach 

Addington Beach
Addington Beach is an expansive sandy beach situated on the popular Golden Mile of Durban. It is a smooth & safe area of the Indian Ocean with shark nets & lifeguards that is protected by the Durban Harbor from the large ocean swells. Remarkably, the small waves and warm tropical water of the Indian Ocean make Addington Beach a surf paradise for beginners. The gentle & small waves are ideal for anyone seeking to learn how to surf or prefers calm waters. Though Addington beach is a decent spot for snorkeling & even scuba diving, it is especially known for surfing, with the winds blowing mostly from the southwest as it rides the breaks to the shore. Besides, it is less crowded than its neighbouring beaches, so you can have a reposeful time.
Location: Addington Beach, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 4074, South Africa

2. Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach in Durban
Located in the Bluff area, in the south of Ansteys, Brighton Beach in Durban is indeed a swell magnet. This beach is an exposed beach break, and the dependable surf here can work throughout the year. Here, the offshore winds coming from the west, combined with the swells from the south direction offer the best conditions for surfing. Along this stretch, you will see several peaks, some of them breaking over the sandy bed and others over a shallow reef. Surfers can always find decent waves here even when other spots are flat. It observes distant groundswells and beach breaks provide left and right-handers. Brighton beach is a decently popular surf spot that can get crowded sometimes. Besides, beware of rocks and splits here.
Location: Brighton Beach, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 4036, South Africa

3. Cave Rock

CaveRock in Durban
Not far from the thumping Durban beachfront scene, the Cave Rock is like a very distinct surfing universe on the other side of the Bluff. It pitches some of the largest barrels around and is one of the best surf spots in South Africa. Essentially, it is a knotted wave that is suitable only for expert surfers as it can knock you out. Notably, there are two primary waves at this spot: the Pool and the Rock. The section that breaks at the back of the tidal pool is known as The Pool. The wave comes big and wide and often bulges out on take-off. The Rock is the section that breaks in ahead of the Cave Rock. Probably, the tubes are rounder here, though the bottom is shallow. Most of the waves at Cave Rock are best in the NW land breeze.
Location: Cave Rock, Bluff, 4052, South Africa

4. Ansteys Beach

Ansteys Beach in Durban
Ansteys Beach is located on the Bluff in Durban, only one km from Cave Rock. Famous for its surf break, it offers left, and right-hand beach break peaks. Ansteys beach offers the best surf on a southerly swell, and the right-hand waves are usually the better as it is east facing. Though when the swell comes from the east or is slightly broken up, there are sometimes left-handers working well. Notably, Ansteys is an unspoiled & more user-friendly location that serves as an appropriate surf spot for beginners to expert surfers. Many surfers flock to Ansteys on the weekend, considering it a peaceful option amongst other Durban Town beaches. Paradoxically, this fact makes Ansteys get somewhat busy.
Location: Anstey's Beach, Bluff Durban, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 4036, South Africa

5. North Beach

North Beach in Durban
The North Beach is a hot spot on the Golden Mile just one pier north of the New Pier. This beach observes more consistent waves and therefore gets overly crowded sometimes. The wave at North beach gets literally hollow when it is larger. Mostly it observes wave walls that can be slashed, which are equally enjoyed by short boarders, longboarders, and body boarders. At high tide, the inside left wave is generated called the North Bowl. Such a wave is enjoyed by many local bodyboarders and the beach gets pretty crowded when it gets good. At the farther side of the beach, the inside right wave runs till the Bay Pier. It is strictly a high tide wave and is called the Far Bowl.
Location: North Beach, 4063, Durban, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

6. uShaka Beach

uShaka Beach in Durban
The uShaka Beach enjoys an ideal location at the southern end of the Golden Mile of beaches in Durban. Surfers, kite surfers, and other water sports enthusiasts visit uShaka Beach annually. With small waves, it is an appropriate surf spot for beginner surfers. The uShaka beach area on the Point waterfront is a sheltered expanse of gorgeous golden sands, and it offers direct access to the uShaka Marine World theme park that is set behind the beach. Besides, uShaka is also one of the family-friendly beaches in Durban offering lots of watersports. 
Location: King Shaka Avenue, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 4069, South Africa

7. La Lucia Beach

La Lucia beach in Durban
Nestled on the Umhlanga coastline, just before the Umhlanga Rocks, La Lucia Beach lies within the serenity of rural KwaZulu-Natal and offers a great sense of calmness. Also, it is not much far away from the city center, so you get to enjoy a convenient location. The colorful fishes & reefs make La Lucia beach a good snorkeling destination, but the warm waters and decent waves make it a pleasurable swimming and surfing spot too. It is a tranquil break in the north of Durban and mostly does not observe crowds. Also, it gets slightly less consistent waves than the beaches nearer to Durban city. The waves are generally a foot or two bigger than the breaks closer into the city.
Location: The Promenade, La-Lucia 4051 South Africa

