14 March, 2017 14 March, 2017

Durban Cyclone City

Whilst our eyes, minds and social media feeds were focussed mainly on the waves – it is worth mentioning how Mother Nature blew up on the internet over the past few days with a massive Cyclone swell in Durban, the fire in Hout Bay and the gale force winds in Cape Town that subsequently saw the Argus being cancelled. 

The surf community are still reeling from the sights seen and the waves surfed in Durban the past few days. An extreme tide combined with a double swell from Cyclone Enawo and a deep SE storm, resulted in stomach-churning walls of water smacking down along the Golden Mile’s shore on Sunday, 12 March. With the pumping wind and unorganised massive lines, the ocean was unappealing to any sane surfer. But as with any big swell, there are always a handful chargers with well trained lungs and navigation skills who manage to paddle out and get absolutely pitted. 

The charts at the peak of the swell.

“On Sunday afternoon, between 3:00pm and 5:00pm, I surfed some of the most powerful waves I’ve paddled into in Durban before,” said well-known charger, Mike Frew. “With the 5 metre swell and a sixteen second period combined with a spring high tide. It went from heavy 6-8ft to 10ft-plus in just a few hours with massive surges. Interestingly enough, there was an overlay in the swell, so there were kind of two swells at the same time.”

The surge was so intense that the water rushed up over the promenade and into the car park in town. The restaurant and Police Station were also given a healthy deposit of salt water and sand. 

Video By Agustin Ritacco

By dawn on Monday morning, the gusting winds of the day before had eased to a gentle offshore wind, and the waves went from simply gnarly to insanely good. From first light until the onshore started breezing through at 9:30am, many were calling it the best Durban has been for years.

Despite five star conditions, it was too small a window for the Cell-C Goodwave to run, but the perfect warm-up for the contenders.

“For two and a half hours it looked perfect to run but in the late morning, as predicted, conditions deteriorated, so the window of opportunity was not suitable to run the event as we need 8 hours,” said Cell-C Goodwave contest director, Jason Ribbink.

Whilst the argument continues as to who got the wave of the day between, Josh and Dan Redman, Brandon Jackson and Davey Van Zyl, sit back and check out this epic gallery. 

1 Comment

  1. Alan
    15 March, 2017 at 11:26 pm · Reply

    Way cool! And I don’t even surf beyond body-surf when I make it to the ocean –

    I thought I saw some dedicated souls plunging into the water while watching news of the storm 🙂
    I did think to myself; “If I could, I would”

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