8. Treasure Beach

Treasure beach in Durban
Towards the south of Brighton beach, you can find a combative beach break at Treasure beach. Remarkably, the waves at this beach are always hollow and forceful. So, this beach is not suitable for beginners or inexperienced surfers. You may find the finest barrels during low to mid tide here; make certain you can control a sharp drop, as wipeouts are common. There are about 200 m peaks that are super hollow sand banks. The Ansteys and the Cave Rock take the edge off Treasure beach, so it does not observe that much crowd. Although, such quality waves can make a beach smashingly crowded.
Location: Treasure Beach, Bluff, 4052, South Africa

9. Wedge Beach

Wedge Beach in Durban
Another beach popular as a surfers' paradise is Wedge Beach which observes regular surfers as well as beginners who want to catch their first wave. Set at the Durban Beachfront, it lies next to the new pier. With enjoyable weather, warm waters, and impressive surroundings, it is pleasurable to spend a day at Wedge beach. Here, you can also spot dolphins playing amid the waves. This is a fairly exposed beach break that observes consistent offshore winds coming from the west-southwest. Notably, the ideal conditions for surfing at Wedge beach is when there is offshore wind from the west-southwest direction with East-southeast swell. It offers left and right breaks and is best around rising low tide. This beach rarely gets crowded but beware of rocks, jellyfish, & sharks.
Location: South Beach, Durban, South Africa

Famous Surf Schools & Centres in Durban

1. Xpression On The Beach

Committed to perfection & top-notch safety standards, Xpression On The Beach is the only surf school in Durban that is recognized by Surfing South Africa. It is nestled on Addington Beach Durban, which is the idyllic beach for beginners in KZN to learn surfing. All their competent Surf coaches are experienced and well-certified with Surfing South Africa in surfing as well as in training people. Also, they have an array of surfboards to suit surfers of various skill levels. Besides, you can buy beach apparel & surfing accessories, such as swimwear, wetsuits, leashes, etc., at their store.
Location: 17 Erskine Terrace, Addington Beach, Durban, South Africa
Open: Monday - Sunday: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

2. Learn 2 Surf

Learn 2 Surf is a Durban surfing school located at Addington Beach, just North of the uShaka Marine World. It is a highly professional surf school offering group surfing lessons and private surf lessons for individuals & families. They have taught surfing to kids as small as four years old and up to adults in their 70s. Their 2hr Group lesson is ideal for a group of friends or a family who would like to have a wonderful surfing experience. They have a team of qualified surfing instructors, and a maximum of 5 surfers are admitted per coach for the group lessons. Also, they offer corporate team-building sessions.
Location: Marine Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Open: Monday - Sunday: 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

3. Living the Dream Surf School

Whether you want to master the surfing sport or learn from the basics, Living the Dream Surf School is teaching people how to surf and hone their skills for a memorable holiday experience. It offers surf lessons to learners of all ages. Their beginner surf lesson is private instruction sessions for individuals, couples, families, & friends. You will get all equipment for your lesson, including a wetsuit, soft top surfboard, a leash, and wax. Also, group lessons are offered for a maximum of 4 people with individual attention. Besides, they run surf camps during the school holidays from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM.
Location: Timeball Blvd, Durban Beach Front 4001
Open: Monday - Sunday: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

4. Ocean Ventures

You can undertake professional surfing lessons across the year with Ocean Ventures. It is in the field of professional surf instruction with its CPR-certified team of surf coaches & guarantees the results. They will make you capable of surfing nicely in no time. Learners of all ages or skill levels are welcome. From basic concepts & skills to advanced learning techniques to enhance your surfing style, they teach it all. The lessons have a one-hour duration, and Ocean Ventures Surfing offers high-standard foam surfboards, wetsuits, rash guards, and leashes for each lesson.
Location: uShaka Village walk, 1 Bell Street, Durban, 4001 South Africa
Open: Monday - Sunday: 6:30 AM - 5:30 PM

5. Pumula Surf Camp

Pumula Surf Camp is the only locally operated surf camp in the region. It is located in the tranquil seaside village of Pumula, south coast of KZN which is just an hour's drive to the south from Durban city. They offer surf lessons for all levels along with surfboard rentals and guided surf trips for a pleasurable surfing experience on the South Coast. During your stay at this world-class surf camp, their well-qualified instructors spend 1.5 - 2 hours daily. Notably, the instructors designed the surf lesson plans per your specific requirements & skill level. Besides, daily yoga classes and healthy meals are available in an eco-friendly environment.
Location: 75 Park Avenue south coast, Pumula, 4235, South Africa
Set on the country's east coast, Durban city is popularly referred to as the Surf City of South Africa. Durban flaunts the Golden Mile of idyllic beaches that are snuggled amidst a series of wharves. All of those are consistent beach breaks that can capably hold considerable winter swells along with cyclone swells in summer. The idyllic weather conditions & plenty of right spots to catch significant waves make this city the leading surfing destination in South Africa. You should definitely consider Durban the next time you plan a surf trip without any second thought!

This post was published by Kanika Sharma

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